Pet therapy for kids in the hospital at Swedish

Pet therapy for kids in the hospital at Swedish

By Audrey Fuhrer
Certified Child Life Specialist

During most hospital stays, a patient can expect to be visited and cared for by doctors, nurses, therapists and even social workers.  But did you know that at Swedish, we not only have a wonderful team of caregivers to provide the most optimal health care and we also have additional beneficial services like pet therapy?

Pet therapy is a wonderful service that Swedish provides to all pediatric patients and families who are not on isolation precautions.  A trained handler escorts a certified pet therapy dog room to room, visiting patients and their families at the bedside, taking the time to provide therapeutic services to all who would like it. 

Spending time with an animal has been proven to improve patient’s emotional status and ability to cope with their hospital stay.  Each pet therapy partner spends one on one time with our patients and allows them a fun, playful, and engaging experience during their hospital stay.  Patients that are admitted frequently to our pediatric unit or are in the hospital for an extended amount of time often request their services by name!
 
Pet therapy is available twice a week at the Swedish First Hill Campus and Monday through Friday at the Issaquah Campus.
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