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Pete’s Perspective: The Human Side of Healing

Pete’s Perspective: The Human Side of Healing

Media Contact: Karina Rusk

Healthcare is both a science and an art. It is also a balancing act and often includes stressors that may threaten the delivery of compassionate care. Salinas Valley Health is among a growing number of medical centers in the United States working to change that.

With increasing financial pressures and administrative demands, time spent with patients and their families may decrease with a focus on diagnosis and treatment rather than the impact of an illness. As a result, many caregivers experience anxiety and frustration with no structured outlet to express their feelings. By caregivers, we mean not just physicians and nurses but everyone whose work touches patient lives.

A common thread woven through nearly every position in the field of healthcare is a lack of preparation for the social, emotional and psychological difficulties that are an inevitable part of patient care. Caregiving is more than taking care of a body; it means taking care of a human being – an individual with unique experiences and feelings.

We believe firmly that priority on this exceptional connection must come from the top; our staff needs to know we care for them the same way we care for our patients. Since 2021, all employees and providers at Salinas Valley Health have been able to utilize the Care for the Caregiver® program as a resource anytime needed.

Day or night, they can contact one of the trained and certified peer supporters on the Care for the Caregiver team for help coping with grieving and other challenges due to traumatic events. Staff can use the program in response to a wide variety of situations, including:

  • Stressful resuscitation
  • Medical errors
  • Patient or co-worker deaths
  • Other circumstances in which intensive emotional support can help

Salinas Valley Health recently introduced a new component of its Care for the Caregiver program, Schwartz Rounds®, with an inaugural forum open to all staff entitled “A Patient I Will Never Forget.” The sessions, which will be held quarterly, provide a regularly scheduled time to discuss the human dimension of caring for patients and families.

Schwartz Rounds sessions help our staff – clinical and non-clinical – understand they are not alone in the complex emotions they experience as part of their daily work. They level the playing field, reducing feelings of isolation and bringing us closer together as a team, a team of humans amongst humans with a united purpose of providing well-rounded quality care for all.

Be safe and be well.

– Pete

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