What is a Schwartz Round?
Schwartz Rounds are group reflective practice forums giving staff from all disciplines, clinical and non-clinical, an opportunity to reflect on the emotional and social aspects of working in healthcare.
The purpose of Rounds is to understand the challenges and rewards that are intrinsic to providing care, not to solve problems or to focus on the clinical aspects of patient care.
Rounds can support staff feel more confident in their jobs, allowing them the time and space to reflect on their roles. Evidence shows that staff who attend Rounds feel less stressed and isolated, with increased insight and appreciation for each other’s roles. Also, Rounds help to reduce hierarchies between staff and to focus attention on relational aspects of care.
Rounds follow a standard model to ensure that they are replicable across settings.
Rounds normally take place once a month for an hour at a time. These can be in person or virtual.
Once the Round starts, a panel comprised of three staff members will share their experiences for the first 15-20 minutes. On each panel, there should ideally be a mix of clinical and non-clinical staff with different levels of seniority.
A Round can either be based on different accounts of a case, or can explore a particular theme such as ‘when things go wrong’ or ‘a patient I’ll never forget’. Experiences are shared from the perspective of the panel, not the patient, and the emphasis is on the emotional impact.
The remainder of the hour features trained facilitators leading an open discussion. They do this by asking participants to share their reflections on the stories.
The facilitators will remind participants that Rounds are a confidential space, in which patient and staff identities are protected.
Staff who regularly attend Schwartz Rounds feel less stressed and isolated at work. Listening to colleagues describe the challenges of their work helps to normalise emotions, which are part and parcel of working in healthcare but are often kept under the surface. This shared understanding manifests in improved communication between colleagues and a greater sense of teamwork.
It is essential that organisations support their staff in order to create a strong, open culture where high quality and compassionate care can flourish. Stories shared in Schwartz Rounds have the ability to empower staff and their organisations. Staff can reconnect with their values and reaffirm their motivation to work in healthcare.
The full report of the The Longitudinal National Evaluation of Schwartz Rounds can be found here.
Summary of the report
What do Schwartz Rounds look like?
This film shows an edited version of a Schwartz Round taking place at Ashford and St Peter's Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Where can I find my local Schwartz Round?
If you know of any local Schwartz Rounds that are not listed here then please do contact us to let us know.