The Royal University Hospital (RUH) mall in Saskatoon recently had some visitors of the four-legged variety. Members of the Pet Visitation program, a joint venture between the St. John’s Ambulance Therapy Dogs and Saskatchewan Health Authority’s Volunteer Workforce, were at RUH to highlight the work they do.
Though not specifically part of any therapies provided, most patients are excited to visit with the dogs whenever they can. Teams from the program visit various areas of the hospital including inpatient mental health, pediatrics, Children’s Emergency Services and the Adult ER.
“It is important to recognize and highlight the work these teams do in the hospital,” said Laurie Korol, Manager of Volunteer Workforce. “They are an important piece in helping reduce stress and anxiety of patients.”
Prior to joining the SHA volunteer workforce, prospective members of the Pet Visitation Team are certified as therapy dogs through St. John’s Ambulance. As with all other volunteers within the SHA, prospective members must complete the application process prior becoming a volunteer.
“This event is the only time the teams are together at the same time,” added Korol. “It is a great way to showcase and value the work they do.”
There were wagging tails and plenty of smiles all around as the Pet Visitation Teams visited Royal University Hospital.