Better Teamwork, Better Patient Care

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Better Teamwork, Better Patient Care
Sabrina Haight
Baker College of Cadillac

Better Teamwork, Better Patient Care A health care team has a duty to provide effective, quality care in order to enhance the health and well-being of its patients. Every professional on that team has different roles to play in providing that standard of care. These roles range from CNA to nurse to physician, with many other interdisciplinary roles as well, like paramedic, respiratory therapist, or social worker. Each person has distinct expertise and skills to contribute that can be applied to the patient’s care. Organization and cooperation must be integrated into the team to ensure that needs of the patient are adequately met. Studies have shown that good teamwork correlates to better care provided to the patient, resulting in an improvement of the patient’s well-being (Kalisch & Lee, 2011). However, there are setbacks that interfere with the implementation of teamwork. Under-staffing of nurses is a common problem. Due to the prevalent nursing shortage, nurses take on more responsibilities, caring for more patients at a time, causing the nurse to feel tired and overwhelmed. As a result, the nurse feels less able to assist colleagues and effectively cooperate in this stressful environment (Kalisch & Lee, 2011). Through studies, it has been shown that large, complex hospitals tend to suffer from this problem the most. One possible solution offered is to create “smaller working units within the larger hospitals (hospitals within hospitals)” (Kalisch & Lee, 2011, p. 87). Another problem blocking effective teamwork is lateral and vertical violence among nurses. Nurses working together at the same level of hierarchy possess the potential to commit lateral violence, whereas nurses from two different hierarchy levels, directed either above or below, might commit

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