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Pet Therapy: Dogs De-Stress Students

Young, Judith S.

doi: 10.1097/CNJ.0b013e31826701a7
Feature: education

ABSTRACT Research supports the efficacy of the human-animal bond and pet therapy in a variety of settings. At nursing students' request at one school, the author began offering pet therapy prior to examinations. Anecdotal evidence of a study with the author's Golden Retriever, Goldilocks, demonstrates that pet therapy can reduce test anxiety and improve nursing student performance.

Concerned about students' test anxiety, this nursing school librarian started offering her dog's soothing presence prior to exams. The response was so positive, an experiment was conducted to measure the effect. Anecdotal results suggest that pet therapy reduces test anxiety and improves student performance.

Judith S. Young, MLS, has been a medical librarian for over 30 years. Goldilocks is an 11-year-old golden retriever who was rescued at the age of 6 and has been certified for pet therapy since 2009.

There was no funding given to this program.

The author declares no conflict of interest.

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