Mutt-ernity Ward - page 2

It's been said, the world is going to the dogs. But, in some locations, our canine friends ARE allowed in the Delivery Room. Under the Americans With Disabilities Act, trained "Service Animals" are... Read More

  1. by   Horseshoe
    Quote from KelRN215
    A service animal is not a pet. They perform a service to an individual with a disability and, by law, they go wherever their owner goes. It's not a sense of entitlement, it's needing the service the dog provides. I have a patient whose service dog accompanies her to the hospital when she is admitted. Her spouse takes the dog out for potty breaks and feeds it. When I was in nursing school there was also a regular patient on the unit that I did my psych clinical on who always had her service dog with her because of hearing loss.

    You are confusing 3 very different things-

    A service animal- has specific training to provide a service to an individual with a disability. Examples include seeing eye dogs, dogs that assist with mobility for people with cerebral palsy or I know several children who are hemiplegic post brain tumor surgery who have one, dogs that can warn about seizures, allergies, hypoglycemia, etc. Per the ADA, a service animal is only a dog or a miniature horse.

    An emotional support animal- an animal that is registered to provide emotional support to its owner that may have anxiety, depression, etc. The law only permits them to live anywhere the owner lives and travel on an airplane with the owner. For example, if a college student has an ESA, it can live in the dorm with him but cannot accompany him to class. A service dog would go to class or the dining hall.

    A pet therapy dog- a dog that has gone through therapy dog training and volunteers, with its owner, at places like hospitals or nursing homes to bring joy to hospitalized individuals. At children's hospitals, these dogs visit regularly.

    I ride the elevator with dogs all the time at work, mostly therapy dogs that are there to volunteer but occasionally service dogs as well.
    Exactly. People confuse ESAs with actual service dogs. NOT THE SAME. Emotional support animals have no legal right to accompany their owners to the hospital., or anywhere else besides airplanes and housing (and even there, there are certain restrictions in place). Service dogs, on the other hand, DO have a legal right to go wherever the owner goes, unless certain accommodations cannot be reasonably made, or the animal misbehaves or presents an obvious danger.
  2. by   Here.I.Stand
    Early in my career I had a patient who had a small service dog who licked her face when she was pre-ictal. The pt and her husband did 100% of the care.

    I personally don't have issue with dogs that are legit service animals, and thus established that the dog is healthy and obedient. A dog who would growl or jump up on staff is NOT an appropriately trained service animal. Of course staff with dog allergies needs to be sufficiently separated from the dog, to prevent those sx.

    However the pt does need to be informed up front that they are solely responsible for the dog's care. Hospitals are not doggie daycares. Staff will assume no responsibility for the animal -- most of us are busy enough with patient care.
  3. by   Thanksforthedonuts
    Quote from Horseshoe
    Exactly. People confuse ESAs with actual service dogs. NOT THE SAME. Emotional support animals have no legal right to accompany their owners to the hospital., or anywhere else besides airplanes and housing (and even there, there are certain restrictions in place). Service dogs, on the other hand, DO have a legal right to go wherever the owner goes, unless certain accommodations cannot be reasonably made, or the animal misbehaves or presents an obvious danger.
    Thank you for clarifying the difference, I found it informative.
  4. by   Thanksforthedonuts
    Quote from KelRN215
    I really enjoyed reading that article!
    I the case of the little girl it would seem totally appropriate for her to have the dog with her since he performs such a unique task.
    So other service dogs that perform similar tasks, like those who warn owners about oncoming seizures etc., it seems appropriate.
    For service dogs I agree with their presence as long as they don't become the responsibility of the healthcare team.
    For ESA I don't necessarily agree with their need to be in the hospital.
  5. by   KelRN215
    Quote from Thanksforthedonuts
    I really enjoyed reading that article!
    I the case of the little girl it would seem totally appropriate for her to have the dog with her since he performs such a unique task.
    So other service dogs that perform similar tasks, like those who warn owners about oncoming seizures etc., it seems appropriate.
    For service dogs I agree with their presence as long as they don't become the responsibility of the healthcare team.
    For ESA I don't necessarily agree with their need to be in the hospital.
    Emotional Support Animals would not be allowed to accompany their owner to the hospital. They can only live with their owner and travel on airplanes with them.
  6. by   BSN16
    Quote from TAKOO01
    I do not work in a hospital. I did not even know this was a thing. It is a sign of the sense of entitlement that people have, the complete disregard for others. If I were a patient, I would hate to know that I am in a hospital room that just housed a dog.
    LOL.

    hospital rooms generally were occupied by people who passed away there, bled on the floor or walls, had Cdiff or VRE.......and you would hate to know there was once a DOG in this room
    *head desk*
  7. by   pixierose
    When I first started working as a nurse, one of our patients was allowed to bring her service dog (for blindness). It was a first for the hospital.

    It's funny. All of us nurses were fighting for the chance to walk that pooch. It was a stressful time, high acuity throughout (a psych hospital) ... and multiple nurses going, "I'll walk her!" during their dinner break (myself included; the patient could not due to medical necessity and also by being on a locked psych unit).

    It was just not a problem taking care of that dog ... at least in that environment.
  8. by   vintagemother
    Quote from SpankedInPittsburgh
    Yeah, I've seen this be problematic. I work at the VA and a lot of our Vets suffering from PTSD have companion dogs. Many of these Vets are incredibly troubled and suffer from addiction and mental health issues. The dog is often the only thing they have in their life. I work in the ER and we usually don't make much of an issue about these dogs being with the patient. However, if they are not true service dogs they cannot accompany the dog to the floor for admission. This can lead to outbursts involving the police and even involuntary commitments. There is often nobody to care for the animal and they are consigned to a shelter on occasion. I don't know what the answer to this is. Many of these animals are unkempt and more than a few have been pretty nasty in temperament. An acute hospital admission team is really in no way prepared to care for them. The nurses in the admitting units shouldn't be expected to care for them as they have their hands full with a full patient load and it exposes them to risks they shouldn't be expected to bear. It's a sad and troubling situation
    ^^This is true!!!

