Southern Hills offers pet therapy as way to ease patient’s minds

Southern Hills offers pet therapy as way to ease patient's minds (Image 1)
Southern Hills offers pet therapy as way to ease patient's minds (Image 1)

Southern Hills Hospital is turning to some furry friends to help patients take their minds off their situation while being in the hospital.

Occupational Therapist Emily Wilkinson told Nashville's News 2 she was first introduced to pet therapy as a student and brought the program to Southern Hills when she came to work there.

Each week the pets, Simon, an Australian Shepherd and Ella the cat spend time with patients.

Patients said the animals are comforting, especially since Simon, who only has three legs, has dealt with his own medical challenge.

Terri Ritcher, who is recovering from a stroke, is just one patient who enjoys spending time with the animals when they stop by for a visit.

“The kind of love he gives is unconditional and it just makes me feel good and makes me work harder in rehab,” she explained.

Patients can also request to have the pets visit with them in their bed.

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