Why every physician at Mount Sinai's children's hospital carries referral cards for therapy dogs

New York City-based Mount Sinai Kravis Children's Hospital employs two unlikely workers — a pair of golden doodles named Professor and Amos, reports Business Insider.

Professor and Amos work at Kravis Children's daily as part of the hospital's Paws and Play program created through the child life and creative arts therapy department. The hospital received a three-year grant from PetSmart Charities to fund all costs associated with the facility dogs, including veterinary care, grooming, food and salary of the child life specialists paired with the animals.

Kravis Children's incorporates the facility dogs into personalized treatment and recovery plans for patients. Every physician in the facility carries a referral card for Professor and Amos.

The facility dogs offer patients procedural support, encouragement to walk, play opportunities and comfort, among other benefits. They also participate in pediatric medical rounds, visit patients in the pediatric intensive care unit and participate in certain physical therapy routines.

"They carry business cards, they have a badge," Diane Rode, director of Kravis' child life program, told Business Insider. "They're going to rooms where there's been a referral request, with a specific goal."

Kravis' child life department is drafting a proposal for a third facility dog amid increasing demand across the hospital. The department would also like to use the new facility dog to promote staff and clinician wellness.

More articles on patient engagement:

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Viewpoint: How to turn '10 minutes into 20' with a patient

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