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Collaboration and teamwork characterize my experiences as a member of a clinical team. My clinical team has always insisted on the continuum of care, which tends to inform our collaboration with other specialists. For instance, general practitioners work with experts to discuss diagnosis and the analysis leading to a specific diagnosis. When patients need interdisciplinary treatment, physicians work with nurses, physical therapists, social workers, parents, and other stakeholders. Such involvement inspires teamwork as members also talk about diagnosis, symptoms, measurements of vitals, and analysis. These conversations reveal the procedural plan to facilitate a smooth transition from one phase of treatment to another.
During COVID-19, my clinical team has been cautious and committed to procedures that reduce the likelihood of virus infection for professionals who attend to incoming patients. The fear of producing suboptimal outcomes drives my team members to avoid pride, ignorance, and neglect. According to Rosen et al. (2018), ineffective care coordination and underlying suboptimal teamwork processes are fundamental public health issues, and complex healthcare providers should demonstrate high-quality care to navigate regulatory and dynamic policy environments and exceed expectations concerning disciplinary, technical, organizational, and cultural boundaries (Rosen et al., 2018). Often, my clinical team members debate within the team, the wider department, or organizational level settings to determine whether they have adhered to proper clinical, procedural, technical, dissemination, and patient education procedures.
My clinical team has often focused on member satisfaction through open communication, sharing, and member welfare improvement. Regular welfare meetings or small welfare-related debates during review processes help to assess members’ satisfaction in services and roles. Open communication helps us to discover and share feelings relating to the loss of patients, challenges with maintaining work-life balance, and unmet clinical and financial goals. Open communication goes hand-in-hand with collaboration and task-driven leadership and facilitates multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary collaboration (Blair, 2015). I have sometimes shared problems relating to slow clinical outcomes and difficult patients. My friends have talked about their workplace recognition when they suggested processes that optimized resource use after they successfully overcame resource-related personal problems. Thus, individuals can use their personal experiences to transform clinical experiences and vice versa.
Teams face numerous challenges that affect their effectiveness. Challenges include strict procedural rules which reduce creativity and the likelihood of sharing opinions for healthcare delivery improvements. Healthcare professionals might also face a high hierarchy level as more educated team members with senior leadership roles or higher clinical responsibilities look down on nurses, cleaning staff, emergency nurses, physician assistants, and administrative staff in the group. Moreover, teams may suffer a low collaboration level with people who are not involved in the medical profession. For instance, physicians might not involve physical therapists, mental health professionals, social workers, and other staff, patients often need holistic care.
Some healthcare professionals are not trained to collaborate with others outside their departments. For example, physicians might be content to work with pharmacists and other professionals but fail to incorporate nonmedical assistance in the care of their clients who need it. Collaboration has numerous benefits, including promoting the quality of care, patient engagement, and safety, perception of recognition and empowerment, inclusive communication, process improvement, and low staff absenteeism (Morley & Cashell, 2017). All healthcare professionals need education and opportunities for transforming care through collaboration and teamwork. Improvements in electronic records systems can capture interdisciplinary involvement. There are other ways to improve the structural determinants of collaboration. Stakeholders must also address psychological and educational determinants to improve willingness and ability to collaborate.
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