Teamwork in Healthcare

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Introduction

The human body is one of the most complex, fascinating structures, which relies on the ability of all of its systems to function on a steady, ongoing basis. The various systems of the human body must work together to ensure the proper function so one may live. Just as these bodily systems exhibit the teamwork needed to keep the human body moving and alive, the same notion can be applied to an actual healthcare setting, with the idea that no one system, or person for this matter, can completely get the job done. When one system is malfunctioning, or even worse, fails, it affects others negatively. Teamwork is inevitable.

Teamwork is necessary for patient care in the healthcare industry hence leading to the improvement of the quality of patient care. When a patient is hospitalized, teamwork between the nurse and physician attending to the patients needs is paramount. When a physician orders for patient intervention, it is the responsibility of the therapist or nurses to carry out these orders. The speech therapists, respiratory therapists, and physical therapists must work together and communicate the patient’s test results effectively so that they can administer correct diagnosis (Buchbinder & Shanks, 2011). Furthermore, nurses and physicians need to communicate to each other on any improvement or deterioration of the patient’s health. If there is a strong relationship between the physician and the respiratory therapist, then the respiratory therapist could make appropriate recommendations to the therapist on the ventilation setting that would be most suitable for the patient. The decision on effective weaning of a patient depends on proper teamwork and communication. If a multidisciplinary team that properly manages the patient receiving mechanical ventilation will be concerned about his/her weaning process by applying standardized protocols, then the patient will be extubated in two days or less (Sorbero, 2008). Teamwork is also necessary to attend to patients who are above 80 years. This is because these patients need a lot of care in order to improve their health condition since most of them are frail. The hospital needs to take care of their acute needs. It may need to seek for outside help from nutritionist so that it can improve the diet of the patient. Furthermore, the physician may need the help of a physical therapist to assist the patient to move. Teamwork is important since it improves the quality of prenatal safety. Most hospitals experience emergency caesarean section, placental abruption, massive maternal hemorrhage, and shoulder dystocia on pregnant patients. If the healthcare practitioners do not have proper teamwork, then it is possible that the healthcare facility will experience an increase in mortality rate due to the death of pregnant mothers. If a nurse experiences a case of low risk parturient, it is necessary that he/she informs the doctor, so that the doctor can address the problem before it becomes serious. Teamwork has also improved the quality of patient transfer between healthcare facilities. Most of the patients undergoing transfer arrive at their respective facilities at night. If there were no proper teamwork between the psychologists, nurses and the physicians, then medication such as antibiotics, anticoagulants and analgesics would not be administered to the patient on time (Sorensen & Ledema, 2008). If teamwork between the two facilities conducting the patient transfer is adopted, then the facility receiving the patient would have been informed of the patient’s health records and diagnosis; thus, it would be ready to receive the patient hence improving the quality of patient care. Teamwork in healthcare facilities improves the quality of preoperative briefings. It is necessary for the surgeons, anesthetists, operating room nurses and technicians to have strong relationships so that they can improve the quality of surgery (Mitchell & Flin, 2009). The surgeon needs to tell anesthetist about the condition of the patient so that he/she can administers the medication. The nurse needs to answer to all the pager calls of the surgeon when the surgeon requires assistance.

Teamwork between the pharmacist and physician is necessary in healthcare industry in order to improve the quality of diagnosis and treatment of patients. A pharmacist is supposed to correct the physician when he administers wrong medication to a patient. In addition to this, he advises the doctor on which type of medication to administer to a patient if the doctor is in a dilemma. He also reminds the doctor if he/she forgets to give a certain diagnosis to a patient. He also gives a report to the doctor on the history of medication that he/she administered to a certain patient (Johnson, 2009). All these factors require the physician and the pharmacist to have a good relationship in order to improve the quality of patient treatment. Pharmacists also give doctors new information on the development of safer and cost effective drugs that are available in the market. For the pharmacist to provide this information to the physician, there need to be strong teamwork between them. In some cases, physician advises the pharmacist on the hospitals that he/she should supply with his/her services. Pharmacists also advise the physicians taking care on elderly patients on the medication that would be appropriate considering their allergies, contraindications, and ways of avoiding overmedication (Sorensen & Ledema, 2008). Teamwork between nurses and physician is also important in order to improve patient diagnosis and treatment. In the past, doctors seemed to be dominating the diagnosis and treatment of patient since they gave orders to the nurses. Nurses were considered as the handmaids of physicians, and it was perceived that nursing was a female profession. Lately, this has changed, and there are female physicians. Due to this, the teamwork between nurses and physicians has improved, leading to improvement in diagnosis and treatment of patients. Nurses monitor whether the treatment that a particular physician offered to a patient is working. They do this by monitoring whether the vital signs of a particular patient are improving after the physician administers a certain treatment (Sorbero, 2008). This improves quality of diagnosis and treatment of patients in a healthcare facility. In addition to this, physician needs to collaborate well with the nurse so that the nurse can give the patient all the dosage that he/she requires for effective treatment.

