University of Saskatchewan medical students connect with isolated seniors

Madeline Parker, a medical student, is participating in weekly phone calls with seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic.
By: Julien Dussault
May 27, 2020
Photo: Madeline Parker / University of Saskatchewan

For most medical students, the COVID-19 pandemic brought their clinical rotations to an end as visitor restrictions in hospitals were announced and schools across the province moved classes online. Third-year medical student Madeline Parker missed being able to take care of patients.

Thanks to a new national program called the Student Senior Isolation Prevention Partnership (SSIPP), medical students are now connecting with isolated seniors and hospital patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. After signing up for this program, Parker now participates in weekly phone calls with isolated seniors across the country.

“Seniors are already at risk for loneliness, but that’s especially amplified with social distancing, so our main goal is really to provide company (for) people who may not be receiving much interaction otherwise,” Parker said, “a lot of us miss interacting with patients right now, so it’s helpful for us to have that interaction as well.”

So far, 42 medical students have volunteered to be part of the program. As word of the program spreads, Parker hopes to see the number of enrolled students as well as seniors continue to grow.

Source: University of Saskatchewan, Regina Leader-Post

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