Teamwork and collaborations are essential for professional health care and nursing. These concepts are concerned with such tasks as collective planning, decision-making, problem-solving, goal-setting, taking responsibility, effort coordination, sharing of knowledge and skills, as well as establishing effective communication. The importance of collaboration in professional nursing is determined by its ultimate goal: enhancing health care quality and the patients’ results. This paper will examine the components of collaboration and teamwork in nursing and health care.
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Shared Governance as Key Component of Collaboration
Shared governance is one of the fundamental components of collaboration. It allows nurses and other practitioners to take part in the decision-making process. This ability is especially important when the decisions have an influence over the practice (Fewster-Thuente, 2015). To facilitate such collaboration, an institutional nursing committee should be established. Its goal would be to create open discussion, identify and set priorities, as well as provide collective goal-reaching. Subsequently, these committees can be subdivided into units to promote decision-making and reduce the isolation of individual practitioners.
Multidisciplinary meetings could be held as a means of knowledge and skill sharing, as well as establishing effective interaction to increase collaboration. However, this process might encounter an issue of excess merging. It occurs when teams and units become overly consolidated which makes them unable to acquire new knowledge and skills from other groups. Such teams focus on themselves and subsequently their productivity stagnates. To prevent such issues and improve collaborative skills of a team, it might be important to invest in coaching and training. This way a team can learn to collaborate on the spot to improve the quality of health care (Hood, 2014).
Constructive Skills of Conflict Solving as a Balancer of Collaboration
Nursing is a stressful occupation that can lead to a buildup of negative emotions and eventual burnout. A centered approach to self-assessment of nurses’ and physicians’ skills, strengths, and weak points can be used as a tool for controlling negativity and converting it into positivity. Similarly, learning to detect, estimate and accept cognitive diversity can help identify the strengths and weaknesses of a team (Fewster-Thuente, 2015). Teams consist of individuals with unique perspectives, thus to create an optimal consensus critical thinking should be utilized. By analyzing the requirements of the task, and the presented perspectives, an optimal solution might be reached (Hood, 2014).
Unfortunately, the difference in perspective can lead to conflicts within the team. A few techniques and skills exist to solve such situations. One of the primary ones lies in listening and observation. It helps enhance the dialog and put it on the track to the solution. The skill of negotiation is highly important because it leads to a compromise during a conflict. Another technique is the establishment of an informal hierarchy based on a shared power system. People who are respected due to their knowledge, good will and expertise are more likely to stop a conflict in such hierarchy. Sometimes additional perspective is required to resolve a conflict, which can be achieved through conceptual and contextual examination of its issues. And finally, learning to time-manage helps to establish effective conversations both in the informal setting and under pressing conditions (Hood, 2014).
Collaboration requires a variety of skills, as well as a considerable investment in coaching and training of the staff. To establish effective collaboration an organizational atmosphere analysis is required as well as clear goal-setting to provide the staff with the most optimal training programs. Collaboration and teamwork facilitate trust and improve health care quality in diverse settings, conditions, and participants.
Fewster-Thuente, L. (2015). Working together toward a common goal: A grounded theory of nurse physician collaboration. MEDSURG Nursing, 24(5), 356-362.
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Hood, L. J. (2014). Leddy & Pepper’s conceptual bases of professional nursing (8th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.