Case Study

Virginia Mason Memorial's Snuggle Buddies provide comfort to pediatric patients

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Snuggle Buddies

Location: Yakima, Wash.

Quadruple Aim: Improving the patient experience of care (including quality and satisfaction)

Total number of volunteers: 400

Number of beds: 226

Goal: To provide support to families by holding and comforting infants and children.

Summary of program: Snuggle Buddies are “on call” volunteers who help provide a comforting experience for pediatric patients.

Roles of the volunteers: On-call volunteers provide comfort care to infants and children when there is either no parent or caregiver available to them or when parent or caregiver need respite. Our snuggle buddies engage in cradling, rocking or simply holding a child to give them a feeling of warmth and comfort. Each opportunity in the program is unique, depending upon the variables of the patient/caregiver to date we have 40 dedicated volunteers totally over 100 hours of service offering comfort care to infants and children.

Roles of staff: Assist in providing oversight and support to volunteers, coordinate which patients need cuddling or comfort.

Primary collaborators: Pediatrics Nurse Manager, Pediatric Nurses, Voluntary Workforce Manager, and Volunteer Services Coordinator.

Outcomes and benefits: Comfort care provided by volunteers improves the experience of both the patient and the caregiver. By providing these services, patients receive much-needed comfort, and caregivers have the opportunity to step out for a meal, to care for other family members, etc.

Future plans: We will continue to add volunteers to our snuggle buddy list.


Joyce Scott

Volunteer Coordinator

(509) 575-8053