Sunday, November 13, 2005
This presentation is part of : Mental Health Strategies
An Exploratory Study of the Perspectives of Behavioral Health Nurses and Counselors on Pet Assisted Therapy
Susanne M. DeFabiis, MS, RNBC, Nursing Administration, Linden Oaks Hospital at Edward, Naperville, IL, USA and Jeanette Rossetti, EdD, RN, School of Nursing, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL, USA.
Learning Objective #1: Assess the psychological effects of Pet Assisted Therapy on behavioral health nurses and the impact this may have on retention and sense of renewal
Learning Objective #2: Explain the various therapeutic measures implemented by behavioral health nurses in utilizing Pet Assisted Therapy in delivery of mental health patient care

This presentation will review the findings of a qualitative research analysis which focused on the impact of Pet Assisted Therapy on behavioral health nurses. Three salient areas were explored including the impact of pet assisted therapy upon the nurses' emotional well-being, their views regarding this therapy upon job retention and the therapeutic measures utilized in their application of pet assisted therapy in mental health patient care. Assessment of the effects of pet assisted therapy and its possible positive impact on the retention of behavioral health nurses could provide salient information for nursing educators and hospital administrators. Identifying therapeutic measures utilized by health care providers in the application of pet assisted therapy could offer valuable educative opportunities for health care workers in the treatment of mental illness. This is particularly important in relationship to the nurses' sense of resilience in the contemporary work arena which must provide renewal opportunities.