Nursing and Collaborative Working


The provision of healthcare to patients requires the participation of a multidisciplinary team. Professionals who are involved in the provision of healthcare to patients are trained to work as a team. Different specialties interact to provide the best and up-to-date care to patients. Health and social care professionals and providers across different care settings have unique roles. It is important to understand these roles and their contribution to the general performance of the patients under care. Most researchers use scientific evidence to support the importance of collaborative working among healthcare professionals. Bleakley (2013) reveals that families and other caregivers are also important in the handling of patients. As a result, the outcome is always favourable where a group effort is applied. This essay focuses on collaborative healthcare provision, especially in nursing. It evaluates the diverse roles that different caregivers have in the holistic management of patients using a role-play of a multidisciplinary team.

Role-Play Reflection

The provided role-play consists of a multidisciplinary team that is charged with the management of a 16-year-old patient. In this role-play, my responsibility is that of a social worker. The rest of the group consists of a child nurse, a doctor, a diabetes specialist, mental health nurse, a counsellor, and a discharge nurse. These professionals have a role to play in the holistic management of the patient, including follow-up and provision of the best medical care. Requirements in this multidisciplinary team case conference include establishing the different needs of the patient and her family, establishing a leadership structure within the MDT, and assessing different challenges that are experienced in the management of the patient by the team.

The role-play provides some important positive and negative aspects in the consideration of collaborative management of any patient. Some of the areas of improvement stemmed from the challenges that occurred in the MDT meeting. The scenario was retold severally. This situation was one of the challenges. The unexpected appearance of the family was also a challenge since they asked questions that were not anticipated in the meeting. The result was a delay in the meeting and a limitation of some member’s contribution. The family also limited the interaction between the members of the meeting. Besides, most of the nursing terminologies were difficult for most of them.

Some of the MDT meeting members did not contribute. In fact, the diabetes nurse did not turn up for the meeting. Some of the participating members had a problem establishing eye contact with the relative and her family. Others did not speak to the family at all. There was poor time management. I was unable to give my contribution because of this problem. Some of the points were repeated, with a portion of the group displaying anxiety and nervousness.

Despite the above challenges, there was considerable success in other aspects of the multidisciplinary team meeting. Unlike some meetings that have many interruptions, this meeting was not dominated by interruptions. Members were patients under the good leadership of one of our colleagues. The team leader provided good co-ordination among members whose roles were also well researched. Group members of this meeting displayed some order, with most of them adequately communicating knowledge. I established that the meeting was successful after the good follow-up discussion between the different members of the MDT.

Collaborative Working based on Different Roles

Different health professionals play different roles in the management of patients (Reay & Sears 2013). In the role-play discussed above, the role that I played was that of a social worker. I assumed a pivotal role in holistic patient management. Success in managing any patient may be related to the degree to which primary health providers interact with other cadres of professionals (Kieft et al. 2014). For a patient who has a suspected endocrine disorder such as what we focused on in the MDT meeting, the collaboration between different specialists enabled the provision of holistic care for the patient. My team managed to assess the patient’s requirements in management. According to Cornock (2011), the recovery of patients is dependent on this kind of care.

The nurse is present for the continuous monitoring of patients and provision of basic care while they are undergoing management (Landry et al. 2012). On the other hand, social work professionals allow the provision of social welfare services to patients. In the role that I played in the MDT meeting, I was able to formulate some important objectives in the management of the patient, including the possible methods of interacting with the family and/or involving it in the patient’s care. My role as a social worker also included follow-up of the patient to establish whether the treatment that was provided by different collaborating professionals was adequate. I was able to contribute towards social care of the patient, including the provision of care where the social status of the patient was required.

Importance of Inter-Professional Collaborative Working

The inter-professional collaborative working is scientifically proven the best approach in the management of patients (Reay & Sears 2013). According to Sandberg (2010), inter-professional collaboration should be patient-centred where patients and their relatives play a central role in the management of their own condition. Such a practice should also be community-centred, and hence the need for a social worker who forms the link between the patients and the health profession while in the community (Sandberg 2010). It is important for the management of patients be relationship-focused where the family is involved in a systematic management of the patient.

