Herbie celebrates one year as therapist
A year after embarking on his career of choice, Herbie the therapy dog and his team took time to paws and reflect on his achievements to date.
As one of the district’s most well-known and popular staff members, Herbie knew his performance review would tell him how much of a good boy he has been, especially when you look at the numbers. Since he was unleashed at the Child Youth and Family Services team to help with their animal assisted therapy, Herbie has attended more than 250 occasions of service. This includes 212 scheduled client/ patient appointments, 14 clinical supervision appointments, 14 case conferences and 11 ‘special guest’ appearances. A survey commissioned by Herbie’s boss and fur-mother Andrea Turner,
found animal assisted therapy was proving a useful mechanism for both staff and patients. Clinicians were 100 per cent united by Herbie’s impact, with all agreeing he has encouraged willingness and engagement and made people feel more comfortable and able to talk about their feelings. However, it’s not just patients and consumers Herbie has helped. “The stats from the staff’s personal impact and experience survey were overwhelmingly positive,” she said. “All up, 100 per cent of staff said animal assisted therapy in the workplace has improved staff relations, while 94 per cent agreed it has improved their own wellbeing.”
Further to that, 90 per cent of staff agree that Herbie has positively changed workplace culture. But being a rock star can be hard work, with demand for Herbie sometimes far exceeding his availability. “Herbie is very popular and the interest in and requests of him continue to increase,” Andrea said. “Other services are recognising the value of being able to provide continuity of care and strong relationship development through animal assisted therapy.” Herbie has had such a positive impact in his first year, we cannot wait to see what he can do in his second.
Back row left to right: Sue Beston, Secretary, Cornucopia Committee, Maureen Thornett, President, Cornucopia Committee, Kim Field, Director, NSLHD PACH, Samantha O’Keeffe, Therapy Dog Trainer, Associate Professor Lis Murphy, Andrea Turner and CE Deb Willcox
32 NSLHDNEWS | 2020 YEAR IN REVIEW
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