A Sit, Shake and a Bark to Recovery!
Here at Regional Medical Center, we’re taking a new approach to therapy and recovery—and it comes with a little bit of fur! Our pet therapy program is the newest way we are helping our patients down the road to recovery.
About Our Program
Our program consists of five therapy dog teams. We have three volunteer teams and two staff member teams. Each dog participating in our program is fully certified through a therapy dog agency. Teams have routine scheduled visits to the hospital and usually come for one-hour time slots. Nurses can request a visit from the therapy dog teams, and therapy teams often make surprise visits to guests who are interested. Our furry teams roam the halls and sometimes a patient’s loved one will ask them to stop by his or her room for a visit!
Benefits of Pet Therapy
There are many physical and emotional benefits of pet therapy.
Physical benefits may include:
- Lower blood pressure, heart rate
- Stress relief
- Alleviating depression
Emotional benefits may include:
- Feeling accepted
- Feeling hopeful
- Increased happiness, smiling, cheerfulness
Who Can It Benefit?
Our pet therapy teams will visit just about anyone in the hospital, as long as they are not in isolation. The most successful visits have been with dementia and Alzheimer’s patients, but anyone can benefit from a visit. Older adults and children are particularly responsive to pet therapy above other groups.
Feedback on Pet Therapy
While the program is still fairly new for us, we have seen wonderful success from the beginning. The pets have brought many smiles to our patients’ faces. Many of them say it brightens their day and simply takes their mind off of feeling bad. Some people who are in the hospital for an extended stay say they miss their animals at home and appreciate seeing the dogs.
At Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point, we know recovery is one of the most important steps to overcoming injury or illness. Our pet therapy program is a unique way to make your recovery here better, and just one of the ways we are helping to comfort our patients! For more information on our hospital and medical services, visit us online or give us a call at 727-819-2929.