By Admin | June 25, 2012
By Ellen T. Thatcher, GNP-C, CHPN
Ellen T. Thatcher, GNP-C, CHPN, is a certified geriatric, hospice, and palliative care nurse practitioner and community hospice care coordinator at the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System in Bay Pines, Florida.
I love having my Pomeranian, Margaret, at work with me because I seem to have a better day when she’s with me. She’s allowed on the Hospice Unit and in our Community Living Center; the veterans absolutely love her. However, because of policy, she’s not allowed in the acute or intensive care areas.
I also use Margaret in my practice, and her effect on patients is positive, profound, and hugely rewarding for everyone involved. The smiles she gets are infectious; my stories are endless and encompass the human condition and experience. (Click here for Dr. Thatcher's article.)
I think of pets as other family members or friends, maybe some of the best we’ve ever had; they love us unconditionally. No judgments, no lip service, only love.
Pet therapy and activities provide us unconditional acceptance, allowing us to care not only about ourselves, but also about others. Pets also allow us to be our best because our focus changes to one of love.
How many of you bring your pet to work? How many of you feel that it’s a powerful, palliative care tool? We’d love to hear your stories! Care to share?