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Stressed healthcare workers benefit from pet therapy

Pet therapy dogs are a common sight in South Florida hospitals. These four-legged friends help ease the anxiety of patients both young and old. Now they’re being utilized in a new way at Broward Health Medical Center.
Pet therapy dogs are a common sight in South Florida hospitals. These four-legged friends help ease the anxiety of patients both young and old. Now they’re being utilized in a new way at Broward Health Medical Center.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Pet therapy dogs are a common sight in South Florida hospitals.

These four-legged friends help ease the anxiety of patients both young and old.

Now they’re being utilized in a new way at Broward Health Medical Center.

In the fall of 2020, hospital officials recognized how stressed employees were under the weight of dealing with COVID-19 amid all their other duties, and decided to start special pet therapy sessions for healthcare workers.

“Canine-Assisted Therapy comes to visit day shift, and they also come at night so our night shift can benefit from the dogs and they absolutely love it. So they come once a month to visit our staff,” said Jenny Mackie with Broward Health Medical Center.

Mackie said visiting with the animals helps their healthcare workers break away, laugh and relax for even a small part of the day and has made a huge difference in moral.

The hospital plans to continue the program even after the pressures of the pandemic have lifted.


About the Authors:

Veteran journalist Kathleen Corso is the special projects producer for Local 10 News.

Kristi Krueger has built a solid reputation as an award-winning medical reporter and effervescent anchor. She joined Local 10 in August 1993. After many years co-anchoring the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., Kristi now co-anchors the noon newscasts, giving her more time in the evening with her family.