Nursing at Penn Medicine

Taking Care of Our Nurses: Schwartz Center Rounds

Schwartz Center Rounds® offers health care providers an opportunity to openly and honestly discuss the social and emotional issues that arise in the care of patients and their families. In contrast to forums that address diagnosis and treatment issues, Schwartz Center Rounds focus on the experiences of caregivers.

Caregivers have an opportunity to share their experiences, thoughts and feelings on a range of topics drawn from actual patient cases. The premise is that caregivers are better able to make personal connections with patients and colleagues when they have greater insight into their own responses and feelings. A hallmark of the program is inter-professional dialogue. Panelists from diverse disciplines share a brief summary of their experience with the audience. A facilitator invites the audience to share their own perspectives on the scenario and broader related issues. Panel members and audience participants typically include nurses, physicians, chaplains, social workers and representatives from other members of the care giving team.

Since the first Schwartz Center Rounds were held at Massachusetts General Hospital in 1997, more than 300 health care facilities in 37 states have adopted the program. In 2008, the Schwartz Center hired an independent research firm to assess the impact of these Rounds on caregivers. The results demonstrated that they increased caregivers’ insight into non-clinical aspects of patient care, improved teamwork and helped caregivers feel more supported and less alone.

Schwartz Center Rounds launched at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in 2008, and continue to be well attended and highly rated by participants.