On January 11, the Radiology Department staff received a visit from Mischief, a volunteer terrier, who stopped by the department to get to know the staff. Mischief and all of the volunteer dogs who come to Cincinnati Children’s have a long history of uplifting both patients and staff.
The Cincinnati Children’s volunteer dog program began in 1993 and has grown into one of our largest Volunteer Services opportunities available. Together with their owners, the volunteer dogs have brought joy to many patients, their families and staff.
Over the past several years, Cincinnati Children’s staff have worked diligently to create a less stressful work environment, setting measures to decrease the number of work-related injuries and guiding various outlets of wellness support to fruition.
The hope is for pet therapy to serve as one of those support functions by offering significant and valuable benefits to staff. Interaction with a therapeutic dog can lower blood pressure, release endorphins, produce automatic relaxation response, and encourage communication. Long-term pet therapy is proven to improve cardiovascular health and lessen depression.
“The staff visits are really just an extension of the volunteer dog program we do with our patients,” said Amy Biersack, director of Volunteer Services. “What we find with all of our volunteer dogs is when they come here, the employees who are working with them enjoy it just as much as the kids do. We all love it.”
Mischief was Radiology’s first therapy dog visit and will continue the program on a monthly basis.
Contributions by Dianne Hater (Patient Advocate) and edited by Glenn Miñano, BFA.