Could a chance to pet a pup play a role in a patient’s recovery? People who work with therapy dogs believe so. Therapy dogs visit hospital settings with the goal of boosting patient morale and putting a smile on the faces of people going through challenging medical crises. Here is a look at the role therapy dogs are playing in health care .
What is a therapy dog?
Therapy dogs visit hospitals in an effort to cheer up patients and their families while they are receiving care. They also visit nursing homes, schools and other settings in which people may be lonely or under a significant amount of stress.
It is important to note that therapy dogs are not the same as service dogs, and they cannot perform assistive tasks, like guiding patients with vision difficulties. Likewise, therapy dogs don’t stay with one person as service dogs do.
Are therapy dogs trained?
The American Kennel Club (AKC) offers an official training program for therapy dogs. Dogs that receive this certification have completed a certain number of visits with a therapy dog organization recognized by the AKC. However, it is up to the organization that invites therapy dogs in to set their own standards and decide if they will require any kind of training before dogs can visit.
Training for therapy dogs isn’t just for patient safety. Handlers must also ensure that the dogs are not overstressed by patient visits and that they enjoy meeting so many new people.
Where can therapy dogs be used in the hospital?
There are multiple ways therapy dogs can make an impact in the hospital setting. They can:
- Visit patients undergoing cancer care
- Visit children receiving inpatient care
- Visit family members in the waiting room
- Visit patients recovering from orthopedic surgery
At MountainView Hospital, our compassionate team is committed to providing the best possible patient experience every day. Experience the difference of our quality care for yourself by calling (702) 962-5021 to get a referral to one of our physicians.
Surgical resident Dr. Jessica Wise joined MountainView Hospital last year in our inaugural class of residents, and her enthusiasm for learning and for her patients has been contagious. What Dr. Wise does in her off-hours, though, is truly remarkable.
Dr. Wise, along with her sister, Air Force Capt. Christy Wise, is the co-founder of One Leg Up on Life , a nonprofit organization committed to helping children live life to the fullest by providing prostheses to those who cannot afford desperately needed limbs. The two founded the nonprofit after Christy was in a boating accident in 2015, which resulted in the above-knee amputation of her right leg. After extensive surgeries and rehab, Christy is now the only female Air Force amputee pilot.
Dr. Wise’s philanthropic spirit started long before founding One Leg Up on Life. She has worked in the Dominican Republic since she was 19, managing a clinic through Children of The Nations for the poor and underserved in extremely remote areas of the country. In April, Dr. Wise used her PTO to volunteer with a medical team from Boston to again bring much needed medical services to the poor in the Dominican Republic. The medical needs are great and the supplies and resources available are not. The clinic serves five different villages in the remote state of Barahona, and throughout the year, patients are screened and scheduled for the next time a medical or surgical team is in the country. Many of the patients do not pay for their services or pay what they can.
Dr. Wise considered it an honor to help the surgical teams treat patients, including one young patient who became a paraplegic after a gunshot wound when he was robbed. Because of the nature of his injuries, he had many complications, including stage 4 ulcers. Dr. Wise and the medical team worked with this patient and his family. In addition to medical care, they cemented the dirt floor of his house to make it easier for him to get around in his wheelchair.
This summer, Dr. Wise will return to Haiti where she and her sister lead the One Leg Up on Life group. Dr. Wise began working in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake that devastated the country and left many children as amputees. Following that earthquake, Dr. Wise and her colleagues worked initially with 15 children, five of which were amputees. Her organization has supported the making of prosthetic devices as these children have grown and assisted new patients who have been referred to the organization. They also support a prosthetic shop that makes devices for their patients and those in need.
During the upcoming trip, Dr. Wise will follow-up with current patients, present new limbs and work on rehabilitation. Her long-term goal is to help more children in need of prosthetic limbs, provide follow-up repairs and tune-ups, and continue to educate limb recipients. When asked what she wants to do long-term, Dr. Wise said, “This is the kind of work I want to do, this is why I went into medicine.”
Dr. Wise and her team are always looking for volunteers for medical trips: nurses, PT, OT, nonclinical – any help is welcome and always needed. At MountainView Hospital, we celebrate the accomplishments of our employees, who truly set the bar high for community commitment.
If you have ever had a migraine, then you know that it is not the same as a tension headache. Many people end up seeking emergency care when they get their first migraine because the symptoms are so severe that they think they are having a medical crisis. What makes migraines unique? Here are the facts you need to know.
What are migraines?
Migraines are intensely painful headaches that usually cause pain on one side of the head and behind the eye. The pain can also be accompanied by sensitivity to light and sound, nausea and vomiting. Some people also experience loss of vision or see flashing lights during a migraine.
