There were over 100 people in the room at Saskatoon Health Region's first-ever Schwartz Rounds yesterday, and the stories and experiences shared connected them all.
The Schwartz Rounds program brings clinicians and frontline staff together to discuss the challenging emotional and psychological issues they face in caring for patients and families. The rounds were developed by the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare in Boston, Massachusetts, which has been a leading force for compassion in healthcare settings since its inception in 1995.
From Left: Sharla Humble, Clinical Coordinator for Dube Centre; Katie Ball, Pediatric Medical Social Worker; Dr. Mark James and Dr. Susan Shaw speaking at Schwartz Rounds on April 10.
While confidentiality is a requirement to participate in the rounds, it was clear from the stories shared that healthcare providers witness suffering and trauma on a daily basis. And they don't always have a way to cope with it.
"These rounds are not your typical medical rounds. The intent of the Schwartz Rounds is not to teach," explains Dr. Malone Chaya, lead of the Schwartz Rounds Planning Committee. "The intent is to listen and discuss. We need to talk about these issues in order to compassionately care for ourselves. How comfortable are we in uncomfortable conversations or situations with our patients and families? How do we cope when we find ourselves unprepared for what our patients and families need in times of stress or crisis? And how do we take care of ourselves through it all?"
During the Safer Every Day 90 Day project, the psychological safety team examined the impact that critical incidents had on staff and physicians, and the support they require to build resilience.
"As an extension of this work, the Royal University Hospital Foundation graciously provided funding so that we could take the first steps in establishing these compassionate care rounds. We sincerely thank the Royal University Hospital Foundation for the ability to make this happen," says Dr. Chaya.
The Schwartz Rounds Planning Committee is organizing another session for June.