Example of Multidisciplinary Collaboration
Multidisciplinary collaboration implies the involvement of many professionals who focus on a set of issues and goals (Persily, 2013). Physicians, nurses, social workers, other healthcare professionals often collaborate to provide high-quality care to patients. During my pediatric clinical rotation, I was involved in this type of collaboration. I was a member of a team that consisted of different healthcare professionals. The teamwork was not effective in all aspects. For instance, I noticed that the involvement of the social worker was very limited and sometimes absent at all. The hierarchy of the teams was rather rigid, and the physician played the central role. It is noteworthy that nursing professionals were active members of the team. However, this kind of approach is not as effective as communication and the process of sharing ideas is confined to the delivery of the care plan developed by one healthcare professional (Hickey, 2012). I felt that some professionals could contribute significantly to the development and implementation of the care plan, but they never tried to take a more active part in the discussion.
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How Multidisciplinary and Family Collaboration Affects Patient Outcomes
It has been acknowledged that multidisciplinary and family collaboration has a considerable positive effect on patient outcomes due to the availability of the most relevant details concerning the patient (Riley, 2015). Clearly, professionals of different disciplines can share their experiences and come up with a proper care plan. However, family members can provide information that will help healthcare professionals to make the plan as effective as possible. An example of the value of the collaboration between healthcare professionals and family member involves cultural and emotional aspects. The care plan had been developed when a nurse who was a member of our team mentioned that we had missed an important cultural point. The patient was Hispanic so he and his family had a specific view concerning the healthy lifestyle and diet, which could jeopardize the implementation of the care plan. The nursing professional approached the family and informed them about certain dietary and lifestyle changes that were essential for the patient’s health.
Promoting Communication and Collaboration
During my pediatric clinical rotation, I found myself in the teams that followed the policies existing in the facility without any attempts to change anything. I was mainly dissatisfied with the flaws in the communication between healthcare professionals and the family or caregivers. In the majority of cases, the family received the information during their visits. I suggested the use of some social networks to notify family members and receive some feedback. Arnold and Boggs (2015) state that the use of technology has become an indispensable part of nurses’ daily clinical routine. The use of different communication channels is also becoming a norm in many healthcare facilities. The cases when social networks were used were quite remarkable as family members and caregivers tended to be more active and collaborative. The benefits of using several communication channels inspired some healthcare professionals to initiate the discussion concerning certain changes to the facilities’ policy.
Collaboration Among Health Care Professionals and Family Members
Efficient communication between different stakeholders (healthcare professionals, parents, family, caregivers, and so on) has proven to positively affect patient outcomes and satisfaction (Milic et al., 2015). Clearly, when the patient receives high-quality services, as well as emotional and psychological support, they are satisfied. The use of technology is associated with improved patient satisfaction as well. For instance, apart from obvious clinical benefits, we managed to make patients feel at home through the discussion of the patients’ needs and wants. I sometimes asked to bring a specific toy or book that helped the little patient become more collaborative and happy. Besides, there was a certain decrease in the number of scenes that involved arguments between family members and healthcare professionals. The positive attitude and understanding that characterized the communication between healthcare professionals and family members contributed to patient satisfaction.
Barriers to Collaboration Among Health Care Professionals, Patients, and Families
Some of the most widespread barriers are associated with cultural and linguistic differences. Persily (2013) claims that the diversity of American society calls for more diverse healthcare staff. For instance, nurses are often unable to understand patients’ accounts concerning their symptoms, their health history, their needs, etc. The lack of understanding can lead to delays in the development of an effective care plan or delivery of healthcare services. Apart from these barriers, Aragona et al. (2016) state that nurses’ unwillingness to take an active part in the communication and collaboration between healthcare professionals and patients’ family members is a significant barrier. I noticed that many nurses in the facility were reluctant to communicate with family members or physicians. I believe this unwillingness is due to certain personal features and in rare cases the lack of time and overload. At that, I was glad that all nurses tried to spend as much time as possible communicating with patients as children need this very much.
Aragona, E., Ponce-Rios, J., Garg, P., Aquino, J., Winer, J., & Schainker, E. (2016). A quality improvement project to increase nurse attendance on pediatric family centered rounds. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 31(1), e3-e9.
Arnold, E., & Boggs, K. (2015). Interpersonal relationships: Professional communication skills for nurses (7th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Health Sciences.
Hickey, J. V. (2012). Evaluating health care teams. In A. A. Krugman & F. D. Kempe (Eds.), Evaluation of healthcare quality in advanced practice nursing (pp. 177-209). New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.
Milic, M., Puntillo, K., Turner, K., Joseph, D., Peters, N., Ryan, R., … Anderson, W. (2015). Communicating with patients’ families and physicians about prognosis and goals of care. American Journal of Critical Care, 24(4), e56-e64.
Persily, C. (2013). Team leadership and partnering in nursing and health care. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.
Riley, J. B. (2015). Communication in nursing (8th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Health Sciences.