Like his colleagues, he carries a name tag and even an email address (1). But instead of a blouse, she wears a tie that shows. “ Do not touch without permission ». Not that the Curie Institute is afraid its new partner is biting. “ It is a hygiene issue, so we can warn patients to wash their hands before and after petting him. », explains Isabelle Fromantin, nurse and head of the wound and healing research unit at the Institut Curie (Paris), at the beginning of Snoopy’s admission. Isabelle Fromantin had already conducted the KDog study, which showed that dogs can detect breast cancer.
Arriving in mid-December, Snoopy is a young English setter. Her career plan to become intermediary dog, to meet patients being treated at a Paris hospital dedicated to cancer. ” It’s about bringing a little relief and happiness to an anxiety-inducing place “, More on Isabelle Fromant. And the beast is already bringing some to the service members it commands… When it’s not curled up in its blue fabric bean bag between blankets and comforters (“ It is the best placed of us »– smiles Isabelle Fromantin), – Snoopy wanders from one hand to another, everyone is ready to give him a scratch on the head.
We take little risk, it’s an experience worth trying. And he’s already a highly sought-after collaborator.
Mr. Stephen Le Guille, director of the hospital complex.
But life is not all about caresses, he has to work. In Curie’s unoccupied corridor bedroom, Isabelle Fromantin lay down on the bed. His mission is to play patient so that the dog learns to meet them gently. “ Snoopy, come on up! ! »Margarit Nikodem, Advanced Oncology Nurse Practitioner, launches. “ We want him to put both of his paws on the edge of the bed to interact with the patient, but without touching him. »he explains.
Under the supervision of dog trainer Aurel Nuzilard, Marguerite tirelessly repeats the same commands to Snoopy, squeezing in one hand (so that the dog can associate each success with the characteristic “click” of the machine), hitting in the other (to motivate). him). During this session, Snoopy will also learn to put his nose close to the patient’s outstretched hand, or rest his head on the patient’s thigh, waiting for petting. The goal is that he can see patients who require it in 5- to 15-minute sessions, perhaps more in children.
“Covered ears and a good head”
Marguerite Nicodemos is the official owner of Snoopy because there was a need for it. But the dog “ is in general custody, the four of us take turns taking him home », explains Isabelle Fromantin. She comes from Pornic SPA. The selection criteria were strict: not too big a dog, drooping ears so as not to scare, easy to communicate with. “ But above all, he had to have a good head and address the whole team.explains the head of the service. Embarking on this adventure is an investment, it has a real impact on our lives ! »
As far as hygiene goes, Snoopy is obviously being closely monitored by the vet and is up to date on all his vaccinations and other anti-parasitic treatments. Studies, especially in the United States, have also shown that, contrary to long-held dogma, pets in hospitals do not pose a particularly serious health problem, provided they are well cared for. “ We take little risk, it’s an experience worth tryingsays the director of the hospital complex, Professor Stephen Le Guy. And he’s already a highly sought-after collaborator. ! »
Hard to measure impact
Snoopy’s contribution to the quality of caregiving work will be evaluated by Cynthia Engels, Occupational Therapist and Lecturer in Rehabilitative Sciences at Creteil University. The benefit to patients will be more difficult to measure. such a study must comply with strict rules and is expensive; it’s meant to be “ secondary », Isabelle Fromantin hopes if the team finds a budget. She would also like to recruit an additional nurse because “ escort the dog to the patients, it takes us time “. An auction will be held for refunds (2).
But even if it’s hard to measure Snoopy’s impact on patients, “ we were surprised to see the feeling his presence evokednotes Isabelle Fromantin. Snoopy doesn’t judge them, he doesn’t care if they’re sick.” “The treatments can be hard, sometimes we’re scared, we want to cry… Snoopy brings sweetnesstestifies Letitia, a 38-year-old patient who is being treated for breast cancer. And when you see him passing through the waiting room, people are surprised, often it causes laughter. In a few strokes of the tail, the disease moves slightly away from Curie’s corridors. “ We’ve brought Snoop to teenagers many timessays Hedy Chabanol, a podiatrist in the Wound and Healing Unit. Some usually refuse to leave their room, but they wanted to come and see the dog in the family living room. Teenagers and their parents also started talking about Snoopy. His presence sparked conversation that, well, didn’t revolve around cancer. »
(2) On April 4, from 6 pm, on the roof of the Grande Arche in La Défense, hosted by Lucy Tonikian. To participate in the face-to-face auction, register until 01.04.2023 : firstname.lastname@example.org. Auctions are streamed live on Drouot Digital.
Source: Le Figaro
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