Schwartz Center Rounds Tackles Tough Topics of Violence, Advocacy, and Self-Care

Health care professionals filled Tobin Hall on Monday, October 7, for the first Schwartz Center Rounds of the academic year.  

The Schwartz Rounds program occurs in hundreds of health care settings around the world, including the U.S., Canada, U.K., Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. It incorporates innovative programs, education and advocacy, to support caregivers, health care leaders and others to help them bring compassion to every health care experience.  

Panelists from diverse disciplines (including physicians, nurses, social workers, psychologists, allied health professionals and chaplains) participate in the sessions. After listening to a panel’s brief presentation on a case or topic, caregivers in the audience are invited to share their own perspectives on the case and broader, related issues. 

Monday’s topic was “Violence, Health Care, Advocacy, and Self-Care" and included panelists Lucia Garcia, MEd, Chaplain Rev. Michael Hayes, Arthur Sandford, MD, FACS, and Sonja Wiechec, MSN, MBA/HC, RN-BC, TNS, TNCC. During the discussion, panelists shared short, personal anecdotes of their experiences with patient death, gang members, violence, and burnout. 

From these stories, participants began a dialogue with the panelists about the impact of workplace violence, how to ask for help, best practices for working with an offensive, racist, or violent person, the importance of mental health and self-care, and strategies for supporting colleagues.  

“The work we do is hard,” said Rev. Hayes.  “It is emotionally and spiritually draining and if you do not take time for your wellness, you will have to make time for your illness.” 

The next Schwartz Center Rounds will focus on “Caring for a Colleague,” and will be on Monday, November 4, at noon in SSOM 190.