Island Health employees find a safe place to share experiences

Posted on: June 22, 2022

Health care has always been a rewarding and challenging profession. There are numerous issues to face each and every shift that can take their toll on the mental health and general well-being of staff and medical staff. 

On May 10th, Island Health piloted a new program called Schwartz Rounds at Victoria General Hospital.

Schwartz Rounds are a confidential, multidisciplinary forum designed for all healthcare staff to come together once a month to reflect on the emotional and psychological impact of our work.   

The mission of The Schwartz Centre for Compassionate Healthcare is to support and advance compassionate healthcare in which caregivers, patients and their families relate to one another in a way that provides hope to the patient, support to caregivers and sustenance to the healing process. The first round was centred on the topic 'The Patient I'll Never Forget'.  

Three panellists, with the support of a facilitator, sat in front of an audience and shared their story with the group. The audience was then able to participate, sharing thoughts or personal stories of their own. The panelists were a mixture of healthcare workers as was the audience. 

This round was very popular and saw over sixty people take part in the new program. Three panelists shared stories of patients they will never forget and the Rounds participants shared what resonated for them from the panelist's stories and shared their own memories of patients they will never forget. 

“The biggest benefit to staff was that it has started our VGH team on a journey towards a community of practice," said Trapper Edison, Victoria General Hospital Site Director. “Every employee - no matter the role - who works within the VGH walls, has been impacted in some way by the patients we all serve. It was a forum to give voice to our thoughts and feelings leading towards a communal understanding. 

"It is actually a very powerful feeling to be in the room and experiencing the discussion. I heard multiple people say thanks for having this forum in place." 

The next round will take place at VGH on July 12th :

  • ALL STAFF are invited (clinical and non-clinical)

  • Sessions are facilitated and will follow an evidence-based format

  • The focus is on staff experiences, not on the clinical aspects care of the patient

  • The discussion does not aim to solve problems or find solutions

  • Lunch will be provided.

Find more information about Schwartz Rounds on our Intranet page or email experience@islandhealth.ca.​