Date of Graduation

Summer 8-14-2023

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


School of Nursing and Health Professions


MSN project


Problem: Hospice volunteers have no formal training on end-of-life nutrition and how to feed patients. Insufficient knowledge of feeding patients presents safety issues, leading to decreased patient satisfaction and diminished volunteer role fulfillment.

Context: The setting was an independent non-profit hospice organization that serves around 1,000 patients within the San Francisco Peninsula and South Bay communities. The project was a collaboration between hospice leadership and the quality and education department.

Intervention: Volunteer education was implemented to increase volunteer knowledge about end-of-life nutrition and feeding patients. The educational session included a PowerPoint lecture, a small group discussion portion, and hands-on skills practice. Three in-person training sessions were delivered during June and July 2023. 62 out of 100 completed the training sessions.

Measures: Pre- and post-education assessment surveys were used to measure volunteer knowledge and confidence. The survey included ten questions, five true or false and five multiple choice questions, to assess volunteer knowledge. Volunteers rated their confidence in feeding patients on a scale from zero to ten.

Results: The post-education survey results demonstrated an increase in volunteer knowledge from 8.3 to 9.8 on a 10-point scale, exceeding the 90% project target. Volunteer feeding confidence also increased from 3.5 to 9.

Conclusions: Volunteer education is an evidence-based method to increase volunteer knowledge. Volunteers with inadequate knowledge and competency in feeding patients can lead to diminished patient care and safety issues. The implementation of comprehensive volunteer training on feeding patients increases volunteer knowledge, confidence, and competency.

Keywords: volunteer education, hospice, knowledge levels, feeding patients, patient satisfaction