StudentsCare’s University of Texas Chapter Offers Virtual Activities to Keep Pediatric Patients Having Fun While In the Hospital

StudentsCare’s University of Texas Chapter Offers Virtual Activities to Keep Pediatric Patients Having Fun While In the Hospital

02.16.2021

Keeping kids occupied during the pandemic has been a challenge for parents everywhere! But, StudentsCare’s college student volunteers are trained to keep kids smiling in even the most challenging situations– like alone in the hospital. 

When visiting with patients in the hospital, StudentsCare volunteers are trained to use their surroundings and available toys to connect with patients, but in an online platform this is nearly impossible. So how can StudentsCare Buddies keep their hospital buddies interested, happy, and entertained? 

Two StudentsCare volunteers, Lorena Fernandez and Mariela Villareal, came up with a creative solution. Lorena  is a senior at the University of Texas at Austin (UTA) studying Biochemistry and Nutrition and Mariela is a recent UTA alumni pursuing medical school – both are experienced StudentsCare Buddies, volunteering with StudentsCare since 2018! 

After learning that their patient buddy loved Scooby Doo, Lorena and Mariela created a Scooby Doo themed trivia game on PowerPoint and were able to share their screen and play along with the patient over Google Hangouts. 

After positive feedback from the patient, Mariela and Lorena now use PowerPoint and screen sharing often for their virtual sessions. They both meet a couple of days before their scheduled virtual visit with their buddy and brainstorm an activity that they can create on PowerPoint that will visually engage and entertain their buddy. Some other activities they have had success with include virtual Pictionary and Charades!

Just goes to show that anything is possible with a little creativity!

By Lis Llanio, StudentsCare’s Program Associate