Pups Assisting Wellness for Staff (P.A.W.S.)

Taking a PAWSitive approach to staff wellness

VGH’s ICU staff Tanya Kraan, Karen Chew, Eleanor Sese and Nicole Namiranian take a PAWS to visit with Riley.

In 2018, a three-month long pilot called Pups Assisting Wellness for Staff (P.A.W.S.) was initiated. P.A.W.S. saw a young canine, Dr. Snuggles, visit VGH’s Emergency Department (ED) and Intensive Care Unit (ICU) as an innovative approach in supporting staff who work in these areas that aligned with our value of caring for everyone. 

Qualitative data demonstrated that even a brief interaction with the therapy dogs made them feel better. Additionally, the qualitative data further demonstrated that interactions with the canine were considered by several staff members as a highlight of their work day. It has been heartwarming to see how the therapy dogs can brighten the day of both staff and patients at VGH.