Southampton Children’s Hospital AAI Team

Therapy Dogs At This Hospital Show Kids Medical Procedures Aren't So Scary

ryan.ford 9 Oct 2019

Hospitals aren't the most, well, hospitable of places even for grown-ups. They're tough to navigate, they smell funny, and unfortunately, they're full of people who aren't at their best and need help to get better.

For kids, visiting the hospital can be an even tougher battle.

At Southampton Children's Hospital in the U.K., they have a dedicated team of professionals to help little ones through their visits.

Southampton Children’s Hospital AAI Team

Their names are Milo, Hattie, Quinn, Jessie, Leo, and Archie, and they're golden retrievers. They're all also exceptionally good doggos.

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It's not uncommon to see therapy dogs making the rounds in hospitals these days.

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Their unique ability to comfort with cuddles and effortlessly bring smiles to faces in every ward, when comfort and smiles are needed most, have made them valuable members of healthcare teams.

At Southampton, the team of therapy dog-tors go beyond just cuddles, however.

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About seven years ago, a boy in the hospital had some hesitation about wearing a mask.

Southampton Children's Hospital AAI Team

"One of the therapy dogs was happy to poke his nose in a spare mask and have a sniff," Lyndsey Uglow, a volunteer and "dog mom" at Southampton, told Yahoo News Australia. After seeing the dog use the mask, the boy decided he could give it a try, too.

They've taken that little bit of encouragement and run with it.

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Now, the therapy dogs at Southampton do even more to take the stress out of hospital visits for kids.

Southampton Children's Hospital AAI Team

They'll show kids how it's all done. For example, this is Jessie demonstrating an echocardiogram. "All you do is lie back and hold your mums hand while the lady puts a scanner on your chest and the picture pops up on the screen."

And yes, Jessie earned some belly rubs for her help.

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They've put together a whole library of videos and photos

Southampton Children's Hospital AAI Team

Jessie and the gang have shown kids how to do all kinds of procedures, from X-rays to MRIs, and the nurses at the hospital have seen first-hand how fear can dissipate and anxiety can turn to "surprise and giggles" when the doggos do it first.

Kind of seems like a great idea for other hospitals to try too, don't you think? Now that the dogs have shown them how it's done!

h/t: Yahoo News Australia

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