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Virtual book club unites health care workers during pandemic

Doctors and nurses at the William Osler Health System share stories and best practices through book club.
By: Stewart Wiseman
June 02, 2020
Photo: CTV News Toronto

Many of us have found the pandemic to be a perfect opportunity to catch up on books that have been sitting on the shelf for too long. At the William Osler Health System in Toronto, doctors and nurses have created a healthcare worker virtual book club, allowing the hospital staff to feel united across the hospital network through a shared passion for reading. Nearly 70 health care workers participated in the first virtual book club, where they discussed The Power of Kindness: Why Empathy is Essential in Everyday Life by Dr. Brian Goldman, who also participated in the meeting to answer questions.

The book club provides a space for hospital staff to discuss complex cases and patient stories, which book club co-founder Dr. Jeffrey Handler has described as another "tool to help us in our care." Health care workers at William Osler Health System have lauded the lunch-hour virtual book club as providing a "breakaway" from work, while building resilience, teamwork, empathy, and kindness. "The book club not only provides a much-needed escape," says Alina Lo Bianco, a registered practical nurse. "But these books also provide lessons for the health-care providers." The group looks forward to a day when they can gather in person again, but until then, the virtual book club will continue to provide relief and support for the healthcare staff.

Source: CTV News Toronto

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