Animal Assisted Therapy at the WCH
The Paediatric Rehabilitation Department staff are now working with two highly trained dogs (Harper and Teddy) and their handlers (Andrea and Gillian) to support the rehabilitation of patients at the Women's and Children's Hospital.
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The Paediatric Rehabilitation Department staff are now working with two highly trained dogs (Harper and Teddy) and their handlers (Andrea and Gillian) to support the rehabilitation of patients at the Women's and Children's Hospital. The Dog Team becomes another 'tool' that the Paediatric Rehabilitation Department Staff are able to access, if appropriate, for the patient's treatment. The dogs and handlers are accredited through the Delta Society (see below) and are fully trained to work in a hospital setting. They undertake special veterinary checks to ensure they meet high infection control standards.
There is overwhelming evidence to support the physiological benefits such as reduction in blood pressure and heart rate; the psychological benefits such as the reduction of stress and anxiety; the social benefits such as the enhancement of communication and social interaction, when patients are exposed to Animal Assisted Therapy. These are particularly important in the acute setting when patients and families are dealing with the stress and anxiety or illness and injury, as well as the unfamiliar and intimidating environment of a hospital. In Animal Assisted Therapy, the dog will work alongside the therapist to enhance the patient's motivation to achieve the therapy goals.
The Delta Society
This project has been supported by the Women's & Children's Hospital Foundation.
Delta Society Australia is a national not for profit organisation whose mission is to promote and facilitate positive interaction between people and companion animals. Delta operates with one core belief: that the human animal bond can overcome anything. The Delta Society's work focuses on using that bond to comfort the sick in hospitals and aged care facilities, develop more confident children, teach children about dog safety, and promote reward based training methods to develop happy and contented pets.
Delta Therapy Dogs is a heart-warming program that brings the joys of animal companionship to those who need it most.
Delta's amazing and devoted volunteer Therapy Dog Teams brighten the lives of an estimated 20,000 Australians in hospitals and care facilities every week.
Our world class program is the largest of its kind in Australia with over 1000+ volunteers and their special dogs making regular visits to health care facilities to offer the wonderful benefits of pet therapy, spend time with patients and offer a chat, a floppy ear to listen and a paw to shake.
There are currently over 850 facilities involved nationally ranging from aged care through to acute care hospitals for children and adults as well mental health, prisons and dementia specific facilities.
Please refer to their email for more information.