There’s a new paw patrol helping EMS (Emergency Medical Services) staff at Hennepin Healthcare alleviate on-the-job stress that can follow them back to the office, ambulance garage, or even home. Friendly volunteer canines from North Star Therapy Animals are part of the Hennepin Heroes program designed to provide comfort, spread joy and reinforce positive communication.
“We cannot control the stressful situations that are required of our paramedics throughout their shift, but we can control the environment is which they start and end their day,” explains Erin Hedge, Deputy Chief of Staff for Hennepin EMS, who began researching pet therapy options after seeing the mental health benefits that this type of therapy can offer. “The instant lift in mood and decrease in anxiety are some of the medically proven benefits of having the calming presence of a therapy animal,” she said. (more…)