Professional Communication & Collaboration in Healthcare

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  • 0:03 Patient Care Is a Group Effort
  • 0:49 Inter-Professional Teams
  • 1:42 Managing Conflict
  • 2:58 Working Together
  • 3:40 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Tara Schickel

Tara has taught staff nursing courses and has a master's degree in public health.

This lesson will discuss inter-professional teams in healthcare. We will also learn how to use communication to work well as a team and manage any conflict that may arise during our work.

Patient Care Is a Group Effort

For those of us who work in healthcare, we know that caring for patients is a group effort. Regardless of our role, providing comprehensive care can't be done with each member of the care team working in a silo, isolated from the rest of the care team. Each member of the interdisciplinary team must work together and pool all of their talents and knowledge to provide what is best for the patient. Although we understand the concept of working together, it seems that many times these inter-professional teams have conflicting ideas about what is best for the patients. Unfortunately, these conflicting ideas lead to conflict and distress among members of the care team. We are going to discuss how we can use effective communication techniques to overcome conflict and maximize our potential to provide high quality care to the patients.

Inter-Professional Teams

First, let's start at the beginning and figure out what we mean when we talk about an inter-professional team in healthcare. An inter-professional team is a group of individuals who have skills and knowledge and are committed to a common purpose. Many times, that common purpose is delivering high quality healthcare. A strong inter-professional team doesn't come together automatically overnight. Many times, it involves working together over time and developing a sense of trust and purpose within the team. To be a part of an effective team, each member must fully understand the purpose of his or her own role, as well as the role of the other members. The most important concept for team members to remember is that the focus should be on providing excellent care for the patient, not on highlighting the actions of the team members. Developing a solid way to share information with one another is one of the first steps to take when integrating various professionals to a team.

Managing Conflict

Unfortunately, conflict may arise whenever two or more people gather. However, there are ways that conflict can be appropriately managed so that positive results can come along. Let's explore what it means to experience conflict. Conflict occurs when the interests, needs, goals, and values of individuals aren't not the same for everyone on the team. Many times, conflict occurs when each individual's perspective is not understood by the others. Having conflict doesn't have to be negative. If handled in the correct way, it can actually lead to better communication, a stronger understanding of others' contributions, and improvements made within the system. When members of the team feel comfortable discussing conflict, problems can be solved and new solutions can be implemented that could never have happened if people were working individually.

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