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Lena Forsyth - Applied Biomedical Science student

RGU first university in the UK to provide Schwartz Rounds for all students to enhance learning and wellbeing beyond the classroom

Robert Gordon University (RGU) becomes the first Higher Education Institution in the UK to make Schwartz Rounds available to all disciplines to create a platform for collaborative learning and wellbeing outside the classroom.

With an original focus on healthcare, Schwartz Rounds provides a structured forum to regularly come together to discuss the emotional and social aspects of work and study. A Round runs as a reflective space for people to share their own experiences around a central title, and feel supported through discussions about the challenges and rewards intrinsic to their discipline.

Schwartz Rounds are licensed by the Point of Care Foundation and run in over 130 healthcare organisations across the UK. Earlier this year, the university became the first Higher Education Institution in Scotland to introduce them. As part of the accreditation process, RGU was assessed on a case presentation, had to engage in a live session and, undergo facilitator training.

Laura Chalmers, Clinical Director for Schwartz Rounds at RGU, said: “As the pandemic unfolded, we recognised that unprecedented times should be met with unprecedented, innovative measures to support our student’s overall wellbeing. The Rounds have an undeniable power to move and connect people. It not only provides a confidential space for reflection and often inspiration, but a space to learn beyond the curriculum.

“I am proud that RGU is at the forefront of the sector. We are committed to collaborative, interdisciplinary and interprofessional learning and, after seeing first-hand the impact of the Rounds on our health students, we knew it was vital to make them available for our wider community.”

Evidence shows that people who attend Schwartz Rounds feel less stressed and isolated, and more open to giving and receiving support. They enjoy increased insight and appreciation for other people’s roles and the process improves teamwork and interdisciplinary communication.

Discussing her experience with Schwartz Rounds, Lena Forsyth, a fourth-year Applied Biomedical Science student said: “I’ve taken part in Schwartz rounds since the very first session and, each time I came away changed. Having that space made available at RGU to listen and learn from other students gave me a sense of community.

“Everyone has a powerful story to tell of how they overcame challenges and made the impossible possible. With Rounds, RGU not only provided me with a safe and confidential platform to share my journey but the confidence to do it. It’s a life-altering experience”.

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