DiversityNursing Blog

Hospital Therapy Rabbits on Hand for 'Bunny Day'

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, Apr 06, 2015 @ 01:46 PM

By SYDNEY LUPKIN

abcnews.go.com

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The Easter Bunny has some sweet competition in the form of two therapy rabbits at NYU Langone Medical Center in Manhattan.

Nutmeg and Clovis, both 5 years old, live on the 13th floor of the hospital, and this week, they visited patients for Bunny Day, the hospital's nondenominational springtime celebration. They wore rabbit ears (yes, really), a bonnet, and sat on a basket of eggs.

"The bunny cart is decorated to the hilt, and then we'll go and see patients and work with patients," said Gwenn Fried, manager of horticultural therapy services at NYU Langone. "The patients adore it."

As she travels the hospital with one rabbit at a time (Rabbits need breaks, too!), she said she hands patients a plastic Easter egg, and it contains either a sticker or a bunny treat.

"The bunny is very excited about the bunny treat," she laughed.

The bunnies visited 15 patients on Thursday and will visit more today and tomorrow, Fried said.

The rabbits are part of a therapy program that's been at the hospital for about 13 years. Sometimes, doctors recommend the bunny therapy, and sometimes patients request it, but Fried said she's seen them work magic on children and adults alike.

"One dad just said, 'I really think Clovis changed our lives,'" Fried told ABC News last year. "He's the most patient animal I've ever seen in my life."

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Topics: therapy, animals, nurse, doctors, medical, patients, hospital, patient, treatment, bunny, Easter

Is Therapy Worth It? Seven Personal Stories About The Price Of Mental Health

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Wed, Feb 18, 2015 @ 11:52 AM

Jana Kasperkevic

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Far from offering patients pennies for their thoughts, mental health therapists often end up billing them hundreds of dollars per month.

The cost is a growing burden as depression among US adolescents and adults rises. The US is suffering a mental health crisis, with a San Diego State University study in October finding that one in 10 Americans is depressed – and more report symptoms of depression.

More Americans are seeking help, and that help can come at a financial sacrifice of thousands of dollars a year. Aside from the cost of often-weekly visits to psychologists – which may or may not be defrayed by insurance – there can be additional costs for psychiatrists and any medicine they prescribe.

The cost of therapy is especially acute for young Americans, many of whom are underemployed and burdened with college debt. This year, a record number of college freshmen reported being depressed. And while many campuses provide free mental health care, affordable help is often harder to find after students leave school.

The Guardian interviewed seven young professionals about their experiences to find out how young Americans manage to pay for therapy – and if they think it’s worth it. To protect their identities, we have kept their surnames anonymous.

Click on the titles below to read their stories: 

‘I just can’t afford to go’

– AK, 27

‘Why do I need to pay someone to listen to me?’

– Matt, 23

Therapy was ‘the best chance I had of feeling OK’

– JE, 29

I needed someone to help me find courage to leave [my job]

– Eve, 33

‘At its best, it’s paying for a friend’

- John, 27

‘Therapy is not a magic wand’

-Jenn, 26 

‘I’d rather be sad’

– Alex, 27

Source: www.theguardian.com

Topics: mental health, therapy, health, healthcare, depression, patients, medicine, patient, treatment, therapists, cost, psychiatrists

Toilet-Trained Therapy Horse Entertains Seniors in Retirement Homes

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Wed, Dec 10, 2014 @ 03:06 PM

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A nine-year-old horse has become a surprise hit at care homes across England.

Do you think this type of therapy will be used in America's future?

Rupert is a regular visitor to residential homes, where he entertains and interacts with aging residents.

Equine therapy has been shown to reduce stress and improve hand-eye coordination.

 Source: www.goodnewsnetwork.org

Topics: therapy, animals, therapy horse, retirement home, nurses, medical, medicine, treatment, seniors

NIH study seeks to improve asthma therapy for African-Americans

Posted by Alycia Sullivan

Wed, Mar 05, 2014 @ 10:56 AM

By National Institute of Health

Researchers will enroll around 500 African-American children and adults who have asthma in a multi-center clinical trial to assess how they react to therapies and to explore the role of genetics in determining the response to asthma treatment. This new clinical study, which will take place at 30 sites in 14 states, is aimed at understanding the best approach to asthma management in African-Americans, who suffer much higher rates of serious asthma attacks, hospitalizations, and asthma-related deaths than whites.

The Best African American Response to Asthma Drugs (BARD) study is under the auspices of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health.

“This large-scale clinical effort is expected to provide new insights into how health care professionals can better manage asthma in African-Americans to improve outcomes,” said Gary H. Gibbons, M.D., director of the NHLBI.

“BARD reinforces the institute’s commitment to understand, reduce, and ultimately even eliminate the disparities in asthma outcomes observed in the African-American population compared to other Americans with asthma,” added James Kiley, M.D., director of the NHLBI Division of Lung Diseases.

BARD will examine the effectiveness of different doses of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) used with or without the addition of a long-acting beta agonist (LABA). ICS reduce inflammation and help control asthma in the long term. LABAs relax tight airway muscles. This study will compare multiple combinations of medications and dosing regimens to assess the response to therapy. BARD will track whether children and adults respond similarly to the same treatment, and evaluate how genes may affect treatment response.

“While national asthma guidelines provide recommendations for all patients with asthma, it is possible that, compared with other groups, African-Americans respond differently to asthma medications,” said Michael Wechsler, M.D., principal investigator for the BARD study and professor of medicine at National Jewish Health in Denver. “Our study is designed to specifically address how asthma should be managed in African-American asthma patients, both adults and children.”

The BARD study is supported by NHLBI’s AsthmaNet clinical trials network. BARD began enrolling patients on Feb. 10.

To schedule an interview with an NHLBI spokesperson, please contact the NHLBI Office of Communications at 301-496-4236 or nhlbi_news@nhlbi.nih.gov.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

Topics: therapy, African Americans, asthma, BARD, NIH

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