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"CBS New York" featured Pace University's Canines Assisting in Health” program in "Pace University Program Teaches Future Health Care Professionals How To Interact With Service Animals"

11/13/2019

"CBS New York" featured Pace University's Canines Assisting in Health” program in "Pace University Program Teaches Future Health Care Professionals How To Interact With Service Animals"

A local university is teaching “canine consideration” to future health care professionals who will need to know the doggy do’s and don’ts when they encounter patients who use service animals.

“This is the most huggable dog in the world. Just seeing that smile on his face, you had to fight back at every urge,” student Noah Brennan told CBS2’s Tony Aiello.

Resisting the urge to pet or hug Spirit the service dog is lesson number one for students in the “Canines Assisting in Health” program at Pace University, one of the first of its kind.

The students in the program are future health care professionals who will deal with people with physical disabilities who use service dogs and others with conditions, such as PTSD, who count on the dogs for comfort.

“Individuals with service dogs often tell us that when they walk into a health care facility, it is the health care professionals who are the ones who are distracting the service dog, who are asking ‘can I take a selfie with you with your service dog?'” Pace University professor Dr. Joanne Singleton said. “Not having that basic knowledge puts the person at risk, puts the service dog at risk.”

A rule of thumb, just as you wouldn’t fiddle with someone’s wheelchair, you shouldn’t touch their service animal.

“Distracts him, right? And we don’t want him or the person he’s working for to get injured because of that distraction,” Singleton said.

Class topics include ground rules for dogs staying with clients in the hospital and how to respectfully determine if a dog is a legitimate service animal.

Students say learning these canine considerations shows basic respect to service dog users.

“If you’re already going to talk to a health care professional, you probably have plenty on your mind and interacting with your service animal should not be one of those worries that they have,” Brennan said.

At Pace University, they call Spirit a “paw-fessor.” He’s also used in continuing education programs for health care professionals at local hospitals.

Watch the CBS news clip.

 

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"Greenwich Time" featured College of Health Professions Professor Joanne Singleton on her work for the Canines Assisting in Health program in "Innovative service dog training comes to Greenwich Hospital"

11/30/2018

"Greenwich Time" featured College of Health Professions Professor Joanne Singleton on her work for the Canines Assisting in Health program in "Innovative service dog training comes to Greenwich Hospital"

Thomas Griffen wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for Sterling.

The diligent golden retriever is trained as a medical alert service dog. He brings Griffen his glucose meter when an alarm goes off on a pump that’s connected to his master. And the pup once even served as a life-saving backup to medical equipment that failed to function properly.

It happened one night in June when the two went camping alone. Griffen said he awoke as Sterling was bringing him his glucose meter.

“I was really out of it,” he said. “Then ... he brings me the orange juice and he drops it on my chest. Now I’m beginning to wake up and I’m saying, ‘Why is he doing this?’

“I pull out my pump, because it usually sets up an alarm. The pump had not functioned, so it had not been giving me any insulin.”

Because Sterling woke up Griffen, he was able to test his sugar and use syringes to level his insulin.

“After two years, I think he’s associated when he smells a chemical change in my body, he brings me orange juice and he brings me the glucose meter,” he said.

Drawing upon their experiences with the health-care system, the team has begun to educate professionals about interacting with and accommodating service dogs through a new series of workshops.

On Thursday, Griffen and Sterling visited Greenwich Hospital and spoke to about 20 health-care professionals with other experts from Pace University’s College of Health Professions and the nonprofit Educated Canines Assisting With Disabilities.

“Some of the questions being asking at these workshops are fantastic questions because it’s based on their experiences,” Griffen said of the training at Greenwich Hospital. Health-care workers “don’t know what they should or should not be asking and how to respond” when patients bring in service animals, he said.

Thursday’s training was the second one of its kind as part of the Canines Assisting in Health program. It aims to teach health-care professionals how to interact with people who have service dogs — and how not to — in settings such as hospitals, medical facilities and doctor’s offices. It also gives health-care professionals more information about how service dogs can help people with certain disabilities.

The group talked about what to do if a patient who requires a service dog must stay overnight at the hospital, who is responsible for the dog’s care and how to respectfully determine if a dog is a legitimate service animal.

Two years ago, Pace launched the first college curriculum on service and therapy dogs in health care at its campus in Westchester County, N.Y. The program was inspired by conversations Pace professor Joanne Singleton had with late Iraq war veteran Luis Carlos Montalvan.

Singleton worked with the veteran and his service dog, Tuesday, to develop a curriculum — the first and only one of its kind in the country.

“It’s a critical conversation,” said Joanne Singleton, a Pace professor who founded the program. “It’s just astonishing how little health-care professionals know about helping people with disabilities.”

