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QStudent #6: Teamwork & Collaboration

“Unity is strength. When there is teamwork and collaboration wonderful things can be achieved.” –Mattie Stepanek.

Teamwork and collaboration in healthcare is of the utmost importance. We’ve all heard the saying, there’s no ‘I’ in team, and for the most part this is true, however there is an exception. The ‘I’ would stand for independent. In the healthcare world, each person within the team has a specific job and must be able to work independently. The key concept that brings each of the team members together is communication. For example, nursing assistants must communicate with nurses, especially if a problem arises, and doctors, therapists, and nurses must communicate to provide the best care possible. Most hospitals these days have dry erase boards in each patient’s room. These boards help to connect patients, their families, and the healthcare team. Some boards are even as detailed to include the names of each member of the healthcare team (Nurse, nursing assistant, physician, unit nurse manager, etc.), a pain scale for patients to rate their pain, the level of assistance needed to ambulate, and the plan of care.

Another important aspect of teamwork and collaboration includes knowing your own strengths and weaknesses and being cognizant of your peers and coworkers strengths and weaknesses as well. For example, if a coworker is more confident starting an IV, and you a have a patient needing an IV who is a “hard stick”, ask for assistance until you gain more experience. This will ensure the best care for the patient.

No matter what role a person may play within the healthcare team, they are connected by the overall goal to provide patients the best care possible.

The question is: What are some examples of teamwork and collaboration you have seen in the healthcare world? This can be at a clinical site, in the workplace, or even during a hospital stay. Or what are some ideas you have to help implement teamwork and collaboration within healthcare?

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