Nursing students learn about mental health with therapy dogs

Published: Dec. 7, 2018 at 4:26 PM CST
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Nursing students learned about mental health Thursday through the use of therapy dogs. The dogs were invited to help relieve stress at the beginning of finals week at the NDSU School of Nursing.

Frankie, a Golden Retriever, and friends stopped by the school in Bismarck where students are wrapping up what they call "death week" and are about to begin finals week.

"The faculty really care about the students mental health in this stressful time of the year, and it's awesome that they bring in. They have so much stuff going on for the next week, they have coffee set up all the time, they have treats, they had games earlier," said Sydney Retterath, nursing student.

It's fun for the students to play with a furry friend, and it's good for the dog's owners as well.

"I've recently retired and I wanted something to do with my dog, and he's 10. We decided, on my wife's suggestion, to try some therapy dog work, and it's been good," said Ron Berndt, owner of Sully, a Golden Retriever.

Berndt and Sully are still working on their Love on a Leash certification, he says they need 10 hours of therapy work to qualify.

"I'm new to it, but I'm enjoying it. It's good for me, it's good for Sully. I think it's helpful for the students, or we go to nursing homes as well. I think it's good for everybody," said Berndt.

This is just one of the events that the school is doing to help their students through the end of the year.