Dynamics of Interprofessional Teams
Health Care Setting and Employees
Treatment of cancer requires radiation therapy, chemotherapy, surgery and hormonal therapy. A patient’s management plan includes a particular treatment method or combination. The oncology unit is an area in healthcare where cancer patients obtain treatment in the form of chemotherapy. Some chemotherapy units treat cancer patients from all age groups, while others are for a specific age group, such as paediatrics. The chemotherapy treatment area must have chemotherapy reclining chairs or beds, a cytotoxic room, an isolation room, a treatment room, and patients’ toilets.
Service delivery to patients in the oncology unit requires a multidisciplinary team approach. As such, healthcare professionals in the oncology unit include oncology nurses, medical oncologists, oncology pharmacists, social workers, and health records professionals (Amjad et al., 2022). Notably, medical oncologists diagnose cancer and prepare a treatment plan for the patient. The treatment plan includes the drugs, duration, and schedule. The oncology pharmacist educates the patient on their medication, calculates the patient’s dose based on their current weight, height and laboratory results, makes dose adjustments and reconstitutes a patient’s chemotherapy for administration. Also, oncology pharmacists ensure the availability of drugs required by every patient before their scheduled chemotherapy by maintaining an adequate supply of medications.
Further, chemotherapy nurses have a role in administering chemotherapy and managing side effects experienced during administration, such as nausea and vomiting (Amjad et al., 2022). Oncology nurses and oncology pharmacists have a role in proper waste disposal. Chemotherapy waste products are highly cytotoxic; therefore, nurses and pharmacists must practice proper cytotoxic waste disposal after handling the drugs. Social workers are responsible for knowing the location and whereabouts of every patient. Social workers track down patients who are missing treatment without a reasonable explanation. In addition, the oncology unit team seeks support services from the laboratory, nutrition and dietetics department, complementary therapies, clinical psychology, prosthetic and wig services and palliative care.
Issues Within Setting and Effect on Stakeholders
The nursing shortage is an issue within the oncology unit (Iheanacho et al., 2022). Dealing with chemotherapy patients is emotionally draining; therefore, nurses avoid specializing and working in this area. Healthcare workers in the oncology unit suffer from mental disorders such as anxiety and depression. Shortages of staff members cause the available healthcare workers to take up odd and longer shifts, leading to burnout. Consequently, burnout increases the risk of medication errors, which causes poor patient outcomes. Besides, chemotherapy is expensive and leaves a patient’s family and friends with a heavy financial burden (Iheanacho et al., 2022). The treatment is long-term; therefore, a patient’s family might be frustrated with the treatment process and stop offering financial, emotional, and social support. Also, a patient’s family and friends experience psychological stress watching their loved one who has cancer.
Attributes of Healthy Culture to Encourage Team Performance
Treatment of cancer patients requires a multidisciplinary team approach. A patient’s treatment outcome depends on how well the multidisciplinary team members collaborate effectively. Constructive conflict management helps individuals perform as a team (Ronquillo et al., 2022). It is usual for conflicts to arise among team members; however, the resolution method dictates the team’s performance going forward. If the conflict is resolved amicably and constructively, the team can return to performing its duties promptly. Good communication among team members is crucial to ensure teamwork.
Similarly, respect for other team members helps individuals perform as a team. A multidisciplinary oncology team includes healthcare workers from different cadres; therefore, each team member should respect other team members regardless of their cadre. Every team member must acknowledge the critical role played by other team members.
Qualities and Styles for Effective Communication
Qualities of effective communication include clarity, correctness, courtesy, active listening, timeliness, reliability and simplicity (Chichirez & Purcărea, 2018). Information passed from one team member to another should be correct to ensure the right tasks are executed. An oncology pharmacist must inform the nurse of changes in a patient’s chemotherapy dose to ensure that the nurse uses that information to administer the chemotherapy in the required time. Team members must actively listen to a communicator to avoid missing important information. Essentially, information should be relayed in the most straightforward and clear terms possible that every team member can understand. During communication, team members must consider the language barriers and communication skills experienced by other team members. As such, it is vital for a communicator to counter-check whether team members have understood the communicated information. Also, important information must be relayed promptly. Accordingly, medical oncologists must record and inform the nurses and pharmacists about a patient’s allergy before administering the medications. Communication of such information after receiving their medication is poor since it increases a patient’s risk of drug allergic reactions. Lastly, courtesy is a paramount aspect of effective communication. It ensures that every team member feels respected during the communication process. Courtesy encourages a listener to ask questions since they have been addressed respectfully.