    We once had a pt with a dog. Whom the 2 prior shifts had apparently told the pt the dog wasn't allowed. We arrived for my shift and were told there may be a dog hiding in the room.

    The dog wasn't a service animal. The pt basically admitted as much. I, personally, love dogs- even big dogs, as I have a GSD.

    Security had to get involved, as well as the house supervisor.

    Sorry, but not sorry. Your dog can't be in the hospital unless he's a real service dog.
  9. by   DowntheRiver
    I work outpatient Oncology. Of course we follow requirements and service animals are permitted. However, emotional support animals or anything else are politely request that they are taken outside. I've only seen one true service animal in my year here - it is mostly emotional support animals that are brought in. The ESAs I have seen are not very well trained and I can understand our policy on why they cannot be brought in. We also have a lot of people who just bring their dogs. Again, they are politely turned away.
  10. by   oldenurselady
    Quote from TAKOO01
    I do not work in a hospital. I did not even know this was a thing. It is a sign of the sense of entitlement that people have, the complete disregard for others. If I were a patient, I would hate to know that I am in a hospital room that just housed a dog.

    People are allowed to do whatever they want in their homes. Dogs are part of people's families, eat at their tables and sleep in their beds. That is fine. It is not okay to force that on other people. There are people who are afraid of dogs. There are people who are allergic to dogs. Dog hair, dander, feces and urine are not things that need to be introduced in a hospital environment. With MRSA and other infections affecting many healthcare institutions, why add the possibility of more germs? And where does it stop? Perhaps I have anxiety, and only my pet anaconda can soothe me. Does he get to come in? How about budgies or a ferret? It is fairly easy to have an animal declared a therapy pet.

    Also, who cares for the pet while the patient is in bed? Will the nurse have to walk the dog and pooper scoop? Not only will nurses have to bring ginger ale and pillows for the family, now you have to have jerky and treats for the dog. Patient satisfaction!

    Part of living in a civilized society is respecting others. If someone needs pets at a birth or while sick, that person has to stay home. It is unfair to expose others to animals when they are unable to move.
    What about the patient I had several years ago who had to have her foul-mouthed ?drunk grandmother who urinated in the recliner come visit? The woman was not some sweet little old lady. She was an unkempt boisterous woman in her early 50's. The patient expected the staff to clean it up. The room stunk for weeks until the manager finally admitted the stinking chair could not be salvaged! This guest, and indeed the patient who invited her, was not civilized or clean at all! I'd rather sit in the chair after almost any dog. Plenty of dirty and sick human visitors that cause way more trouble than a trained service animal! Idon't think service animals have been spreading the flu at hospitals this season, but plenty of people have.
  11. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
    Yep a dog probably wouldn't bring in heroin to a patient who just ODed neither
  12. by   hurricanekat
    I'm all for service dogs - I had one until she passed. She taught me more about myself than I would have ever learned on my own and I'm so thankful for her. I miss her madly every day.

    In my job now I fight with people all the time. I work in a hotel and they think that ESD are SD and they aren't and we don't allow anything except Service Dogs. You can't bring your "pet" and expect us to let it in because you have "papers" or put a vest on it. Service Dogs don't require a vest or papers. Sometimes I wish we were a little more like Canada were you needed a special license for a service dog. It would stop all this $99 paper nonsense and give papers to those who need them and take it from those who don't.

    I think the biggest issue now is people are improperly educated. They are led to believe that their dogs can go anywhere when they can't. Did you see the peacock issue? https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/31/unit...ard-plane.html


    Service Dogs in general do not leave their owners side - there are exceptions. If your dog is trained for anxiety attacks and you go to the dentist - you really don't want your dog trying to climb into your lap and calm you down when the dentist is trying to extract a tooth or two. However, because the dog is generally with you almost all the time - your absence is not good for the dog either. So if someone has been admitted to the hospital, it may be necessary for the heath of the dog to assure them that their owner is ok as well. Not sure of the right way to do this as I didn't have to worry about it.... but I would surely worry about my dog walking through all that crap on the floor. I'd have to put rain boots on them or something... just yuck.

    Properly trained service dogs are absolutely incredible. Its fascinating to watch them (and hard not to stare when they are working). I once watched a Vet walk into a building. The man stopped but his dog took 2 steps in front of him - literally looked around everywhere - stepped backwards and sat down and then looked up at his owner and waited for him to proceed. Gave me chills.
  13. by   kbrn2002
    Not any type of health care setting so this is a little off topic. An acquaintance of mine played the "emotional support animal" card to be able to bring her dog into an apartment that doesn't allow pets. This dog is adorable, but not well trained at all. He's never been properly potty trained so I expect any carpeting in that apartment will be destroyed. He occasionally gets yappy for no good reason. I can't imagine his presence in an apartment building is appreciated by the landlord or the other tenants. The poor property owner is now stuck as the dog is a registered support animal and I can pretty much guarantee that the damage this dog does to the flooring will be above and beyond any money collected as a security deposit. I am not that familiar with laws governing these emotional support animals, but it doesn't strike me as fair that they are allowed to destroy property with little recourse.

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