"I have been the recipient of an extraordinary array of human and humane responses to my plight. These acts of kindness - the simple human touch from my caregivers - have made the unbearable bearable." - Kenneth B. Schwartz
Shortly before his death from lung cancer at age 40 in September of 1995, Kenneth B. Schwartz, a loving husband and father and successful health care attorney in Boston, established an organization dedicated to strengthening the relationship between patients and caregivers in the changing health care system.
St. Joseph's Hospital offers Schwartz Center Rounds, a multidisciplinary forum where caregivers discuss difficult emotional and social issues that arise in caring for patients. Over 37,000 clinicians across the country participate in these interactive discussions and share their experiences, thoughts and feelings on different topics. Schwartz Center Rounds are open to all hospital staff and are held in January, March, May, July, September and November.
In a typical Rounds session, a panel of caregivers presents a patient case that brought up interesting and important psychosocial issues.
Examples of topics include:
- How to tell a patient it may be time to stop treatment
- Delivering bad news
- When religious or spiritual beliefs conflict with medical advice
- Taking care of a colleague
- Losing a patient
Hospital staff then shares their own thoughts and feelings related to the day's topic. 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. A comprehensive study of Schwartz Center Rounds has shown them to help caregivers connect better with patients emotionally; enhance their understanding of the effects of illness on patients and their families; improve communication among caregivers and decrease feelings of caregiver isolation and stress.
For more information about Schwartz Center Rounds, visit The Kenneth B. Schwartz Center or call (813) 870-4000.