Teamwork refers to an interdependent interaction of two or more people to achieve common goals or solve any arising problems. On the other hand, collaboration is the cooperation of healthcare professionals from different backgrounds. Both teamwork and collaboration establish bridges for open communication, shared decision-making, team learning development, and mutual respect among health professionals. Besides, teamwork and collaboration promote patients’ health and safety by addressing multiple healthcare issues and minimizing conflicting situations regarding treatments and prescriptions.
Benefits of Teamwork and Collaboration for Patient Care
Teamwork and collaboration are useful in solving numerous health concerns. For instance, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity are difficult to handle effectively since they affect considerable populations. However, with teamwork, it is relatively easier for nurses and physicians to share ideas to propose the most suitable treatment. Besides, through collaboration, professionals with different backgrounds can discuss possible solutions to multiple healthcare issues.
Decreasing Conflict between Treatment And Prescription
Through teamwork and collaboration, healthcare providers can lower medical errors (Gluyas, 2015). In many hospitals, nurses can misinterpret the physicians’ prescriptions; as a result, they may administer wrong drugs. Similarly, doctors could make a wrong prescription, deciding on incorrect dosage or giving an unsuitable drug, which could affect the health of the patients. Pharmacists could fail to understand the prescription and offer inaccurate dosages, which could put patients’ lives at risk. Thus, effective collaboration and teamwork promote the sharing of information and responsibilities, minimizing errors (Gluyas, 2015). For example, nurses, physicians, and pharmacists can agree on how to prescribe and administer medications to prevent overdose or insufficient administration of drugs.
Building Morale among Team Members
Teamwork and collaboration promote congruent relationships between professionals, thereby improving their morale. Open communication facilitates stable relationships, which allows sharing information and discussing any issue that could affect performance (Hughes, 2008). Furthermore, the exchange of ideas increases the confidence of employees, enabling them to focus on offering high-quality healthcare. Besides, it is easy for team members to acquire more knowledge and skills from their counterparts, which contributes to their professional growth.
Keys to Professional and Respectful Collaboration
Identifying Barriers to Personal Communication, Learning, and Listening
Some of the barriers to communication and listening are the use of unclear jargon, different cultures, hearing difficulties, anxiety, noise, and intense emotions (Weller et al., 2014). In particular, anxiety and intense emotions could hinder some of the members from listening and understanding the information shared. On the same note, emotional issues, low motivation, cognitive limitations, poor healthcare literacy, and physical disabilities also obstruct learning (Weller et al., 2014).
Encouraging Communication and Education among Nurses
Promoting education and learning among nurses requires the elimination of the identified barriers. Therefore, methods for eliminating communication barriers should include explaining specific terms, establishing a common language that each member can understand, and reducing cultural stereotypes (Weller et al., 2014). Besides, team members should acquire effective communication skills, both oral and written. Further, hospitals can improve professional learning by helping nurses to solve their emotional or cognitive challenges and providing financial support.
Both teamwork and collaboration promote mutually beneficial relationships among team members, leading to the acquisition of new important knowledge, which can boost professional growth and morale. The common barriers to the development of teamwork include jargons, cultural differences, emotional issues, and high healthcare illiteracy. Solving these barriers substantially assists in improving the performance of the team. Furthermore, sharing information reduces medical errors and increases patient-centered care, hence promoting positive healthcare outcomes.
Gluyas, H. (2015). Effective communication and teamwork promotes patient safety. Nursing Standard, 29(49), 50-57.
Hughes, R. (Ed.). (2008). Patient safety and quality: An evidence-based handbook for nurses (Vol. 3). Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
Weller, J., Boyd, M., & Cumin, D. (2014). Teams, tribes and patient safety: Overcoming barriers to effective teamwork in healthcare. Postgraduate Medical Journal, 90(1061), 149-154.