Participatory design and implementation of an organizational plan to address burnout in hospice employees

Rebecca H. Lehto, Patricia McDaniel, Rachel Derry, Carrie Heeter, Patrick Miller, Michael Paletta


Hospice professionals face practice challenges that place them at increased risk for burnout. Limited research has reported on organizational efforts to address burnout and reduce work-related stressors with participatory involvement from employee stakeholders. In a large state-wide hospice organization, focus groups were initially conducted by external researchers with mixed groups of interdisciplinary employees to evaluate workplace stressors and to determine team member perceptions relative to burnout and its’ management. The paper reports an innovative multifaceted organizational education strategy that was conceived and implemented in response to the focus group findings to address or remediate work related stressors to support interdisciplinary employees across rural and urban regions who were involved in home or institutional hospice care delivery. Key executive leadership members evaluated and approved the multi-pronged organizational action plan. Interdisciplinary workgroups were formed and tasked with generating practice strategies to address four major areas of employee concern including work-related stressors, technology issues, staff appreciation and recognition, and communication. Implementation of the workgroups and delivery of the workplace changes have practice, education, and research implications. The process of stakeholder engagement with focus group findings to generate solutions may be utilized in other organizations seeking to learn strategies to address workplace stressors and improve employee wellbeing.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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