Service Stories Archive: School of Nursing Virtual Outreach

Because of the upcoming introduction of a new University website design, existing Service Stories on the site are being migrated to our Service Learning Blog so that they will remain in our archive.

This article was originally published in 2020.



Senior Nursing Instructor, Latasha Gooden with the support of the Mary Black College of Nursing, has partnered with the Charles Lea Center and Palladium Hospice & Palliative Care to initiate the COVID-19 Virtual Interaction Outreach program. From May 2020, the program has provided nursing student and faculty volunteers the opportunity to virtually connect with an individual who resides in a residential care facility, providing them with comfort, emotional support, and encouragement via virtual sessions. This serves to decrease the effects of social distancing and isolation while simultaneously enhancing nursing students’ active listening skills and therapeutic communication skills

Students and faculty ask the residents each week what their interests are and what they want to learn about, then brainstorm, collaborate, and create presentations, games, etc. actively engage residents in weekly encounters. Since May, they have held sessions involving physical fitness & wheelchair exercises, music therapy, virtual Jeopardy games, the power of art, online book readings, maracas arts and crafts, Chinese & Spanish language basics, and stress management. Residents, students, and faculty benefit as they smile, laugh, interact, and actively participate. This summer, virtual sessions run for an hour each week. Starting in Fall, Latasha plans to transform the MBSON COVID-19 Virtual Interaction Outreach program into a club where students and faculty virtually meet with the individuals once a month during the academic school year

The program, Latasha observes, is “in alignment with the MBSON’s mission & core values of caring, civility, integrity, and innovation.” Of her students she says they are “sincerely dedicated, motivated, and committed to this program … very creative, caring, intelligent, and diligent.” And she closes her thoughts with “I am truly proud, honored, and grateful for USC Upstate, the MBSON, and our wonderful students.” 

Student Voices

We collaborated with the Charles Lea Center to virtually meet with their residents and worked together to play games, laugh, create and draw. It was an amazing experience working with the staff and residents at Charles Lea to learn about some of their favorite things like art, music and wrestling and bring these to life through interactive games, and videos
— Dani Wills, MBSON Student

It has been a delight working with these individuals over the summer. I have loved seeing the ability to bridge the gap between virtual and reality life during this crazy time. I was honored to participate in the MBSON COVID-19 interaction program and I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know such genuine and kind people
— Ting O’Regan, MBSON Student

Community Partner Voices with Photos

On August 5th, participants enjoyed a virtual beach party with beach trivia, props and individualized prizes catering to the interest of each resident. Here are some photos with two comments from residents

Elisa is excited about attending the Virtual Beach Party

I think that it is great that students would take time out to talk to us about different subjects 
— Elisha, Charles Lea Center resident 

Kenny is happy about winning

Very helpful.
— Kenny, Charles Lea Center resident. 2nd Place Winner in beach triva contest

Additional Photos

Virtual Beach Party with Latasha, Senior Nursing Instructor, and Ting, Senior Nursing Student, on their large tv screen 

Charles Lea Center Benchmark Cowpens Residents and Staff

Charles Lea Center Benchmark Cowpens Residents and Staff