Animals Visiting in Healthcare Facilities

Author(s):
Kathleen (Kit) Darling, MS, CIC Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital

Texas A & M University
College Station, TX

Published:
October 3, 2014

Abstract

People benefit from human–animal interaction socially, psychologically, and physiologically. In healthcare-related situations, programs for animal visitation, animal-assisted activities, animal-assisted therapy, and service animals are intended to assist in returning patients to wellness and independence. Healthcare facilities must establish animal and handler guidelines and program-specific infection prevention policies to provide a safe environment for animals, handlers, and patients. Healthcare providers need to understand and abide by the laws for service animals and persons with disabilities.