Purpose: A Comment to Discussion: Team Dynamics
Thing to Remember:
Discussion: Team Dynamics
As healthcare providers, we should aim to provide safe and quality care to patients while working with other members of the interdisciplinary team. However, teamwork is not always easy. I would like to explicate some of the characteristics of the interdisciplinary team that can prove to be beneficial to teamwork, as well as those that can hinder the teamwork process.
I feel the most important aspect of teamwork is proper communication. Without communication, information cannot be conveyed to other members of the team. According to Lavoie-Tremblay et al. (2014) “team building requires considerable attention to interpersonal and communication skills” (p. 23). Members of the team must also share respect for one another and act in a professional manner through team interactions. Also, I think it is important for each team member to know the role they play within the team. In a study where a Learning Collaborative Program was initiated to help providers learn how to work in a team, they discovered the “teams needed opportunities to first learn about each other’s scope of practice and skill sets, develop a common language for communication, and understand how their scope of practice can be leveraged to improve team functioning and patient care” (Kotecha et al., 2015, p. 228).
There is always another side to every story. There are some conditions that make teamwork in healthcare very difficult. Teamwork can be even more complicated when healthcare providers must make ethical decisions. The members of the interdisciplinary team have different personalities and perspectives that can affect teamwork. Hamric, Hanson, Tracy, and O’Grady (2014) postulate that “these differing positions can lead to creative and collaborative decision making or to a breakdown in communication and lack of problem solving” (p. 329). Other aspects identified by Lavoie-Tremblay et al. (2014) that can impact teamwork are psychological demands (of the job), social support (from colleagues and superiors), effort-reward balance, and healthcare providers’ experience with patients (p. 19). These aspects can impact teamwork in a positive or negative way.
Hamric, A. B., Hanson, C. M., Tracy, M. F., & O’Grady, E. T. (2014). Advanced practice
nursing: An integrative approach (5th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.
Kotecha, J., Han, H., Green, M., Roberts, S., Brown, J. B., Harris, S. B., & … Birtwhistle, R.
(2015). Influence of a quality improvement learning collaborative program on team
functioning in primary healthcare. Families, Systems & Health, 33, 222-230. doi:10.1037/
Lavoie-Tremblay, M., O’Conner, P., Harripaul, A., Biron, A., Ritchie, J., Lavigne, G. L., . . .
Sourdif, J. (2014). The effect of transforming care at the bedside initiative on healthcare
teams’ work environments. Worldviews On Evidence-Based Nursing, 11, 16-25. doi:
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