Approximately 29.5 million people in the US experience migraine headaches. They are the most common form of headache to send people to their physicians.
What causes migraines?
The exact causes of migraines are not known. They are more common in women, and there may be a genetic component as well. Most people who get migraines have a set of triggers that are linked to headaches. Some common triggers include:
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Skipping meals
- Hormone changes, such as during menstruation
- Weather changes
- Foods with nitrates, aspartame, or tyramine
How are migraines treated?
One of the best ways to control migraines is to identify your triggers and avoid them. Keeping a journal of your migraines that includes what you were doing and what you had to eat or drink for the 24 hours leading up to the migraine can help you identify patterns and recognize your triggers.
Medications can also be used to treat migraines. Some medications are taken on a daily basis to prevent or reduce migraines, while others are used for acute treatment when a migraine occurs.
Don’t let migraines disrupt your wellbeing. Contact MountainView Hospital for a referral to a physician who can help you get relief. For more information about out hospital service in Las Vegas and for physician referrals, please dial (702) 962-5021.
Cancer can happen to anyone, regardless of age, sex or socioeconomic status, but different kinds of cancers impact communities at different rates. There are certain kinds of cancer that are more common in men, which means that men should be more vigilant about recognizing the symptoms and getting regular screenings . June is Men’s Health Month, which provides a perfect opportunity for men to get educated about their cancer risks. Here is a look at the kinds of cancers that are most likely to affect men.
Lung cancer is leading cause of cancer death in men . In most cases, lung cancer is linked to smoking, though exposure to secondhand smoke and substances like asbestos or silica can also play roles.
Because lung cancer is so deadly, early diagnosis is critical. Consider seeing your physician if you experience these symptoms:
- Persistent coughing or coughing that gets progressively worse
- Coughing up blood
- Unexplained weight loss
- Chest pain
You can reduce your risk of lung cancer by not smoking or by quitting if you already do.
Skin cancer is the most common form of the disease for men and women alike. The most dangerous form of skin cancer is melanoma, which can spread to other organs quickly. If you notice a new growth on your skin or changes in the size, color or border of an existing mole, see your physician to have it examined.
Most cases of skin cancer are tied to sun exposure. Always wear sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher when you are outdoors, and wear a brimmed hat to protect your face. Perform periodic skin self-checks so you can spot signs of cancer early.
After skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common form in men. It usually occurs in men over age 65, though it can happen to men of any age. Because prostate cancer tends to move slowly, treatment is often effective, especially when it is diagnosed in early stages. Regular screening tests can help to diagnose prostate cancer before it spreads.
The symptoms of prostate cancer include:
- Difficult urination
- Changes in the frequency of urination
- Blood in the urine or semen
MountainView Hospital is pleased to offer comprehensive, cutting-edge cancer care in Las Vegas from a multidisciplinary team of compassionate providers. Whether you need a physician for cancer screening tests or a referral to a cancer specialist, call us at (702) 962-5021.
For men, cholesterol screenings are a regular part of preventative health care. Checking cholesterol levels allows doctors to spot risk factors for heart disease and stroke, but cholesterol is not the only risk to consider. Here are the facts that men need to know about cholesterol and how it affects their health.
Cholesterol is not all bad.
When most people think of cholesterol, they think of negative things that they have heard about high cholesterol and its impact on heart attack and stroke risks. However, cholesterol is not inherently a bad thing. In fact, your body needs cholesterol to survive.
As explained in the featured video, cholesterol is a building block of most of the hormones in your body, and it exists in high levels in the brain to support healthy functioning. It is when cholesterol levels become unbalanced that it can become dangerous.
There are different types of cholesterol.
When you talk to your doctor about cholesterol, he or she may mention LDL and HDL cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is low-density lipoprotein cholesterol made up of small particles. This is the so-called bad cholesterol that is associated with atherosclerosis, which in turn can cause heart disease and stroke.
HDL cholesterol, or high-density lipoprotein, consists of large particles and helps to counteract the negative impacts of too much LDL cholesterol. Having a high level of HDL cholesterol and low level of LDL cholesterol is preferable for good health.
Regular cholesterol monitoring is part of good preventative health
Having your cholesterol numbers checked regularly will help your physician spot unhealthy levels, so you can take steps to reverse them before they can lead to heart disease and stroke. Diet, exercise and medication can all help to control cholesterol.
Your physician will tell you how often you should get your cholesterol checked, based on your age, current health and family medical history.
The Heart Center of Las Vegas at MountainView Hospita l provides critical diagnostics and treatments for patients with heart disease and may work in conjunction with your physician if you have arterial blockages or other conditions linked to high cholesterol. You can learn more about our hospital services and request a referral to one of our physicians by calling (702) 962-5021