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Nursing jobs with animals

Nurses   (6,069 Views | 20 Replies)
by ncgirl77 ncgirl77 (New) New

361 Profile Views; 1 Post

I am looking for a career that joins both my passions....animals and medical. And before its even asked being a veterinarian is out for other reasons. What I would LOVE to do is take my dog Harmony to certification courses of some sort and have her then be able to come to work with me as a nurse. I don't know how much of this is even possible given that nursing is usually a 12 hour shift job. I'm looking for advice on "schools" for my dog, any special courses I need to take as well as jobs I could live this dream out in. I am very willing to move so all options are on the table. I've looked into AAT programs and heard about Flynn the therapy dog but not sure where to go with it to make it a career. Thank you!!!!

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cayenne06 has 10 years experience as a MSN, CNM and specializes in Reproductive & Public Health.

1,394 Posts; 18,690 Profile Views

Hmmmmmm. My first thought is something related to child life?

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JustBeachyNurse has 10 years experience as a RN and specializes in Complex pediatrics turned LTC/subacute geriatrics.

1 Follower; 1 Article; 13,946 Posts; 100,996 Profile Views

You might be able to volunteer if you got your dog certified but taking your dog to work as a nurse and still complete all your nursing obligations is not realistic.

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Raviepoo specializes in hospice.

318 Posts; 8,875 Profile Views

I have seen people (PTs, CNAs, nurses) do this in long term care. It's a win/win. You get to have your dog with you and the residents LOVE having a dog around. There is one caveat. If your dog is the sort who trolls the floor for every spare calorie he can find, you have to worry about meds that are dropped on the floor. It doesn't happen often but it happens. You don't want your dog swallowing someone's digoxin.

Personally, I think all housing for the frail elderly should have pets. Pets do so much to alleviate loneliness and improve quality of life.

Edited by Raviepoo
spelling, grammar

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1 Article; 1,068 Posts; 24,937 Profile Views

I agree with the PP, that was what I was thinking. Maybe you could work in a nursing home or other LTC facility that allows therapy pets.

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Ruas61 has 38 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in MDS/ UR.

1,367 Posts; 31,657 Profile Views

Do you want to be a nurse sans the dog being with you at work or is this a deal breaker?

Because if it is, than you are best not being a nurse.

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Raviepoo specializes in hospice.

318 Posts; 8,875 Profile Views

One other thing - only really mellow dogs can be around frail, elderly people. If your dog is a nice, friendly, mellow lab, then maybe you can take her to work. If she is a hyperactive American Eskimo she will jump in people's laps without invitation and accidentally scratch their delicate skin. For a dog to go into a nursing home it has to be the kind of dog that will allow a toddler to ride it like a horsie, sleep on it like a pillow, or use it as a walker, and never, never, ever get nippy. They can't be the kind of dog that likes to jump up on people. Not all dogs are that mellow. If yours is a little more high energy, leave him or her at home.

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ktwlpn is a LPN, RN and specializes in Med Surg, Homecare, Hospice.

3,844 Posts; 31,242 Profile Views

Have you considered becoming a dog trainer specializing in certified therapy pets? There are hundreds of certification programs across the country.. As others have stated therapy pets are common in residential settings BUT the nurse still has to be able to carry out his/her job duties and have a place for the animal to go during the day for down time. It's hard work for a pet. You can't expect to work on a busy unit with a dog at your side.

Your focus has to be your nursing duties. You may Have 22 residents on a unit -they may not all be crazy about pets.

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HouTx has 35 years experience as a BSN, MSN, EdD and specializes in Critical Care, Education.

9,051 Posts; 45,761 Profile Views

Pet Therapy is alive and well! We have these programs at a couple of our hospitals - very popular with the patients. But the pet human escorts are not clinicians.

I also have a nurse friend who is a volunteer with the guide dog organization... she 'fosters' puppies in the program and provides their Stage I training. Part of that training requires the dog to accompany his/her human 24X7 to learn basic required behaviors. So, she takes the dog with her to the office every day - too cute, in a little guide dog 'working' vest. But this is not in a clinical environment.

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applewhitern has 30 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ICU.

1,871 Posts; 25,744 Profile Views

Maybe you should consider becoming a vet tech. My daughter did this and loved it. She was able to start and maintain IV fluids, assist with surgeries, etc. I think she only made about $15 per hour, but that was some years back and in the lower-paying south.

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HappyWife77 has 20 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Gerontology RN-BC and FNP MSN student.

739 Posts; 14,378 Profile Views

In Los Angeles, California at the children's hospital, their pain management team of nurses uses a dog to take around to the children. It a bigger hospital. It's on you tube under children's pain management. Check it out.

Keep looking I am sure you find something, probably in bigger cities where there are more options and needs. Best wishes! I absolutely love animals too! 💖

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Here.I.Stand has 16 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in SICU, trauma, neuro.

1 Follower; 5,034 Posts; 43,326 Profile Views

How often does your dog need to go outside? Are you a practicing RN or LPN now? If not, just an FYI it's not at all uncommon to only take one break during a shift (or none, on some days) just because of time factors. Stuff happens on the floor that must be prioritized above the dog. Plus you can't really play with her during that time either. So I don't think it's fair to the dog to bring her along for a whole shift.

Plus, even if 99% of residents (in the case of LTC nursing) love having a dog around, you always have to consider allergies. There may be residents or other staff on the floor who physically can't work with a dog around because they'll be drippy and itchy and sneezing.

If you haven't begun a career yet, have you considered being a vet tech? Or if you really want to be a nurse, get Harmony certified as a therapy dog and look into volunteering w/ her on your days off?

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