Going to the hospital isn’t fun, especially when you’re a kid. You come in feeling sick, have to wait in cold, empty hallways, strangers poke and prod at you, and the worst part of all – you’re surrounded by unfamiliar, loud, scary machines. From simple statoscopes to the MRI machine – the first encounter can be terrifying, and most kids just aren’t emotionally equipped for such an ordeal.
The crew at Southampton Children’s Hospital realized how big of a problem this is, and came up with a creative solution to make their young patients feel more comfortable and protected in the hospital. They hired a team of specialists to boost morale and to accompany the kids and give emotional support when needed. It just so happens that this team is made entirely of golden retrievers.
Milo, Hattie, Quinn, Jessie, Leo, and Archie are SCH’s four-legged emotional support team. These specially-trained dogs know exactly how to make a child feel loved and safe, and are more than happy to do so. They greet the new kids at the hospital door, come with them to procedures and bring them solace when they’re scared.
The most important part of their job is pretty unique – if a child is scared of a test, one of them will hop on to the examination table and let the doctors and nurses check them first, showing the kids that the examinations are safe and pain-free.
This team of good boys is now an inseparable part of the NCH’s crew, and we hope they keep bringing smiles to the faces of many more children in the future.