Service dogs can be an important part of a person’s plan of care, she said.

“They offer a non-pharmacological intervention for someone with a disability,” said Singleton. “They can mitigate many disabilities and there are many secondary benefits of having a service dog.”

Spirit, a 2-year-old golden retriever who serves as a professor at Pace alongside Singleton, attended the training on Thursday.

“Spirit educates people,” she said. “He also has a cape that he changes in to, and he works with me as a therapy dog.”

After he obediently stretched out under a table during the hourlong discussion, his teammate removed Spirit’s cape, which indicates when it’s time to work. Sterling was also allowed to slip out of his working attire.

The regal working dogs melted into a silly, happy pups ready to great all comers.

As a patient at Bridgeport Hospital, Griffen said he and Sterling have been welcomed by the staff.

“They’re prepared that he’s gonna be with me and they really treat him like a nurse is gonna treat a doctor or a doctor’s gonna treat a nurse,” said Griffen. “They view him as part of that team. And that makes me feel very relaxed.”

Read the article.

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"Bustle" featured Dr. Joanne Singleton, Professor at the College of Health Professions at Pace University, in "How To Deal With Anxiety About Getting The Flu"

10/08/2018

"Bustle" featured Dr. Joanne Singleton, Professor at the College of Health Professions at Pace University, in "How To Deal With Anxiety About Getting The Flu"

Flu season is looming. Unfortunately, while you attempt to avoid the flu, you might feel creeping anxiety from the sense of being so out of control. Anxiety about the flu is common. But with anxiety relief tactics and increased awareness about how you actually can catch the flu, you may be able to feel better than you expected.

First, it’s important to acknowledge that being worried about the flu is completely valid. There are three main reasons that these fear makes sense. “You can’t see it,” Dr. Joanne Singleton, Professor at the College of Health Professions at Pace University, tells Bustle. “[And] getting the flu vaccine doesn’t guarantee that one of the strains in the immunization will be the one that infects everyone. [Plus,] people, especially young, old and those with other health conditions die from the flu.” And while serious complications are rare (between 12,000 and 50,000 in 2011-2013, according to the Centers for Disease Control), and only five to 20 percent of the population will get the flu at all, it’s still completely reasonable to fear an illness that has so much media buzz and general panic surrounding it.

It’s important to remember that a lot of health-conscious people are going to have similar worries to you this flu season. “Know that you’re not alone,” therapist Elizabeth Cush, LCPC, tells Bustle. “A lot of people worry about getting the flu. It’s no fun to get! Try to keep focused on what’s actually happening in the moment instead of getting caught up in the ‘what-ifs’ and worst-case scenario thinking. If you do get sick with the flu take care of yourself!” It’s healthiest to try to minimize how much you worry in the meantime.

Here are eight ways to deal with health anxiety around the flu, according to experts.

You may have concerns about the effectiveness of the flu shot, but it’s super important to get vaccinated nonetheless. You may not realize just how helpful it is, even if it doesn’t protect against every strain of the flu.

“Hedge your bets, get the flu vaccine and go for the quadrivalent, which has four possible strains of the flu, versus the trivalent, which has only three,” Dr. Singleton says. “Even if the vaccine does not have the prevalent strain, if you get the flu you will most likely have a milder case.” If there’s an option to be less sick if possible, you should go for it. “Partial protection lessens the symptoms and severity of the virus greatly reducing your risk for the more serious complications like pneumonia,” health and safety investigator Caitlin Hoff, tells Bustle. Your future self will definitely thank you.

Breaking a sweat via exercise can help anxiety, yes, but sweating alone, regardless of how, actually helps your immune system, too. So however you choose to break a sweat, your chances of getting the flu, and your anxiety around it, might go down.

“Whether you sweat it out in a workout class, enjoy a good run or spend time in a infrared sauna, you (and your immune system) will feel the benefits,” Amanda Carney, the director of health coaching at wellness platform Be Well tells Bustle. So, as long as you aren’t already sick, head to the spa or the gym, and see your flu fears fly away.

You may already know that not getting enough sleep is bad for anxiety, but it’s bad for your immune system too. So if you’re looking to deal with flu stress and keep yourself as healthy as possible, you should be getting a good night’s sleep throughout flu season.

“Don’t burn the candle at both ends,” Dr. Singleton says. “Support your immune system with proper sleep.” The connection between sleep and immune health is not to be undersold. So practice some sleep hygiene, and have a cozy flu season.

During flu season, you can help mitigate some of your anxiety by practicing habits that are proven to help prevent the spread of the flu. That means that every day you do these little things, you can remind yourself that you’re actively making steps to stay healthy.

Read the full article.