Since NHRMC’s pet therapy program was suspended in conjunction with volunteer services in mid-March, Michele Erich, Music Therapist/Child Life Specialist with the Healing Arts Network, has organized virtual pet therapy visits for the staff.
The therapy dog owners were contacted to see if they would be willing to go virtual and conduct video conferences with staff. Our pet therapy team was thrilled to be able to offer this service for our amazing team at NHRMC. This week’s lineup included, Roentgen, Maggie, Petey, Dyna, Penny and Weasy.
NHRMC’s Healing Arts program has offered Pet therapy for about 25 years, and this program has been a big part of NHRMC.
“We really miss the volunteers and their dogs,” Erich said. “ In the past we realized that not only do the patients and family members love seeing the pet therapy dogs, but the staff enjoy it just as much if not more. As a part of the Resilience Governance Council, I was thinking of how the Healing arts could support the staff during this time of change and uncertainty.”
“I felt Virtual Pet Therapy visits could bring comfort, laughter and smiles to the staff who are working so hard. In my first five visits, so far it has!”
Staff have expressed their appreciation to Michele and the dog owners:
- “Oh, I needed that!”
- “We miss seeing you and can’t wait until you can visit in person”
- “I just want to pet her”
- “That was so nice”
Virtual pet therapy isn’t quite the same as when the dogs are in person, but it sure brings smiles, laughter and a brief moment of fun during this difficult time.
Healing Arts will continue virtual visits with our employees and possibly introduce this service to our patients.
We are thankful for our pet therapy team that has created smiles and laughter through the organization during this difficult time.