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Jackson Hospital expands Animal Therapy to Pediatric Unit

Hospital news | Monday, May 10, 2010

Jackson Hospital will be expanding the current Animal Therapy Program to now include its pediatric unit. The official introduction will be this Thursday, May 13, at 8:30am.

The therapy program was introduced in March, and is a vital part of our patient care. The animal-human bond has been proven to provide an enhanced quality of care and healing experience for patients during their hospital stay. Animals in the program are limited to dogs, and no other animals are allowed to participate.

The Jackson Hospital philosophy of patient centered care recognizes the emotional and psychological needs of patients are as important as physical needs. Research shows that animal visits may significantly improve morale and possibly lower blood pressure levels in some people. Animal visits can also combat feelings of isolation and fulfill our need to nurture, and can be a source of laughter and provide opportunities for communication. The unconditional love from animals meets an array of our individual humanistic needs. Currently, there are 10 dogs in the program. Their handlers have undergone extensive training and orientation, and will visit the hospital weekly. For more information, please call 293-8894.