For more than a year, Sven has been roaming the halls of Children’s Hospital and Medical Center in Omaha. The golden retriever is the hospital’s facility dog and Certified Child Life Specialist Britta Carr spends a lot of time with him. She says Sven is working so hard he needs a helping hand – or rather paw so they will be adding a second dog.
Carr is Sven’s handler and says their job is psychology and social support for children in the hospital and to help prepare kids for procedures, through procedures and help with diagnosis teaching.
Carr says, “We get consults from other Child Life Specialists. He helps with ambulation, getting kids up after procedures. He will get in bed and snuggle with kids while they have an IV started. He works with our rehab team to get kids moving and motivated.”
The new addition is a female golden-doodle and she will arrive at the hospital on Monday. Both Sven and his new partner were trained at Canine Assistants out of Atlanta, Georgia. The dogs are also born and raised at the facility and trained specifically for service, like detecting a diabetic alert or a seizure. Both Sven and his partner had to complete a year-and-a-half of training before being assigned.