Service Animals in the Hospital Setting

The use of service animals is becoming more prevalent in hospital settings. An organization should include clear policy regarding use of a service animal versus an emotional support animal. The policy should include but is not limited to: 1) definition of service animal, 2) areas of exclusion (such as ICU or OR) and reason for exclusion in the area and 3) any public health requirements. If there are questions, remember staff can only ask: A) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability? and B) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform? The service animal is not required to perform the work or task. Also, be aware of any state or local requirements. For FAQs please visit https://www.ada.gov/regs2010/service_animal_qa.html#bre

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