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Mercy Gilbert to offer emotional support program to medical caregivers

PHOENIX — A Valley medical center will soon give its staff a chance to cope with the death of patients.

Mercy Gilbert Medical Center is starting a new program where staff members can talk through their emotions.

The program aims to give care to medical caregivers — those who regularly treat people who are either sick or dying. Martin Breeden, Dignity Health’s Arizona vice president of mission integration, said sometimes the caregivers need to be cared for, too.

“Because we are human, we are emotionally invested in those types of cases,” Breeden said.

Nurses and doctors who participate in the new program at Mercy Gilbert will be given tools to help deal with the emotional struggles that come with the job of providing care, Breeden said.

“We look into the eyes of the people who we serve and we see that humanity in them. And we’re suffering over the suffering of others,” he said.

The program is called the Schwartz Center Rounds. Breeden said he hopes it will give the hospital’s medical staff a chance to decompress after losing a patient.

“We always want to care for those who care for others, and this is one way of doing that,” he said.

Breed said the Schwartz program will begin at Mercy Gilbert on July 23.