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Therapy dogs make an impact on patients and staff alike

Therapy dogs and staff

Therapy dogs and staff

One our staff members was so overwhelmed by the impact therapy dogs had on patients, she shared her thoughts with us.

"I was pleasantly surprised this morning when Linda and the "therapy dogs" came to visit Outpatients Teams 3 and 4, with the Patient Experience team, Hayley and Ros.

"My eyes were totally opened to the magical effect they have on people.  Firstly our Staff; the Clinic Prep staff were all eager to come to meet and stroke the dogs and the calming and happy smiles they went back to their desks with was amazing.

"We then went to visit Team 3 and it was like going round with a magic wand as I watched the patient’s faces light up when seeing the dogs coming towards them and being able to stroke them.  There were a couple of people who did not want to stroke the dogs, but they still thought it was a lovely idea having them around.

"On visiting the patients waiting in Team 4, I experienced the same effect, like a Mexican wave of smiles, “oooo-ing” and “ahh-ing”. The icing on the cake was when we approached a frail elderly lady on a stretcher bed, who was waiting to go into the vascular lab.  When I first walked towards her she was laying down, making small groaning noises and looking quite unwell. She was asked if she liked dogs and she replied she did.  She started to converse with the dog’s owner about the dogs and her face started to change.  A Nurse lowered the bed down low so she was able to stroke the dogs on the head and she was able to feed the dogs a treat.

"The dogs seemed to inject life into this lady, she was talking and loving every minute of being able to touch the dogs - the dogs enjoyed it too.  It was a goose bump moment to watch and one I will not forget for a long time. 

"After we left, I was informed by a Nurse that the lady was still talking about her time with the dogs to other staff.

"Thank you to Linda, Mercedes and Bentley - you gave me an experience I will never forget and made a difference to our patients and staff today."

Elaine Clark, Patient Experience Lead OPD

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