Inadequate communication between professionals of the healthcare team often leads to errors and adverse events that adversely affect the patient and the healthcare team. Effective collaboration and communication are essential to improve the healthcare system quality and reduce the errors associated with risk. Interprofessional learning by nursing students has been approved by the World Health Organization as an effective collaboration and communication strategy to improve patient outcomes.
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In order to provide safe and high-quality health care for the patients, the care professionals should have an understanding of effective interprofessional communication. Focusing on the communication between health care providers helps to improve the quality and safety of the health care system (Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, 2017). It is considered that quality communication is not well identified at the National Health Service as one of the three most common causes of complaints. Undergraduate health education should be logically focused on strengthening student skills and self-confidence in professional communication and teamwork.
Communication between professionals occurs when medical professionals speak openly, cooperatively, and responsibly with each other, with patients and their families, and with the broader community. Patients, their relatives, and service providers benefit from this form of communication to promote trust and respect. Concern contributes to a positive environment in which common goals, joint strategies, decisions, and responsibilities can be established.
While working as a nursing student at the clinic, I experienced examples of communication and teamwork between professionals. The story involved a patient in the kidney ward who has been on dialysis for some time and has reached the stage of treatment considering discontinuing treatment. The patient lives in a small town and has to go to a large local hospital for treatment. In addition to numerous nephrology medical professionals, he was supported by a group of people that included patients, indigenous liaisons, family members, and members of his community. The patient needed a specific approach to the treatment, and the issue was discussed between several medical professionals.
In order to come up with the most effective treatment, the surgeon, kidney ward professionals, and nurses were involved. They have discussed the possible outcomes and effects of withdrawal from dialysis. The surgeon had the main role because he was responsible for the possible operation, the kidney ward professionals were responsible for the general state and medical information about the patient and the nurses were responsible for creating facilities for the patient. While collaborating, each of the members emphasized their professional are knowledge, and by combining each one’s perspective on the situation, an effective decision was made. If I was in such a situation, I would only use my area knowledge as well, since that is the purpose of the collaboration, to exchange and efficiently combine data. As a result of the interprofessional communication and the collaboration between team members, the patient had received the treatment and had handled the operation on the kidney. He was provided with high-quality care and all the facilities needed even though he lived far from the hospital.
Transparent and honest interactions are essential for respectful communication between professionals. This communication helps to demonstrate and develop trust between workers and patients. All team members are taking various steps to support good communication between professionals. First and foremost, professionals should actively listen to and observe nonverbal communication. The next step is to agree to a treatment program and use information and communication technology effectively. Finally, they must determine whether the method of negotiation, consultation, involvement, discussion, or debate is more effective. Expert dialogue promotes trust and understanding and leads to improved patient-centric results. It was highly useful for me to be able to experience an example of teamwork between experts at the clinic. I believe that in my future career, I will need skills that are required for effective interprofessional communication. From experience, I have learned that while interacting with other professionals, patients, and the patients’ family members, their trust and knowledge of the basic interprofessional communication principles are essential. I am looking forward to implementing the information I have acquired in practice.
Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. 2017. Annual Report 2016–17. ACSQHC, Sydney. Web.
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