Date of Completion


Document Type

Campus Access Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Advisor

Alan Girelli


Hospice volunteer retention is an ongoing and growing issue at one branch of a hospice in Eastern Connecticut. Recognizing that retention is as much an organizational issue as it is an individual concern, this research paper integrates the experience of the Connecticut hospice with findings from the literature to explore connections between retention (an organizational challenge) and resilience (a personal or group characteristic). This paper does not document an interventional strategy to improve hospice volunteer retention or resilience. The literature reveals underlying components, practices and strategies for improving retention and resilience, which the Connecticut hospice, and others, can adapt. The literature clearly shows that reduced resiliency can result in increased burnout, and increased burnout can lead to higher turnover; however, a direct correlation between resiliency and hospice volunteer retention was not established. This is due primarily to a lack of research dedicated to hospice volunteers. Research does show that resiliency is a skill that can be learned, and it is characteristic of individuals and teams. The fact that resiliency is a learnable skill suggests that hospice organizations should consider investing in ways to identify resiliency characteristics in prospective volunteers as well as to implement programs that strengthen resiliency in the volunteer community. In addition, it is possible for organizations to help volunteers avoid burnout by focusing on specific training to bolster volunteers’ resiliency reserves.


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