Stead Family Children’s Hospital Begins Work with Comfort Dogs

by Brian Wilson
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The University of Iowa’s Stead Family Children’s Hospital is joining a growing trend in bringing in dogs to work with young patients.  Dog handler Emily Bradley says the goal of dogs Nacho and Corrin is to help kids understand their diagnosis and reduce the fear and anxiety they may feel.

There are a lot of different types of comfort dogs, but she says these two do something the others aren’t trained for.

Aly Humphrey handles Nacho and explains how the dog could help an anxious child.

She says the dog could also help a child who is anxious about getting their C-T scan by riding through the C-T scanner and showing the patient exactly everything that will happen to them. Some kids might be afraid of a dog, and Bradley says they have child life specialists that will help out.

Bradley says they have protocols in place for those who might be concerned about animals in the hospital.

Both Nacho and Corrin are just under a year and a half old and will likely work for six to eight years before they are ready to retire.

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