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Madison, Wisconsin - American Family Children's Hospital is piloting a virtual volunteer program to provide a new patient resource during the pandemic.
Because of COVID-19, volunteers have not been allowed in the hospital, so the team has come up with creative solutions to comfort, engage and support patients and families during their stay.
The process is similar to a video chat, with staff helping to set up a hospital tablet to connect with UW Health volunteers who are at home. Volunteers can sing or read a book to a baby or visit with and play games with an older child. Sometimes this serves as a helpful resource for kids whose parents can't always be in the room.
"We are really excited that this program is underway," said Tricia Nicoll, volunteer coordinator at American Family Children's Hospital. "We have been carefully planning this opportunity for quite some time and it's been great seeing positive reactions from our patients. Our volunteers have stayed committed during this challenging time and we are thrilled to have their support and creativity during these visits."
Long after the pandemic, there will continue to be situations where virtual interactions with a volunteer could benefit patients. This program will continue to make a positive impact on patients and families.
When you need urgent care, video visits give you and your family easy access to a provider in minutes on your computer, tablet or smartphone.