Long-term Palliative Care Workers: More Than a Story of Endurance
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Nursing and Public Health
This study sought to explore the stories of long-term palliative care workers to generate an understanding of their experiences of working in palliative care for an extended period of time. Six health professionals participated in the study, each of whom were currently working in a palliative care service, and each of whom had been working continuously in palliative care services for a minimum of 5 years. Descriptions of their experiences provided insight into the reasons for choosing this work, the stages they went through along the way, and the factors that sustain and challenge them as they continue to work in the area. Five phases in the trajectory of working in palliative care were described: The Awakening, Making the Connection, Committing to the Philosophy, Reaping the Rewards, and Soldiering On. Results from this study may be helpful to educators and administrators who endeavour to develop and support this workforce. Furthermore, the descriptions provided in this study may provide direction for individuals working in palliative care who may be called on to reflect on their own work trajectory and their commitment to the field.