From the Heart: Caregivers Share New Experiences During Schwartz Center Rounds

May 12, 2010

At most hospitals, grand rounds provide a forum for clinicians to learn about and discuss challenging medical cases. At McLean, a new kind of rounds offers something different—a rare opportunity for clinical staff to talk openly about the emotional side of caregiving.

McLean is only the second psychiatric site in the country to adopt this form of peer education, an extension of the Kenneth B. Schwartz Center at Schwartz Center Rounds bring together a cross section of clinical staff in a safe and nurturing environment to discuss common experiences and the emotional challenges they encounter as part of their jobs.

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According to Linda Flaherty, RN/PC, senior vice president of Patient Care Services and co-chair of the Schwartz Center Rounds Planning Committee, the sessions have become an invaluable part of the McLean caregiver experience. “They offer a chance to build teamwork, provide support, and share ideas in a challenging healthcare environment.”

Esther Dechant, MD, medical director of the Klarman Eating Disorders Center at McLean, is a regular attendee of the rounds. She says the forums have helped her and her colleagues become more thoughtful about their work and, by extension, their patients.

“The Schwartz Center Rounds give us time to reflect on our processes and our emotions. That helps me feel more connected to my patients.”
– Esther Dechant, MD, medical director, Klarman Eating Disorders Center

“In our very busy lives, we often deal with difficult, painful situations we don’t get a chance to reflect on,” Dechant notes. “Through the Schwartz Center Rounds, we take the time to think about how we feel. I then bring that emotional energy back to my work with my patients. I feel more connected to them—and more compassionate.”

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