Inter-personal collaborative working is also based on the perception that the key competencies in the supervision of patients are not a preserve of any one individual. Hence, patients are better managed through teamwork (Sandberg 2010). A system with inter-professional collaboration is outcome-driven (Sandberg 2010). This form of management provides the best chance for the integration of different practices in the handling of patients. Nursing care is among the first role in history in the provision of medical care. Different subspecialties have arisen from it. These subspecialties are also important in the holistic management of patients in the contemporary medical field.

According to Reay and Sears (2013), some of the benefits of inter-professional collaborative working that involve people, families, and careers include efficient service provision, timely service delivery, result-oriented systems, and successful treatment systems. Optimal care and service outcomes are achieved through collaboration of different professions in the management of patients. The supervision of patients such as the one discussed in the above case requires the commitment of different groups. The subdivision of labour in patient management enables a thorough analysis of the patients’ problems whilst focusing on some of the smaller aspects that lead to ill health. Most institutions have adopted inter-professional collaborative working, with the results being improvements in professionalism in healthcare delivery (Schadewaldt et al. 2013).

Researchers attribute the improved healthcare provision and follow-up of patients to the inter-professional collaboration that is currently in practice (Cameron, Rutherford & Mountain 2012). According to Thistlethwaite, Jackson, and Moran (2013), collaboration in the provision of healthcare to patients, especially with the participation of their families, has fostered shared decision making, quality in the provision of care, and satisfaction for the different professionals (Breton et al. 2013). The practice also means that nurses, social workers, and other caregivers in the management of patients have some defined roles based on their specialisations. Strategic plans in the handling of patients are fully implemented where there is inter-professional collaboration in a healthcare setting.

The management of time in professional practice, especially in multi-disciplinary teams is an important part of collaboration. Multidisciplinary teams are often large, with many individuals and teams of individuals participating in the teams. In instances where time management is not appropriate, the team ends up achieving little (Virdun et al. 2013). Effective time management in these teams requires the formulation of rules of engagement and specification of the diverse roles of different members (McDonald et al. 2010). Role confusion in the MDTs is a common reason for poor time management (Kenward & Kenward 2011). The most appropriate remedy for time management in such teams is the provision of exact roles where members contribute according to their qualification and/or whenever they are asked to do so. This claim means that there is a need for effective team leadership in such groups.

Evidence-Based Nursing Interventions

Nursing is one of the specialties that are central in the management of patients. This profession is an example of the inter-professional collaboration. It has undergone a series of changes that are related to different functions that are performed in the health environment. Nurses have different responsibilities in patient management. This diversity allows them to interact with the different specialties. The different nursing interventions in different settings promote maximum health potential and independence.

Some of the certified nursing professionals in different parts of the world include psychiatry nurses, practical caregivers, and registered nurses (Reay & Sears 2013). The different professions in nursing promote the holistic approach of patients in healthcare institutions and at their place of residence. Where there are nurses in different professions, patient management is better. Social workers contribute to the management of patients in their respective areas, with the management of hospitals being currently possible.

Examples of evidence-based nursing interventions that promote the maximum health potential and independence of patients include home-based care, personalised care, and patient-controlled care (Reay & Sears 2013). These interventions have allowed patients to progress towards potential independence where they (patients) are able to participate in their own management. Patients are allowed to make their own decisions in care and participate in different management strategies. The other nursing interventions that have contributed to patient care include collaboration between the different professionals in nursing care. This collaboration has allowed patients to interact constructively with healthcare management team. The outcome of this cooperation includes better recovery and information sharing. The reason behind this positive outcome follows the fact that any healthcare setting that has the needs of patients at heart must ensure that all caregivers and health professionals handle patients in a manner that will make them open up their needs to them (professionals) to ease their treatment.


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