Posts tagged with "Empathetic"

Is there a ‘dogtor’ in the house?

January 11, 2021

A therapy dog in Baltimore is bringing joy to healthcare workers and patients, alike, by making digital visits, Good Morning America reports.

Loki, a two-year-old Rottweiler therapy dog is known for comforting patients each week at the University of Maryland Medical Center. But when the coronavirus pandemic prevented therapy dogs from visiting the hospital, Loki and her owner, Caroline Benzel, had to figure out a creative way to reach and develop rapport with patients.

So, Benzel came up with the idea of remote therapy dog visits. “I’ll Facetime [while Loki and are sitting] outside … in my mom’s front yard,” Benzel told GMA.

She said that she tells patients to close their eyes and imagine a different scene outside the confines of the hospital, telling them, “Imagine sitting at a park and we’re having a conversation so they can ‘hear’ the birds, they can see people walking by. So that’s kind of how we’ve been doing it now.”

Benzel, who is a second-year medical student at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, started training Loki when she was just 18 weeks old. Then, she got Loki acclimated to the hospital’s environment and patients.

Benzel has describes her pup as a natural at her job. “I’ve never met a dog that’s so empathetic. It’s kind of strange. There have been many circumstances at the hospital where she can just read a situation where a patient is in a very bad way or a family member is going through a loss,” Benzel told GMA.

Before COVID-19 hit, Benzel would also dress Loki in a signature white “dogtor’s” coat that was custom-made for every hospital visit with patients.

Since transitioning to remote visits, Benzel and Loki also have had a chance to connect with hospital staff—and Benzel has noticed the painful physical effects caused by the masks that healthcare workers now wear.

“I was seeing the masks doing the damage to the nursing staff, the doctors, the social workers, because everyone, custodians to doctors are all required to wear it,” Benzel said.

She thought of ways that she could help those experiencing the issue and came up with care packages called Hero Healing Kits. The kits, which have Loki’s face on them, include products like hypoallergenic lotion for irritated skin, packs of gum to help with dry mouth, medicated powder to help with skin irritation, Vaseline, and tea and coffee packets. Each kit also has a thank you note with messages of appreciation for hospital staff during this time.

With the help of her neighbor, Benzel has put together about 1,400 kits so far and medical students have raised $300 to $400. The kits have become so popular, a medical student in Philadelphia also started the Hero Healing Initiative there. Benzel has also expanded and has created kits for neighboring hospitals.

The kits were also a way for Benzel to give back to the medical community, after members stood by her when Loki recently had to undergo ACL surgery for a broken foot, which required cash up front.

“I didn’t know how I was going to come up with that kind of money as a medical student,” Benzel said. “The hospital staff [at UMMC] suggested I do a GoFundMe, and the whole surgery and physical therapy ended up being covered by donations within two weeks.”

“They did that for me when I was down and I know the people there are going through a hard time now. themselves. I wanted to do what I could to return the favor,” she added.

Research contact: @GMA

As he accepts DNC nomination, Joe Biden vows to lead America out of ‘Season of Darkness’

August 24, 2020

Former Vice President Joe Biden cast himself as a capable leader prepared to put the coronavirus pandemic into retreat, as he formally accepted the Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday evening, August 20, and asked the American public to elect him in place of President Donald Trump, The Wall Street Journal reported..=

United, we can and will overcome this season of darkness in America,” Biden told the nation from an auditorium in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware. “Here and now, I give you my word: If you entrust me with the presidency, I will draw on the best of us, not the worst. I will be an ally of the light, not of the darkness.”

“This is not a partisan moment, this must be an American moment,” he added. “This is a life-changing election that will determine America’s future for a very long time.”

In his address, the Journal said, Biden portrayed the nation as resilient in the face of the pandemic and ready to move forward after racial unrest and economic losses. “I have always believed you can define America in one word: Possibilities,” he said.

Biden, who lost his first wife and infant daughter in 1972 and his son Beau Biden in 2015, spoke directly to the families of those who have died during the pandemic, telling them that he understood “how hard it is to have any hope.”

“I found the best way through pain and loss and grief is to find purpose, he said. “As God’s children, each of us [has] a purpose in our lives. We have a great purpose as a nation.” He also credited his wife, Jill Biden, and members of his close-knit family with giving him courage.

Biden spoke inside a darkened auditorium with a backdrop of American flags and the party’s convention logos, after the pandemic prompted Democrats to cancel their planned gathering in Milwaukee. According to the Journal, he never referred to Trump by name, calling him “this president” or the “current president” in his remarks.

The party has used the convention to showcase past leaders, including former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton—and to spotlight what it sees as its next generation, chief among them Biden’s running mate, Senator Kamala Harris of California.

The final night of the convention also saw former presidential hopefuls Senator Cory Booker (D- New Jersey.), Pete (“Mayor Pete”) Buttigieg, Michael Bloomberg, and Andrew Yang deliver separate speeches that focused on the human and economic consequences of the pandemic.

In addition, the televised event featured liberals in the party, led by Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and Republicans such as former Ohio Governor John Kasich to send a message that any Americans who are disenchanted with Trump are welcome in Mr. Biden’s coalition.

Appearing in a video on Thursday, Sanders offered a testimonial to Biden’s character, referring to his former rival as “a human being who is empathetic, who is honest, who is decent.”

“At this particular moment in American history, my God, this is something this country absolutely needs,” Sanders said, according to the Journal report.

Following Biden’s acceptance speech, the candidates joined their spouses for a fireworks display. They stood on an outdoor stage before massive American flags. Wearing masks, they locked hands and raised them to the crowd.

For his part, President Trump had sharp words for Biden on Thursday afternoon in an appearance at Old Forge, Pennsylvania, near the former vice president’s childhood hometown of Scranton.

“At stake in this election is the survival of our nation. We’re dealing with crazy people on the other side. They’ve gone totally stone-cold crazy,” said the president, adding that Joe Biden was a “puppet of the radical left movement.”

Research contact: @WSJ