The Children’s Hospital at OU Medicine will be the first facility in the Oklahoma City area to incorporate Schwartz Rounds, a program to provide support to staff members who may deal with stressful and emotional situations throughout their work day.
Schwartz Rounds are a multidisciplinary forum where caregivers discuss difficult emotional and social issues that arise in caring for patients. The program’s mission is to promote compassionate health care and strengthen the relationship between patients and caregivers.
“The healthcare environment offers both unique challenges and privileges for caregivers,” said Deborah Browning, chief nursing officer at The Children’s Hospital. “Schwarz Rounds is a comprehensive system of caregiver support that preserves and protects the human connection in healthcare.”
The Children’s Hospital will hold its first bi-monthly Schwartz Rounds forum on February 21. Care team members from all areas of the hospital will be invited to participate, including nurses, dietitians, physicians, housekeepers, chaplains, etc.
Each Schwartz Rounds session will feature a different health topic that care team members encounter through their work in a pediatric environment. A panel of presenters will share their perspectives and experiences, and participants will be encouraged to engage with the panel and share their own similar experiences. The purpose will be for staff to talk about how they feel, rather than something that specifically happened, offered in a safe, comfortable environment where they can learn from and support each other. Schwartz Rounds were created by the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare based at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. The Center was named after Ken Schwartz, a healthcare attorney who died of lung cancer in 1995, at the age of 40. During his illness, he wrote an article for Boston Globe Magazine describing a group of caregivers who attended to his medical and emotional needs, “making the unbearable bearable.”
The Association of American Medical Colleges conducted a survey of Schwartz Rounds participants and found that 87 percent of respondents reported Rounds led to new ideas and strategies for challenging patient situations and increased their compassion.