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Teamwork and Collaboration in Healthcare

Successful health outcomes are best attained when there are teamwork and collaboration among the individuals involved. It entails the passage of correct information across health professionals, consultations on best care practices, and sharing responsibilities to ensure quality service and optimal health outcomes. The paper, thereby, seeks to discuss some of the differences and similarities that one would expect to find in different nursing units as clinical practice is inhibited by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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In the current wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, nursing departments are working in collaboration to ensure there are no hospital-acquired infections, and adequate efforts to control the spread of the pandemic are underway. As a result, information sharing and reinforcing on prevention strategies, as well as providing the needed resources like face masks and sanitizers, are eminent on every floor to control the rate of COVID-19 infection. However, depending on the nature of patients, the intensity varies because collaboration is required more in critical units.

Caring for a patient usually requires teamwork and collaboration due to the various interfaces and handoffs involved during the care process. During these instances, there is a need for relaying effective communication. Even during the current COVID times, the passage of information accurately and in time is paramount, and this becomes plausible through teamwork and collaboration. Nurses will work across the different nursing units in a hospital, and this enables them to understand the care processes of each floor and how the various departments are interrelated (O’Daniel & Rosenstein, 2008). Thereby through effective teamwork and collaboration, a nurse from the general medicine or medical-surgical units can make the right referral to a different unit. The action is enabled by the fact that the entire nursing specialty entails engaging with others and gaining as much insight as one can from others.

In a high-energy unit, due to the intensity of care needed, the level of teamwork and collaboration may be different because the patients are not in a position to get involved in the care process. As a result, the nurses are involved in making vital decisions on behalf of the patients. Sequentially, there is a need for intensified teamwork and collaboration, unlike in the other nursing floors. These units are sensitive and require the nurses to be supportive of each other and ready to support one another to ensure the safety and good prognosis of patients (Karam et al., 2018). Teamwork in these units dictates that novice staffs on board should receive the assistance they need, and especially for those transitioning from school to practice. The other nurses should ensure that the new nurse does not feel confused and unsure of what to do, unlike if it happens in the general medicine unit.

In other nursing floors where the patient can communicate and express his or her feelings or thoughts, teamwork and collaboration take a new level as the patient’s views count as well. Treas (2018) uses an illustration to indicate how a lack of teamwork and collaboration result in negative patient health outcomes using the case of Mrs. Lee. The occupational therapist did not pay attention to Mrs. Lee’s concerns, resulting in further damage to her health. This case highlights the essence of teamwork in preventing adverse health outcomes and associated healthcare costs.

Every nursing floor has a way of exhibiting teamwork and collaboration depending on the nature of patients because while some patients can interact with health care professionals, others cannot. Teamwork and collaboration are characterized by patient involvement in some nursing floors, unlike in others. Moreover, the intensity of teamwork varies as some units handle critical patients; hence sharing expertise and resources is paramount, especially when novice nurses are present.

References

Karam, M., Brault, I., Van Durme, T., & Macq, J. (2018). Comparing interprofessional and interorganizational collaboration in healthcare: A systematic review of qualitative research. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 79, 70-83. Web.

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O’Daniel, M., & Rosenstein, A. H. (2008). Professional Communication and Team Collaboration. In R. G. Hughes (Ed.), Patient Safety and Quality: An Evidence-Based Handbook for Nurses. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US).

Treas, L. S., Wilkinson, J. M., Barnett, K. L., & Smith, M. H. (2018). Basic nursing: Thinking, doing, and caring (2nd ed.). F.A. Davis Company.

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