Healthcare workers have faced unprecedented stress over the past two years. With the help of a four-legged friend, a subway hospital tries to help its staff.
“Our days are so busy. We’re running around working hard, taking care of the patients,” said SSM nurse Amy Petitt.
This led to an idea for a recently retired nurse. After 42 years as an administrator at SSM Health, Marti Jordan helps her former colleagues.
“I asked Kix to adopt a pet, it’s a rescue and it’s my retirement plan,” Jordan said.
Like most pet owners, she started Kix in simple obedience classes.
“We had so much fun we did five obedience classes and then I found out about the therapy dog and so we signed up,” Jordan said.
Eventually, Kix was registered with Therapy Dog International and became an official therapy dog.
“We’re both officially St. Anthony volunteers, so we started coming here not just to see the employees, but also to see the patients,” Jordan said.
Kix is a big hit with patients and may be more popular among caregivers.
“At the end of the hall, people stop and want to pet him, and the employees ask me to come to their department,” Jordan said.
“It kind of gives us a breath of fresh air, it refocuses us and we go, oh there’s a dog, and it lowers that stress level even more,” Petitt said.
Kix has the perfect temperament for a therapy dog.
“Because you can see, even though he’s only 16 months old, he’s pretty laid back and he loves people and he loves dogs,” Jordan said.
“I encourage anyone who has a well-behaved dog who would be interested in a therapy dog to take the classes, they’re great,” Jordan said.