Pet owners need no convincing: Few things can brighten your day like a friendly animal. But if it’s true at home, could it be true at the hospital?

Hope students Jacqueline Roodbeen and Tara Hoover conducted research on the impact of pet therapy for hospital patients as part of their nursing research practicum. The results of their research — “Effect of Pet Therapy on Patient's Anxiety in the Pediatric Emergency Department”— will be presented at this year’s Celebration for Undergraduate Research and Creative Performance (CURCP).

“I love animals, especially dogs, and I was excited to explore how they could be used in the healthcare setting,” Tara said. “I also am looking forward to a career in pediatric nursing, so the fact that it was in a pediatric emergency department was another draw.”

In addition to their findings on pet therapy, Tara learned a little something about the nature of research itself: “Research is made up of small steps,” she said. “Then, at the end of the day, you look back on all the steps and realize how far you have come and it is truly gratifying.”

Tara will be present their research findings at CURCP on Friday, April 10, from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Richard and Helen DeVos Fieldhouse. The event will feature 231 research projects conducted by 370 Hope students both independently and in collaboration with peers and faculty mentors.

>> Learn more about 2015 CURCP