Hospital celebrates Christmas in July with oncology patients

2017-08-02 06:02
Patricia Black gets to know Zidan, a therapy dog from the Algoa Bay German Shepard Club, as the two celebrate Christmas in July

Patricia Black gets to know Zidan, a therapy dog from the Algoa Bay German Shepard Club, as the two celebrate Christmas in July (SUPPLIED)

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LIFE St George’s Hospital celebrated Christmas in July with patients in the oncology ward last week.

The Cedar Ward oncology unit was decorated in festive decorations, including white Christmas trees, snowflakes and fairy lights.

The hospital staff, laboratories and medical firms united to make the week extra special for the patients with hand-knitted blankets and cakes made by the staff in the unit and donations of pudding, bed socks and beanies.

Specially trained therapy dogs also visited each patient, while the staff handed out gifts.

According to Yolandi Shaw, Marketing and Communications Co-ordinator - Port Elizabeth Region of the Life Health Care Group, dog therapy is proven to produce a positive impact on patient care, the ward environment and ward staff with minimal interruption and risk to patient care.

The stress levels of patients drop as the dogs enter the room to provide comfort, entertainment, distraction, relief and a unique form of interaction with the patients. This is an effective tool for supplementing other forms of clinical intervention, care and rehabilitation therapies.

Therapy dogs are specially screened for temperament and have to pass an international test before qualifying as a therapy dog.

Regional manager of the Eastern Cape, Bruce Janssens, said, “Life Healthcare’s purpose is to make life better and, when we can, to arrange events like these to brighten up a patient’s hospital stay.

“I am extremely proud of the effort and care that has gone into this special event.”

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