Funding for the project has not yet been finalized, but Flynn's familiarization is already beginning, allowing him to gain his first experiences. Ruud Lecluse, manager of operations anesthesia, sedation and pain medicine, says: ‘From now on, a visiting dog with trainer will be present in the Máxima Center on a regular basis. We let him and the children carefully get used to the situation in the radiology department. Children who we know will benefit greatly from the dog's presence will practice with him.' It is known from scientific literature that children enter an examination with less stress and anxiety if they have had prior contact with a visiting dog. Flynn and his handler are trained to interact responsibly with patients by cuddling and playing a game. The handler keeps a close eye on Flynn's well-being and monitors boundaries in dog-patient contact.
Selma Bons, pediatric anesthesiologist : ‘For the time being, the visiting dog comes into the waiting room at the MRI one half day a week. The aim is to distract both child and parents in a pleasant way while waiting for an examination. If the pilot study in the radiology waiting room proves successful, the next step is to deploy the dog into the scanning room. That's so great: because of the magnetic field in the scan room, anxiety-reducing interventions are limited. VR glasses or use of a tablet, for example, are then not possible. A visiting dog, however, can be used then.' You can recognize visiting dog Flynn by the Máxima logo on his collar. His trainer wears a shirt with the logo. If the results of the pilot are positive, and funding is in place, a visiting dog and handler could be present daily. But the research results will be decisive for that.