Teamwork and Collaboration in Nursing
Teamwork and collaboration alter the roles of health providers. Besides, the competence affects nursing education, research and practice. Physicians are encouraged to consider the views of nurses while making decisions about patient care. Nurses receive more autonomy but their responsibilities also increase. The paper will define the competence, which allows analyzing its implications in nursing more objectively. Besides, there will a discussion of the importance of teamwork and collaboration in providing care. Another significant aspect is influence of the competence on working environment. Teamwork and collaboration improve nursing education and research, which leads to enhancing the quality of care, patient satisfaction and organizational outcomes.
Overview of Teamwork and Collaboration
Definition of the Competency
The collaboration is defined as mutual decision-making process, which means that all team members have the same objectives and take responsibility for outcomes of the care delivered. Collaboration is characterized by the high level of trust between the team members (Sollami, Caricati, & Sarli, 2015). They also can communicate without any obstacles. For example, nurses can openly express their ideas about a patient treatment and, thus, participate in making decisions concerning patient care. Everyone knows and respects the role of each other. Besides, team members are expected to work in non-hierarchical manner (Sollami et al., 2015). Therefore, collaboration and teamwork mean that all team members can make equal contributions to healthcare delivery.
In addition, teamwork and collaboration are associated with a long list of skills, knowledge and approaches. First, each team member knows own strengths, weaknesses and values as well as able to create plan for addressing his or her weaknesses and can demonstrate awareness of own capabilities. Everyone respects other views and understands the importance of collaboration. Second, each health provider knows roles of team members and can perform own roles properly. He or she values the views and expertise of all team members. Third, health providers see the differences in communication styles of other people and can adapt their communication styles to the situation. They value teamwork and various communication styles as well as participate in solving conflicts. Besides, they realize the impact of teamwork on safety and quality of healthcare and are able to reduce risks through applying proper communication practices. Finally, everyone describes barriers preventing from effective team work and participates in developing solutions for addressing these issues. They also value solutions used for improving the work of team. Therefore, teamwork and collaboration means that all team members have appropriate skills and knowledge, apply these skills and knowledge in practice as well as value efforts of others.
Teamwork and collaboration have implications in nursing-related education, practice and research. In particular, educational institutions attempt to provide interprofessional learning (IPL). IPL means that the future nurses learn not only their disciplines but also disciplines of their future colleagues, which leads to improving teamwork and collaboration (Hood, Cant, Leech, Baulch, & Gilbee, 2014). For example, nurses report that they have greater autonomy during developing care plans and making decisions. This aspect is particularly common for nursing students, which allows them to practice the roles of decision-makers. Besides, IPL helps nursing students understand their role and images of other professions (Hood et al., 2014). They also have wide opportunities for improving their skills of interacting with other health providers. For example, nurses learn to communicate confidently with physicians. Overall, understanding the importance of teamwork and collaboration has forced to educational institutions to change their approaches to training students; particularly, they try to provide opportunities for interacting learners with different specializations.
The implications of the competence in nursing practice are also significant. Thus, it has led to modifying the distribution of the roles within a team. For example, the power of physicians over nurses has been declining and they have lost their role of the only decision-makers. Despite the fact that benefits of the competence are obvious, there are still some obstacles preventing effective collaboration. First, nurses and physicians have different attitude to collaboration. Particularly, nurses are more positive about the changes than their colleagues (Sollami et al., 2015). Moreover, physicians have some resistance against effective collaboration. These negative trends are explained by differences in understanding of existing collaboration (Sollami et al., 2015). Nurses consider collaboration as a means for increasing their professional autonomy, and they seem to believe that it is a lack for them today. Physicians are sure that effective collaboration already exists. Nevertheless, the introducing of IPL is expected to remove the barriers to the competence.
The increase of teamwork and collaboration has also led to appearing more opportunities and directions for nursing research. In particular, allowing nurses to participate in decision-making process regarding patient care has expanded their access to medical data. For example, they can observe more factors affecting health outcomes, which might serve the starting point for new studies. Moreover, nurses are encouraged to conduct their own research in order to improve the quality of healthcare. Rising autonomy has helped nurses to feel their responsibility for lives of their patients so that are becoming more active in making investigations. In addition, nurses frequently have more interactions with patients than physicians, so that they can notice some important details, which might need a deep analysis.
Importance of Introduction of the Competence
The analysis of implications of teamwork and collaboration in nursing demonstrates that introduction of the competence is important. First, it enhances the quality of healthcare services due to intensified nursing research, expanding the amount of perspectives and views and introducing of IPL. Nurses become equal partners to physicians; therefore, patients receive more attention and care. Second, the competence is also valuable for an organization because empowered nurses demonstrate higher productivity and motivation. Finally, the competence is important for nurses and physicians themselves. Physicians can share their responsibilities with nurses, which reduces pressure on them. Nurses can understand that they are as valuable team members as other health providers. This fact can motivate nurses for professional development. However, the resistance of physicians creates some obstacles for effective collaboration. Altering of their attitudes would lead to better outcomes.
The Influence of the Competence on Working Environment
Teamwork and collaboration has a positive impact on working environment. It enhances “care deliveries and organizational” (Sollami et al., 2015) results. Thus, the competence leads to improving the quality of care, health results and reduces mortality rates. Still, poor collaboration has a negative influence on health outcomes and quality of care, which causes low satisfaction among health providers and high staff turnover rate (Sollami et al., 2015). Besides, introducing the competence affects patient satisfaction. Patients appreciate the improvement of actual health outcomes rather than some technical processes (Aaronson et al., 2013). For example, they pay particular attention to mortality rates. Therefore, improving health results due to teamwork and collaboration makes patients choose a hospital that has better outcomes in this area, which is positive for working environment.
In conclusion, teamwork and collaboration increase the autonomy of nurses and provide them with the opportunities for participating in decision-making process. The team members share objectives and responsibilities. The most significant positive influence of the competence is enhancing the quality of care. Besides, it affects nursing education. Educational institutions start to use interdisciplinary learning for students to have a better understanding about the roles of various team members and become more motivated to contribute to delivery of care. Nursing research is also affected because collaboration provides more ideas and opportunities for studies.
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Hood, K., Cant, R., Leech, M., Baulch, J., & Gilbee, A. (2014). Trying on the professional self: Nursing students’ perceptions of learning about roles, identity and teamwork in an interprofessional clinical placement. Applied Nursing Research, 27(2), 109-114
Sollami, A., Caricati, L., & Sarli, L. (2015). Nurse-physician collaboration: A meta-analytical investigation of survey scores. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 29(3), 223-229.