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Schwartz Center Rounds

National Program Helps Caregivers Deal with the Emotional Side of Caregiving

Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton hosts Schwartz Center Rounds, a national program that helps hospital staff members explore and process the emotions that come up in their daily work.

Schwartz Center Rounds provide a unique forum where caregivers can discuss and reflect upon the emotional challenges of patient care. Sessions typically begin with a brief panel presentation of a patient case, followed by a facilitated discussion. Rather than simply focusing on the clinical facts of a patient case or problem-solving, Rounds give health care providers a safe forum to talk about how they experienced certain situations. Popular Rounds include: delivering bad news; caring for a colleague; when cultural and religious beliefs conflict with medical advice; and dealing with spiritual crises in patients.

Schwartz Center Rounds are the signature program of the Kenneth B. Schwartz Center, a Boston-based nonprofit whose mission is to support and advance compassionate health care. Healthcare attorney Kenneth Schwartz created the Center just days before he died of lung cancer in 1995. The Center advances the ideas, hopes and concerns expressed in an article he wrote for the Boston Globe Magazine: "As skilled and knowledgeable as my caregivers are," he wrote, "what matters most is that they have empathized with me in a way that gives me hope and makes me feel like a human being, not just an illness."

Benefits of Schwartz Rounds include:
o caregivers connect better with patients emotionally
o enhanced understanding of the effects of illness on patients and their families
o improved communication among caregivers
o decreased feelings of caregiver isolation and stress

For more general information about Schwartz Center Rounds, visit www.theschwartzcenter.org.

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