Exhausted, lonely, and often in pain, it’s not hard to imagine how many hospitalized patients find themselves depressed and frustrated. That’s where Pet Therapy comes in. Because who isn’t cheered up by a visit from a gentle and cuddly dog?
Tomball Regional Medical Center recently began using Pet Therapy as a way to help patients cope with their circumstances and to bring a positive feeling to the hospital environment.
Chief Nursing Officer, Sharon Ikeler, came to Tomball Regional in September last year and brought with her many new ideas for how to better serve patients. The idea of Pet Therapy came from her personal experience benefiting from such a program.
“I had the chance to personally experience Pet Therapy with my daughter when she was in the hospital, so I truly saw the benefits of pet therapy,” said Sharon. “With my experience, I proposed the idea of pet therapy, and Tomball is always looking to increase the comfort and satisfaction of our patients.”
Tomball Regional began Pet Therapy for patients this past June, and it’s been an overwhelming success. Having a joyful pet jump onto your bed or nestle its head in your hands cheers many patients up. For a brief time, they’re able to take their mind off being injured or sick.
But Tomball Regional isn’t the only hospital leveraging the unconditional love of man’s best friend. St. Luke’s Hospital at The Vintage is also inviting specially trained furry friends in to visit patients. Here’s a photo of pet therapy dog, Sophie, which was taken just this week by one patient’s grateful daughter: