We couldn’t imagine working without Schwartz Rounds
02 September 2015
Dr Sam Lund has worked in a wide variety of settings across London including both the acute and independent sectors. She joined Trinity Hospice in 2010 having completed her specialist training. Sam has a postgraduate MA in Ethics and is passionate about individualised patient care.
At Trinity Hospice we have been running Schwartz Rounds for over 3 years. Inspired by a hugely positive experience in the United States, our head of patient and family support put a case together for starting the Rounds in 2012, and we have never looked back. Schwartz Rounds are now a regular feature in the Trinity calendar. We run monthly Rounds, alternating the day and time, so that we maximise the numbers and mix of individuals who can attend.
What do Schwartz Rounds bring to Trinity Hospice?
First must be the sense of team and of being together. Those attending include volunteers, nurses, members of the fundraising department, doctors, administrators… the list goes on! Even if the theme doesn’t relate to every sphere of work, the Rounds provide for increased understanding and empathy about the emotional impact of caring for patients.
Second is the acknowledgement that we are all in this together. Suddenly you realise that the situation you were struggling with was also difficult for others. Schwartz Rounds give you a different insight into those around you.
Third would be the sense of discovery that Schwartz Rounds can bring. Sometimes the conversation will help you realise something about yourself that you hadn’t thought of before. Or sometimes the Rounds will bring something which helps you think through your work and how you, and others, deal with it on a daily basis. Finally Schwartz Rounds bring cake (or sandwiches) – and food is always a good thing!
If it’s worth doing…
As with anything that is worth doing (and definitely is worth doing well) Schwartz Rounds require a team of individuals who are committed and who are willing to put the work in. It’s not always plain sailing and we have had to cancel some Rounds because we couldn’t find anyone to present on the panel. Being a small organisation we can struggle to find speakers. We have also had times when we were desperately trying to think of a theme at the last minute.
However, despite these challenges our Schwartz Rounds are always well evaluated and now we wouldn’t, and couldn’t, imagine working without them. They are now an important part of life at Trinity and an essential part of how we support each other, understand each other and function as a dynamic, living organisation!
Samantha Lund, Medical Director, Schwartz Round Clinical Lead
Letizia Perna- Forrest, Head of Patient and Family Support and Education, Schwartz Round Facilitator
Michael Savage, Spiritual Care Lead, Schwartz Round Facilitator
The Point of Care Foundation has now developed an online training programme for Schwartz Rounds, allowing us to broaden the reach of Rounds to smaller organisations such as hospices or GP practices.
For more information about Schwartz Rounds, please contact Esther Flanagan on 020 7307 2890 or by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org