Importance of Teamwork & Collaboration in Nursing

Topic: Teamwork is part of nursing practice, both with other nurses and members of the interdisciplinary and/or inter-professional teams. How might this positively or negatively impact patient outcomes?

Introduction

In delivering healthcare, effective teamwork act as an essential tool for building a more effective and patient-centered health care delivery system. There are various determinants of teamwork efficiency which can immediately and positively impact patient safety and outcomes. It is crucial to determine which external variables influence team composition in health care services.

To enhance effective teamwork values and principles of working as a team must be followed by each and every member of interdisciplinary and interprofessional teams, strategies, and practical skills for achieving set goals and overcome challenges. Professional education plays an important role as it helps in determining the importance of professional training and lifelong learning among health care professionals as evolution in health care demand for quality patient care necessitates parallel health care professional development with a great focus on patient-centered teamwork approach.

The lack of professional expertise would not lead to effective teamwork which could have a negative impact on patient outcomes.

Communication

Communication is one of the primary domains which involve courtesy, respect, listening carefully, and explained concepts clearly. Communication is crucial between all members; members must communicate openly with honesty on all ends since withholding the truth could damage the team’s integrity. An effective team is one where the team members, including the patients, communicate with each other, as well as merging their observations, expertise, and decision-making responsibilities to optimize patients’ care.

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Interprofessional communication builds trust and understanding, and be improved by using standardized communication tools by improving in structure and content of handover, confidence in communication skills which leads to better person-centered health outcomes. “The notions of interprofessional education and interprofessional teamwork have attained widespread acceptance, partly because lack of teamwork has been tentatively linked to adverse incidents in healthcare. By analyzing data from 32 educational institutions, this study identifies the status of interprofessional teamwork in all nursing and medical education in Norway. They stressed that elements of interprofessional teamwork include responsibility, communication, cooperation, autonomy, accountability, assertiveness, mutual trust, and respect.” Aase, I., Aase, K., & Dieckmann, P. (2013). Strategic communication is needed to enable team members to work together to make informed, collaborative, and responsive health care decisions. Proper communication is incredibly important as there will always be competing viewpoints and conflicting ideas, but with proper communication strategies, issues can be approached in a way that ensures everyone’s output is considered and that things run smoothly. Communication across disciplines, care providers and the patient and their family, is essential in setting the goals that most accurately reflect the person’s desires and needs.

Team- Building

In the health care environment, all the members of the interdisciplinary and interprofessional team play a role of vital importance in collaborative patient care. The team-building approach is a successful method to positively impact patient outcomes. “Nursing homes deal with an increasing workload due to the rising number of elderly people, financial difficulties, understaffing, increased complexity of care, and higher expectations regarding the quality of care. Excessive workload is associated with undesirable outcomes” Buljac-Samardžić, M., & Woerkom, M. V. (2018). The workload can cause burnouts which affects the working efficiency of nurses which leads to adverse effects on patient’s safety. “Scholastic et al. Showed that workload has a negative effect on the nurse-perceived quality of care and patient safety and several studies show that the workload of nurses has an adverse effect on patient safety issues such as infections, patient falls, medication errors, and patient mortality. ” Buljac-Samardžić, M., & Woerkom, M. V. (2018). Teamwork helps to divide the workload and provide quality and safe care to patients. Physicians, Pharmacist, bedside nurses, dietician together focus on medical concerns such as maintain a diet plan, solving complicated cases, checking patient’s physical and mental status.

The care team should work together in an interdisciplinary approach to organize a care plan and meet the patient’s goals of care. Each and every member of health care has their own role in providing the highest quality of patient-centered care. Team building can be achieved by making sure team members have clear goals and understanding of their roles and responsibilities. Creativity and commitment towards mutual goals could lead to the overall effectiveness of teamwork along with holding team meetings for improvements by creative ideas and alternative perspectives.

Leadership

Effective leadership is one of the integral components of the health care system to ensure safe and highest quality care. The leader has to face various challenges due to changing expectations and demands. Effective leadership plays an important role in reducing staff burnout and the high absenteeism among nurses by ensuring adequate staffing levels and allocating appropriate workloads to nurses (Duffield et al., 2008). Leaders have to solve several problems by critically thinking on it and their decisions have consequences that had a great impact on patients’ lives. Hence, it is very essential that leaders are trained and know their competencies while taking decisions as being a leader is crucial in the healthcare profession by critically thinking and making appropriate decisions. Dysfunctional teams that lack cohesion inhibit work performance, reduce productivity, increase group conflict, decrease job satisfaction and contribute to increased staff absenteeism (Carver & Candela, 2008; Duffield et al., 2008). The leader is a building block of an effective team. Effective teamwork can be achieved only if the leader has some of the characteristics to lead the team such as lifelong learner, open to new ideas, knowledgeable, competent attitude, and must know how to get best from its team members’ strengths and weaknesses. The leader must have motivating behavior, should communicate clearly and empathic attitude these are some of the key points which are crucial for team success.

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