Pet Therapy teams work with healthcare providers to provide opportunities for motivational, supportive, and/or therapeutic benefits to enhance quality of life. Areas for participation include inpatient units, outpatient clinics, as well as out patients therapies. Physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, psychology, and emergency room activities are among those suitable for those activities.
**Please see the Volunteer Pet Therapy Manual for more information on duties and responsibilities.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
The Pet Therapy teams assist variety of therapists (child life, physical, occupational, etc) while promoting teamwork and demonstrating care with sensitivity and respect. Volunteers also provide services as follows:
- Understand and exceed customer expectations
- Keep and maintain healthy dogs for use in the program
- Ensure dogs are physically and mentally sound and maintains registration with Pet Partners
- Ensure dog receives veterinary care and maintains medical records
- Grooms dog within 24 hours of visit to the hospital
- Volunteer reports to the Child Life office and/or designated clinic upon arrival
- Work with health care professional(s) to establish specific goals for the session
NON-ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
Pet therapy teams may participate in hospital events including, but not limited to, CHOC sponsored events and celebrations, and various community outreach events. Pet therapy teams may also be asked to appear media events in support of CHOC’s mission, vision, and goals.
Dogs must pass behavioral screening tests and be registered with the Pet Partners. The pet handler must have highly developed dog- training and handling skills. He/she must exhibit a strong bond with his/her dog, as well as an understanding of basic animal behavior.
Other qualifications include:
- Must be able to carry out volunteer assignments independently
- Be committed to volunteer on a consistent basis
- Must not assume any nursing duties, such as giving patients food or drinks unless directed by a staff person
- Must not give personal number or ask for patient’s phone number or address
- Be friendly, courteous and able to relate to all patients who may be under stress
- Must abide by HIPAA laws
- Genuine interest in people and a desire to help families
- Sensitivity to the needs or others- patients, families, staff, other volunteers
- Willingness to follow hospital regulations
- Willingness to accept supervision
- Willingness to accept the limit of a volunteer’s role
- Willingness to be flexible and adaptable
- Bilingual skills
- Entertainment background
PHYSICAL DEMANDS AND WORK ENVIRONMENT:
The physical demands and work environment described here are representative of those that must be met by a volunteer to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. Ability to stand, walk, stoop, squat/crouch, climb stairs, reach twist/turn, pull, push, lift up to 25 pounds, speak, hear, and grasp.
Pet Therapy volunteers must be able to control their dogs in any situation. Furthermore the pet therapy activities may include climbing stairs, repetitive movements, lifting their dogs and/or carrying supplies in tote bag.