Diabetic Alert Dog at work in Hospital


I was just curious is anyone knew, or could find out if I get a job as an RN, and if I have a Diabetic Alert Dog for my type 1 diabetes, could my full access service dog go to work with me at a hospital? Thanks for any help!

JustBeachyNurse, RN

Specializes in Complex pediatrics turned LTC/subacute geriatrics. Has 12 years experience. 1 Article; 13,949 Posts

Not necessarily. Hospitals are one of the few areas that can legally deny access per the ADA (also houses of worship, sterile areas and certain government facilities). As a healthcare worker service animals are not always considered a reasonable accommodation especially in acute care and direct patient care.

blondy2061h, MSN, RN

Specializes in Oncology. Has 15 years experience. 1 Article; 4,094 Posts

Yeah, there's no way that would fly in my bone marrow transplant unit. Too much of an infection risk. The hospital employed service dogs aren't allowed in, and when we've had patients whose dying wish it was to see their dog again, we had to get the completely immobile patient off the unit to see the dog elsewhere. And sometimes there's limited time for you to take a bathroom break, much less toilet your dog outside. And no dog is going to last 13 hours inside. Best be getting yourself a Dexcom instead.

Alisonisayoshi, LVN

Specializes in LTC. 547 Posts

Get a dexcom or an office job, probably your best bets.

meanmaryjean, DNP, RN

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 45 years experience. 7,899 Posts

I highly doubt it. It would fall far, far away from being a 'reasonable' accommodation.


28 Posts

Well I have found some one who had a diabetic alert dog at work at a hospital. And I have a dexcom. But thanks.

blondy2061h, MSN, RN

Specializes in Oncology. Has 15 years experience. 1 Article; 4,094 Posts

Even in an office setting, what's it going to be? You, another nurse, a mom, a toddler sibling, and your black lab in a tiny exam room giving vaccines to a squirming and screaming newborn?


41 Posts

As an RN,CDE, I am thinking there are opportunities in many settings. I wonder if some that answered did so impulsively or did their research


Has 3 years experience. 81 Posts

With the floor being covered in nasty germs, would you even want your dog to walk on it then lick their paws?

I have a service dog in training and I would not want mine to go to work for that reason.


28 Posts

That's what I am thinking. I just applied to my local nursing program last week. I just got off the phone with my local hospital as well. She said she will look into it and give me a call back tomorrow. I was thinking maybe on certain floors. The only reason I am asking ahead of time, is because these dogs can get very expensive. I would have to fundraise a couple years prior to actually getting a dog.

I did find something online saying that a women had a diabetic alert dad in the hospital while she was working and the dog just became the norm, for the employees and patients. Some people are being quite rude on here. It is just a question I am asking. I have a dexcom, but a dog can catch a high or low blood sugar 20 minutes before my glucose monitor or my fancy dexcom. Which in the long run can help prevent serious life threatening complications! I vote dog over dexcom any day.

CountryMomma, ASN, RN

1 Article; 589 Posts

I have two brittle diabetic coworkers. I just texted one and asked if he looked into having a DAD instead of his dexcom. He "lol"ed me, then said "would you want a dog going from room to room on our floor? In and out of isolation, near fresh transplants, in small rooms during codes? I'll settle for the dex and a smart diet."

So, my coworker didn't think it was the best option, and I'd have to agree. Dog going in and out of c-diff rooms, or in and out of TB rooms, in and out of transplant rooms? :no:

MunoRN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 10 years experience. 7,768 Posts

A hospital cannot legally deny access to a service dog for patients, visitors, or employees except for relatively rare instances. They can only limit access to those places where they also limit access to human visitors such as the OR, cath labs, and certain more restrictive forms of isolation.