Boundary-Spanning Activity to Support Collaboration and Communication
Scheduling informal interactions will support a collaborative culture and enhance communication. The multidisciplinary oncology team comprises nurses, pharmacists, and physicians who only meet and interact at the workplace. Oncology units are usually busy; therefore, the team members only get time to interact and discuss matters outside patient care. In addition, the setting is formal. Therefore, informal interactions such as team building will create an avenue for the team members to interact without focusing on patients. Essentially, the leader can form teams comprising individuals from different cadres for team building. Notably, work dinner is an informal setting that encourages communication; therefore, staff members can chat casually with their colleagues.
The Effect of Employee Satisfaction and Professional Communication on Patient Care
Employee satisfaction has been linked to improved patient outcomes (Lu et al., 2022). Satisfied healthcare workers tend to appreciate their jobs and, by extension, offer quality healthcare to their patients. Nurses experiencing burnout and job dissatisfaction are usually frustrated; hence, they hurriedly take care of their patients, which increases the risk of medication errors. Conversely, adequately staffed healthcare facilities have low patient mortality. Moreover, qualities of professional communication that contribute to acceptable interactions with patients, their families, and other healthcare professionals include honesty, empathy, active listening, accuracy and clarity (Chichirez & Purcărea, 2018). Healthcare professionals must explain their diagnosis and treatment plan to a patient in a language that the patient understands. Before discussing a patient’s condition with the patient’s family, a healthcare professional must seek consent. After all, a patient’s understanding of their diagnosis and treatment plan’s advantages dictates their adherence and compliance. Although it is psychologically stressful for patients and their families to be informed of their cancer diagnosis, the healthcare professional must be honest about the patient’s situation. In this regard, honesty ensures that the client fully understands their situation. Also, empathy shows the patient that the healthcare worker understands their situation, encouraging them to trust the healthcare worker. Active listening is also important as it signifies a healthcare professional’s eagerness to converse with the patient and their family. Accordingly, nodding, maintaining eye contact, and taking notes encourage the patient and their family to ask questions and clarifications without fear.
Personal Role as Health Care Leader to Interdisciplinary Team and Patients
Healthcare leaders facilitate clear communication and collaboration by creating avenues where team members can bond outside their roles. During World Cancer Day, healthcare leaders can create events where oncology unit healthcare professionals, cancer patients, and their families meet and celebrate the strides in cancer care. During such events, patients and their families get a chance to address their challenges as cancer patients. Additionally, healthcare leaders can empower team members through training and continuous medical education on effective communication and the advantages of proper communication between team members and patients.
Amjad, M. T., Chidharla, A., & Kasi, A. (2022). Cancer Chemotherapy. StatPearls Publishing. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK564367/.
Chichirez, C. M., & Purcărea, V. L. (2018). Interpersonal communication in healthcare. Journal of medicine and life, 11(2), 119–122.
Iheanacho, P. N., Opara, H. C., Ifezulumba, J. C., Omotola, N., Ingwu, J. A., & Anarado, A. N. (2022). Nurses’ Perceived Challenges in Managing Hospitalized Cancer Patients in a Comprehensive Cancer Center in Southeastern Nigeria. Asian Pacific journal of cancer prevention: APJCP, 23(10), 3587–3593. https://doi.org/10.31557/APJCP.2022.23.10.3587.
Lu, L., Ko, Y. M., Chen, H. Y., Chueh, J. W., Chen, P. Y., & Cooper, C. L. (2022). Patient Safety and Staff Well-Being: Organizational Culture as a Resource. International journal of environmental research and public health, 19(6), 3722. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19063722.
Ronquillo, Y., Ellis, V. L., & Toney-Butler, T. J. (2022). Conflict Management. StatPearls Publishing. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470432/.
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Consider an area in health care in which you work or are interested. Examine the interprofessional team dynamics (physicians, nurses, physical therapists, social workers, health care administrators, etc.) in that setting. In a 1,000-1,250-word paper, explain how communication and collaborative strategies can be applied to ensure respectful interactions and to prevent or address potential issues among the team in that healthcare setting. Include the following:
- Describe the health care setting and summarize the various individuals or teams typically working together.
- Discuss what types of issues may occur and how these affect dynamics within the setting for healthcare workers, patients and their families.
- Discuss attributes of a healthy culture that help individuals or groups perform as a team.
- Describe the qualities of effective communication. Discuss how communication styles can be applied to facilitate productive communication.
- Chapter 8 of your textbook discusses the dynamics of successful interprofessional healthcare teams. What boundary-spanning activity could you incorporate as a leader to support a collaborative culture and enhance communication? Consider the interprofessional team you would be working with.
- Explain how employee satisfaction impacts patient care. Describe qualities of professional communication that contribute to acceptable interactions with patients, their families, and other healthcare professionals.
- Explain your role as a healthcare leader in helping facilitate collaboration and clear communication among an interprofessional team and with patients and their families.
A minimum of three academic references from credible sources are required for this assignment.
Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines in the APA Style Guide in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.