Teamwork between social workers and physicians is necessary in order to ensure the quality of activities in the healthcare industry that are run. This collaboration depends on how equality is achieved on joint activities between social workers and physicians; if they have mutual respect for each other and if they understand their respective roles (Buchbinder & Shanks, 2011). Their attitude on teamwork exists along a continuum from the traditional hierarchical interactions through transformational partnership. If a strong teamwork exists between physicians and social workers, then physicians will have little interest in the psychosocial factors and thus they will trust social workers in performing their duties.  Meanwhile, social workers would accept physicians to control their activities and limit their interventions. Therefore, physicians would be comfortable in accepting and appreciating the way social workers handle psychosocial issues and how they make discharge and placement decisions. In return, social workers would offer consultancy advice and their opinions that would assist physicians in making quality decisions (Dinka & Clark, 2000). Tension between social workers and physicians are common if the two do not act together. This is because it is likely for them to have different opinions about important aspects of their collaboration. Physicians mostly emphasize on how competent a particular social worker is. In contrast, social workers emphasize on the quality of their interaction with a physician. Another factor that contributes to their conflict is that social workers undergo their training through the biopsychosocial model of care; physicians undergo their training through the biomedical model (Mitchell & Flin, 2009). Furthermore, physicians have power and they feel that their status is high; thus, in some instances, they do not see the need to have a teamwork relationship with social workers. In order to achieve strong teamwork, social workers should emphasize their ability of providing important services that will help a physician to take care of his/her patients. Social workers are important in improving the quality of healthcare activities since they help physicians to understand physiological, cultural and emotional factors that affect the delivery of medical services.

Teamwork between different healthcare facilities in forming shared governance is necessary in the healthcare industry since it leads to the improvement of the quality of healthcare services. An example of this teamwork can be shown where different hospitals join and form a specialized professional body. This form of teamwork is necessary since this professional body will set rules and policies that every healthcare provider in the industry must follow. If they form this body, the facilities will have a chance of self regulating their activities and participate in decision making issues in the healthcare industry (Johnson, 2009). In addition to this, each healthcare facility will have the authority of electing its members in the committee of this professional body; this will promote unity among the industry. Furthermore, it is necessary to have teamwork between different healthcare facilities since it helps them support each other in times of a disaster. Example of a disaster that may affect a healthcare facility is a shortage of hospital beds for admitting patients. If this facility had a good relationship with other healthcare providers, then it is likely that they will supply it with beds for admitting new patients. A facility may also have a shortage of drug supply for treating its patients; so other healthcare providers could offer to provide such facility with drugs. Through teamwork between the various healthcare providers in the industry, the quality of patient care, treatment diagnosis, and healthcare profession will improve. This is because when they form one body of governance, they will set rules that must be observed by all the members of this body. These rules will ensure all patients are given maximum care while they are admitted to these hospitals. In addition to this, it will ensure that patients are given the correct treatment hence reducing the mortality rates (Buchbinder & Shanks, 2011). Furthermore, this body will set rules that will help in ensuring that all doctors are held accountable for their actions such as wrong diagnosis and overdosing the patients. By forming one body, the healthcare facilities will fight for violation of their rights as a unit, and this will ensure that people listen to their demands. The quality of healthcare industry will also improve through this teamwork since the other facilities may offer financial assistance to a facility that needs to upgrade its system.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is evident that teamwork is necessary in the healthcare industry since it helps in improvement of the quality of the healthcare. It is necessary for nurses, physicians and therapists to work as a team in order to improve patient care. If they collaborate their efforts, the hospitalized patients will be diagnosed properly and improve in their health. Teamwork between the pharmacists, nurses and physicians ensure that patient diagnosis and treatment improves. This is because pharmacists will advise physicians in situations when they administer wrong treatment or dosage. Through this, the mortality rates will reduce. Teamwork between social workers and physicians help to ensure that hospital activities are run efficiently without conflicts. By having clear defined roles, the facility will run efficiently hence ensuring that the facility concentrates on the patients. Lastly, teamwork between different healthcare facilities ensures that they form common rules and policies that will govern their operations.

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