Phoenix Nursing Students Finding Stress Relief In An Unusual Way

By Ginny Reese

March 10, 2022

Photo: Getty Images

The nursing field is becoming increasingly more stressful, which is causing concern among professionals in the field.

To help combat the anxieties, some Arizona nursing students are finding stress relief in a very unique way, reported 12 News.

Arizona College of Nursing's Phoenix campus is using puppy therapy to help students remain calm and collected. The college launched the animal-assisted therapy pilot program in January.

Two-year-old Irish setter and certified therapy dog Lucy makes the rounds to classrooms prior to exams. Jay Griffiths said, "She came in before one of our exams and I only missed one question on the exam so she helped me relax quite a bit."

Dr. Jen Bonilla, executive director of operations for Arizona College of Nursing Phoenix campus said:

"There has been decades of research prior to these dogs even going into hospitals that it causes people to be much calmer, it can lower blood pressure, overall stress levels, it can even lower heart rate in folks,. So we felt like it was going to be a huge benefit to the students in terms of getting them to relax a little bit, especially in a testing environment."

Bonilla said that with the "droves" of nurses leaving the profession, it's important to try everything possible to combat the burnout and turnover.

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