Providing compassionate care to our patients is at the heart of everything we do. In fact, it’s part of our mission, and for many of us, it’s why we decided to pursue careers in healthcare.
Sometimes, during the course of our day while caring for others, we forget to take a moment to care for ourselves. I’d like to share a program that we’re now offering throughout all of Stony Brook that can help to support our caregivers — anyone who has any type of patient interaction. Called Schwartz Rounds, this unique program specifically addresses compassion in ways to help improve the caregiver’s experience in the healthcare setting and ultimately improve the patient experience. It’s a safe, multidisciplinary forum in which caregivers can gather to discuss the emotional and social issues that occur while caring for patients.
Schwartz Rounds for all Stony Brook caregivers will take place on Thursday, Oct. 20, from 1 to 2 pm, in MART Classroom 101B. The topic of discussion is “Putting Compassion to the Test: How to Handle Your Feelings When You Don’t Want to Go in the Room” and will feature a panel of Stony Brook University Hospital staff:
Farah Daccueil, MD, Hospitalist, 16 North, Medicine
Rosanna Genao, CA, 16 North, Medicine
Michael Martins, MD, PGY2-Emergency Medicine
Lindsay Nolan, RN, 12 South, Medicine
Registration is required as seating is limited, and CMEs are available. Please email Roseanna Ryan to register.
Schwartz Rounds is not new to Stony Brook. The leadership of Stony Brook Children’s Hospital brought Schwartz Rounds to Stony Brook in the spring of 2015. The first session — featuring the topic “Adolescents and Treatment Refusal: Who Rules the Roost?” — took place in July 2015. Open to nursing, medicine, medical students and nursing students, as well as all other Stony Brook Children’s staff, Children’s Hospital Schwartz Rounds takes place every other month. Session physician leads are Dr. Rina Meyer and Dr. Rahul Panesar with Dr. Stephen Post as the facilitator. For more information about the Children’s Hospital Schwartz Rounds, please email Jaime Medina. Caregivers and staff of the Department of OB/GYN, who have been participating in Children’s Hospital Schwartz Rounds since 2019, will now participate in the newly expanded Stony Brook Schwartz Rounds.
Schwartz Rounds was developed by the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare — named for and founded by Ken Schwartz, a Boston attorney, father and husband, who was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer in 1994 and passed away 10 months later. He envisioned a center that would support compassion in healthcare and encourage the kind of compassion he received from his caregivers that in his words, “made the unbearable bearable.”
The rounds were piloted at Massachusetts General Hospital in 1997 and have been held there since. Currently Schwartz Rounds are held in hundreds of sites across the U.S. and nearly 200 in the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Unlike grand rounds, these sessions are not about clinical problem-solving, but rather about exploring and processing the emotions that come up in the daily work of hospital staff. To learn more about Schwartz Rounds, you can view this video that features members of our staff.
Caregivers who have participated in Schwartz Rounds have reported improved teamwork and communication as well as an appreciation for the contributions of colleagues from different disciplines; decreased feelings of stress and isolation, and more openness to giving and receiving support; and feeling more compassion toward their patients and colleagues.
I hope you’ll be able to take some time for yourself by attending Schwartz Rounds this week so that you can experience the value of this healing resource.