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Effective Professional Teamwork in Healthcare


The witnessed complication of health care services and the call for providing specialized medical attention have played a huge role in triggering the need for effective teamwork. As a member of a clinical team, I have had the opportunity to interact with my colleagues in the course of serving patients. From the experience gained, proper communication and appreciating the culture of a particular healthcare facility contribute towards constructive teamwork characterized by the realization of outcomes expected for patients and agencies. However, conditions such as the existence of ambiguous duties and the failure to avail crucial medical information whenever it is required have been found to hamper patients, nurses, and medical practitioners’ desire to work as a team.

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An Effective Team

In an article by Babiker et al. (2014), an efficient team is characterized by proper communication whereby all involved individuals, including nurses and patients, focus on ensuring that any information relayed is comprehensible. Effective communication enhances healthcare delivery because patients and their families understand the significance of all procedures intended to be undertaken, hence giving nurses and medical practitioners an easy time during the treatment process.

Currently, it is almost impractical for a single health officer to serve one patient successfully due to the complexity of diseases. Based on my experience as a clinical officer, it is possible to find a neurosurgeon, an orthopedic doctor, and a dentist working as a team. In this case, according to Babiker et al. (2014), proper communication of the underlying shared responsibilities results in the realization of effective team-based care.

The study by Körner, Wirtz, Bengel, and Göritz (2015) presents organizational culture and teamwork as two elements that operate jointly to boost nurses, patients, health officers’ satisfaction with their work. Hence, understanding the culture of a particular healthcare facility encourages members of a clinical team to offer quality services that contribute to the contentment of all involved people, including patients. According to Ghorbanhosseini (2013), teamwork should be made part of organizational culture because its effectiveness has been found to enhance members’ commitment to the set goals and objectives. In the healthcare sector, clinical officers share the belief that working jointly improves the effectiveness of their respective teams.

Particularly, nurses and doctors who embrace collaboration guarantee patients of speedy service delivery that is characterized by the provision of timely and inclusive medical procedures. Consequently, creating an organizational culture of solidarity in healthcare facilities improves members’ dedication to their work, which, consequently, results in an effective team. Collaboration is regarded as efficient if efforts by members of a clinical team lead to reduced cases of fatalities and negligible conflicts among the people involved, including the respective families. This outcome is only achievable in healthcare centers that have integrated teamwork into their organizational culture. Nonetheless, some situations hinder the effectiveness of a team.

Issues that Interfere with the Effectiveness of a Team

It is crucial to note that members of a clinical team perform different tasks, although the overall goal entails ensuring patients’ safety, recovery, and the realization of other anticipated health outcomes. Nevertheless, it has been difficult for such a team to work together, especially when duties allocated to the respective individuals are ambiguous. According to Panari et al. (2016), “occupational boundaries between nurses and health care providers are becoming weak: an uncertain role can cause organizational conflicts and chaos” (p. 50).

These authors present low performance and the possibility of medical errors as issues that may be witnessed when members of a clinical team do not have clear tasks to perform in their respective medical facilities (Panari et al., 2016). An ineffective team compromises patients’ safety because any errors arising from the earlier mentioned chaos and conflicts subjects the recipients of healthcare to risks such as wrong prescriptions or erroneous procedures.

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Besides, a team where members are not sure of what is expected of each one of them due to the unclear nature of instructions is bound to fail. Panari et al. (2016) mention the dissatisfaction of members as a key force that triggers their desire to quit the team and, consequently, the health agency.

Time is an essential factor to consider when handling a patient. Any delay in conducting a particular medical procedure may be fatal. The idea of working as a team when serving a single patient is aimed at ensuring that crucial information and tools are availed immediately they are needed. However, in some cases, members of a clinical team find it hard to work collaboratively when some individuals fail to offer appropriate services or details that are expected to facilitate service delivery. According to Hamric, Hanson, Tracy, and O’Grady (2013), delayed provision of the required information and failing to conduct the required procedures due to some uncooperative team members is among the triggers of conflicts witnessed among teams in the healthcare sector.


Teamwork is an essential aspect embraced by many organizations not only in the healthcare sector but also in other industries. Companies that advocate for teamwork expect to record high productivity and profitability levels because of the associated sharing of ideas and better decision-making. In the healthcare industry, operating collaboratively boosts patients’ safety because all involved officials, including nurses and medical practitioners, contribute towards their speedy recovery. Proper communication and understanding of the prevailing organizational culture enhance the effectiveness of a team. However, unclear duties and delayed instructions make it problematic for team members to work together.


Babiker, A., El Husseini, M., Al Nemri, A., Al Frayh, A., Al Juryyan, N., Faki, M. O., … Al Zamil, F. (2014). Health care professional development: Working as a team to improve patient care. Sudanese Journal of Pediatrics, 14(2), 9-16.

Ghorbanhosseini, M. (2013). The effect of organizational culture, teamwork and organizational development on organizational commitment: The mediating role of human capital. Technical Gazette, 10(6), 1019-1025.

Hamric, A. B., Hanson, C. M., Tracy, M. F., & O’Grady, E. T. (2013). Advanced practice nursing: An integrative approach (5th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Saunders.

Körner, M., Wirtz, M. A., Bengel, J., & Göritz, A. S. (2015). Relationship of organizational culture, teamwork and job satisfaction in interprofessional teams. BMC Health Services Research, 15, 243. Web.

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Panari, C., Levati, W., Bonini, A., Tonelli, M., Alfieri, E., & Artioli, G. (2016). The ambiguous role of healthcare providers: A new perspective in human resources management. Acta Biomed for Health Professions, 87(2), 49-60.

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