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Therapy Dogs Visit Hospital

August 28, 2020

Fairview Park Hospital staff had some furry friends pay them a visit this week.

“As everybody knows, we’ve been fighting this pandemic and our staff just needed a little pick-me-up,” said director of Marketing and Communications, Lindsay Black.

More than 100 hospital staff members got to cozy up with some pet therapy dogs on Wednesday. It was all part of a celebration for National Dog Day.

“We wanted to take the opportunity to bring in pet therapy for our staff,” Black said.

She says all staff were invited to get play time in with the four-legged friends, but the employees on the COVID-19 ward were strongly encouraged to participate.

“Staff right now working on the dedicated COVID ward are wearing tight N-95 masks, 12-hour shifts. They’re wearing PPE all day long. They have had a lot of added stressors,” Black said.

Black says while those employees are managing stress well, it was important for them to blow off some steam while at work.

“Having these pet therapy dogs has been a great way for them to have some stress relief and put a smile to their face,” she said.

Black says the dogs are specially trained and certified by the Pet Therapy Alliance.

“It is proven scientifically to reduce stress and it was a really great time. The staff really enjoyed it,” she said.

During the day shift, about 100 staff members came to play with the dogs and during the night shift, about 30 employees came through, Black says.

“It’s just a nice break,” she said. “You know, it’s been very trying and unprecedented times and this gave them a break so that they could just, for a few minutes, have a little bit of relaxation.”

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