Streetlight was started in 2005 with 17 volunteers serving only patients with cancer. It has grown to a hospital-wide program and is expanding regionally to include over 65 volunteers and serving patients with a wide-range of chronic and life-threatening illnesses.
Streetlight is a program specifically aimed toward teenagers and young adults who are admitted to pediatric services at Shands Children’s Hospital at UF. The Streetlight team of 65+ UF pre-med college students partner through peer companionship with adolescents who have a critical and chronic illness.
It is hard enough to be a teenager, but add a life threatening illness to the picture and in complicates things even more. Streetlight is an Adolescent Palliative Care Program that helps navigate patients through their illness to psychosocial and spiritual health. Streetlight primarily serves ages 13-22+ who are living with cancer, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease and other life threatening illnesses. The Streetlight team aims to keep patients connected to their identity that can get lost in diagnosis and treatment. Among other things, Streetlight offers: long-term companions with peers and mentors, sharing video games, music, magazines, books and other pop culture outlets as a way to relate with patients and create personal identity, social networking sites to connect patients and volunteers, parties to celebrate important treatment milestones, and advocacy/awareness efforts targeted at the hospital population, UF, and the larger community. Streetlight aims to bring comfort, friends, and support to teenagers and young adults at Shands & UF.
Streetlight has 3 full-time employees but we use the employee schedule maker ShiftPlanning to manage the complicated college schedules of our 65+ volunteers. We schedule 9 – 3 hours shifts per week (2 per day except Friday) Monday through Friday. We have to schedule our team members around their complicated college and extra-curricular schedules.
They also need to be able to trade shifts, pick up extra shifts, or cover shifts depending on their needs due to test schedules, sickness, or unforeseen circumstances. We have special project teams that specifically work with cancer patients, patients with cystic fibrosis and patients with sickle cell disease. These special project team captains need to know when their team members are available so they can schedule meetings
LOTS of emails and Excel spreadsheets!!!
The work scheduler allows us to have the volunteers self-enter their schedule and change it accordingly as their schedule changes throughout the semester. It also allows us to make sure we’re not improperly scheduling someone if they show “unavailable” for that shift. It allows members to be proactive about getting a shift covered due to an upcoming test or for them to know how to make up a shift if they had to miss.
Additionally, it’s a quick and easy way for our members to visually see the other team members, access their contact information and remember birthdays. Yes!, I would recommend ShiftPlanning and the team is helpful. With this work scheduler we have a lot less work for managers and more self-responsibility/activation for team members to manage their schedules.
We have a lot less work. Amy Bucciarelli – Streetlight – Shands Children’s Hospital
Our team members really like the text reminders they can get to remind them of their shift. They are college students. They live by texting and smartphones!!
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