Flushing Hospital Medical Center (FHMC) is proud to introduce Schwartz Rounds®. This program provides a forum and supportive environment for caregivers to discuss the human side of healthcare and the challenging emotional and psychosocial issues they face when caring for patients and families.
The Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare was created more than 20 years ago by Ken Schwartz, a healthcare attorney who died of lung cancer at age 40. Writing about his experience, he explained that what made “the unbearable bearable” was the compassion shown by his doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals. The Center’s vision is that “all patients receive compassionate care and all health professionals are supported in providing it”.
The Schwartz Rounds program is a result of this vision and is now implemented in close to 500 healthcare organizations in the US, UK and Canada—helping more than 200,000 health professionals to provide compassionate care to millions of patients.
“Participating in Schwarz Rounds gives us an opportunity to focus on the caregiver. As medical professionals, we spend so much time taking care of others, we often forget that we also need to be taken care of,” stated Catherine Ferrari, RN, Administrator for Professional Services at FHMC.
At FHMC, Schwartz Rounds are coordinated by Planning Committee members: Catherine Ferrari, RN, Administrator for Professional Services; Rubin Silvestre, RN, Chief Nursing Officer; Maria Smilios, RN, Director of Nursing; Margaret Belony, RN, Clinical Nurse Specialist; Dr. Lucan Rodrigues, Director Palliative Care; Arlene Burke, RN, Nursing Supervisor; Patricia Boucher, RN, Nurse Manager and Denise James, RN, Director, Case Management.
Rounds are offered bi-monthly where participants from multiple clinical and administrative disciplines attend a one-hour, case-based, interactive discussion. Each session begins with a brief introductory presentation of a case that includes a panel of health care team members who cared for the patient. This presentation focuses on the psychosocial themes in caring for this patient and family. Audience members and the panel participate in a facilitated group discussion. Those who have had interactions with the patient or have had similar experiences contribute to the discussion.
The first Schwartz Rounds at FHMC took place in October and the second one is scheduled for January 2018. At the first session, an audience of over 200 individuals attended from all areas of the hospital. The results were overwhelmingly positive with the majority of participants stating that after the “Rounds” they had a better sense of belonging to a team, a new appreciation for their colleagues of other disciplines, more compassion for patients and families, as well as, new ideas and strategies for dealing with challenging situations.