Innovative Trends: Introducing Pet Therapy Into Simulation

As people begin to rely on their pets and other animals as a means for coping strategies in the public we must ask ourselves how can healthcare workers be best prepared for these situations?  There is limited information on the use of pet therapy, service animals, and emotional support animals as part of simulation. However, there is evidence to support the value of pet therapy, service animals and emotional support animals in the community, healthcare and educational settings. Promoting the utilization of animals in simulation holds great promise for the future.

Utilizing animals in simulation is a way to increase awareness and develop new thinking strategies about various anxiety disorders, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD) in our returning veterans, recent exposure to gun violence by police and average citizens and traumatic situations. Pet therapy is promising as it can also be utilized across the life span continuum. through simulation activities that simulate real life experiences. The logistics of having a live animal in a simulation center could be challenging, however using a simulated animal can provide the cue for learners to recognize the challenges and benefits of non-pharmacological interventions that promote  a reduction of anxiety and stress.

As defined by Dr. Gaba “Simulation is a technique—not a technology—to replace or amplify real experiences with guided experiences that evoke or replicate substantial aspects of the real world in a fully interactive manner.” How can we help learners increase awareness of the potential situations with animals? Why not include animals in simulations to help cue learners of recognition of the value of alternative therapies to traditional Western Medicine.


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Innovative SimSolutions is answering the call for Support Animals in Simulation with “SimuPets”. This kit contains a stuffed SimuPet, a pet with a purpose! Included are a bed for your pet, collar, pet therapy vest, and Certified Pet Therapy Certificate which can be customized for your pet to display in your simulation center. The kit will also include a welcome an official welcome letter with scenario ideas for use. Best of all, 10% of your purchase will be donated to the Pet Smart Charities to help animal rescue and promote pet therapy!

About SimSolutions

Innovative SimSolutions provides a wide range of value based simulation advisory and related consulting services to hospitals and academic organizations. Innovative SimSolutions is passionate about helping hospitals, schools and professionals learn about affordable solutions for using simulation in healthcare to improve clinical results for patients. They desire to help hospitals reduce their Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI’s) as well as Hospital-Acquired Conditions (HAC’s).

Blankenship, D. M. (2017). Five Efficacious Treatments for Posttraumatic Stress disorder: An Empirical Review. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 39(4), 275-288. doi:10.17744/mehc.39.4.01


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Lopez, O.S., Springer, S.B., & Nelson, J.B.(2016).  Veterans in the College Classroom. Adult Learning, 27(4), 143-151. doi:101177/1045159515601825 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1765792/


Today’s article was guest authored by Deb Tauber MSN, RN, CEN, Founder of Innovative SimSolutions LLC at Innovative SimSolutions.

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Learn more about Pet Therapy SimuPets for Simulation from Innovative SimSolutions!


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