Sitting outside of the human resource office for a job interview can be an uneasy experience – looking at and sizing up your competition, making sure you’re well-prepared and remembering to sit, stay and shake when commanded.
You may have already guessed that this isn’t your typical job interview.
Sammi, Ava, Maddee and Freddy (along with a few other interviewees) all took part in a review process to become pet therapy dogs at Beaumont. All dogs hoping to join the rotation of greeters and patient visitors in the hospitals must be registered by Therapy Dogs International and demonstrate their temperament and interaction with people.
Today, all six of the dogs interviewed will become Beaumont volunteers, joining the current roster of nine dogs throughout the hospital. Judy Mrachina, Beaumont volunteer and pet therapy coordinator, says the goal is to have 50 dogs available for visiting.
“There are seven days a week, nine floors and a lot of patients,” says Judy. “Ideally, we’d like anybody that wants a few moments of companionship to receive that.”
Pet therapy dogs visit most of the patient care areas, including pediatrics, emergency, palliative care and rehabilitation. In fact, pet therapy dogs have been visiting rehab patients for the past 20 years. What type of dogs make the best hospital volunteers? Judy says that Beaumont has had a wide-variety, from Great Danes to Pekingese.
“The process and coordination is overwhelming, but the results are just so positive,” explains Judy. “The patients enjoy the visits and it is even great for the staff to see.”
Pet therapy has been proven to reduce pain, anxiety, depression and fatigue in people with a range of health conditions.