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Nursing and the Role of Animals

Humans and animals have evolved together over thousands of years to the extent, one could argue, that a relationship of co-dependency exists. Animals play an important part in many cultures throughout the world. They are used for protection, work, to assist people with disabilities and for companionship. A more recent development has been to acknowledge animals as a therapeutic modality that can improve health outcomes in humans. A number of research studies provide clear evidence that human–animal interaction yields numerous benefits. This chapter explores the impact of animals on human health and discusses how nurses can facilitate pet therapy into health care.

Contents include

  • history
  • definitions and scientific research
  • relaxation
  • precautions
  • nursing and animals
  • guidelines for nursing interventions.
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Author / Editor Biographies

RN, BA (Social Sciences), GradDip (Adult Education and Training), GradDip (Healing Therapies) and Cert (Tactile Therapies/Relaxation Massage)
Kirsten James was introduced to complementary therapies when working in the UK. Western medicine emphasises medications and surgery as the cornerstones of health care. Kirsten believes that complementary therapies offer a broader, more holistic range of treatment options. She also believes they offer more scope to individualise care and the opportunity for people to acquire the means of empowering themselves and accepting responsibility for their own health. In 1995 she established a consultancy to facilitate the safe and professional introduction of complementary therapies into a variety of h...

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