Explore a relevant aspect of the NMC code of conduct namely Team working Summative Essay (Word count – 2136) Introduction This essay will discuss the positive and negative aspects of inter-professional collaboration, using examples from personal experiences of the collaborative group work during the module which developed the author’s awareness and skills for the future nursing career. The aim of this essay is to look at the significance of inter-professionally working within a multidisciplinary team in order to achieve the best patient-focused care.
Within this essay the names and settings will not be disclosed in order to protect confidentiality (NMC 2008). The purpose of this essay is, firstly, to see what the NMC code means by effective and co-operative teamwork of nurses and highlight the issues that arise from collaboration such as fairness and anti-discrimination, respect of the professionals’ knowledge and experience, sharing the skills, taking advice from colleagues. Secondly, it will be considered whether working in team makes better results than if people work alone.
Finally, the effectiveness of what the author learnt during the Fundamentals of Professional Practice module will be discussed. These will include: communication skills, reflective practice, ethics and values of professional practice, principles and codes of professional practice. Main body A team demands ‘collaborative, not competitive, effort, where each member takes responsibility for the performance of the team rather than just their own individual performance’ (Torrington and Hall 2002:p. 317).
Loxley (1997) defined inter-professional collaboration as a group of professionals ‘who will work across boundaries, work with difference’. Successful collaboration depends on the group of professionals’ positive strategies as to what specific outcome they want to get. (Loxley 1997 cited by Hogston 2002:p. 454) Thanks to the work of the multidisciplinary team, different experts can cooperate with each other in order to benefit the patient and deliver person-centred care. The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) code of professional conduct (NMC, 2008) highlights the importance of teamwork.
It points out that nurses must work well together as a team, give respect to each person and not discriminate. Nurses must know how to communicate effectively that helps them to work more co-operatively within teams. If there is a problem with how healthcare professionals interact and one member is off sick, the team might not carry on with work in a proper way. If the team is supportive to each other, there can be always the team members who find new strategies how to improve the care of patients.
Team members should feel they can honestly express their ideas and relay information to each other, develop the skills of listening, empathy and reflection on giving and receiving of information. Lack of communication can lead to misunderstanding and, as a result, the loss of trust between health professionals. New skills can be obtained by having good comprehension from each others. Payne (2000) believed that professional groups should be adjustable to their role in order to act together with the others’ roles.
Nursing is a very responsible profession that is why continuing to obtain practical skills and theoretical knowledge is very important for nurses throughout life. Many nurses do not have possibility to attend the libraries or seminars. If the qualified health professionals share their experience with nurses they could develop competence and performance constantly. Sharing skills nurses can create innovative ideas for improving nursing practice. Sharing the skills help nurses to be competent about the signs and symptoms of illnesses which they meet at work and can not understand why they occur.
If a nurse copies the skills of more experience nurse she would be able to vary her skills when a new situation happens. Nurses should learn more about the human body; maintain their knowledge about new diseases, drugs or longevity regularly because there is nurses’ responsibility to deliver the best care based on certain evidence and guidelines. Johnson (1997) suggested that all disciplines should be involved, making up a complete multidisciplinary team, which review care processes. Staff gets to know the roles of other disciplines and what skills they have.
Doctors find out what an occupational therapist does, nurses learn the role of the speech therapist, and all have an understanding of what part each play within the team and what they can offer. An effective team should include doctors, nurses, managers, specialist nurse practitioners, occupational therapists, dieticians, speech and language therapists, physiotherapists, health workers, which have an easy access and can provide advice for making the right decision. This is valued by patients because they feel they are treated professionally.
Consulting with colleagues helps nurses to avoid many risk factors, promote health of patients, to be more efficient. For delivering high-quality care is very important that the health professionals would avoid discrimination, bullying and labelling towards their colleagues and value the autonomy and equality of the others. If there is discrimination within a team both the staff and patients can have withdrawn behaviour, they can not allow some nurses to treat them because of their race, religion or age.
Being honest and open is necessary in patient care and for good teamwork and provides respect in the workplace. Nurses should promote non-discriminatory work practice. They should treat people fairly and promote equal opportunities, should be friendly and interested in people despite their backgrounds, gender, age or preferences. Nurses should reflect on their behaviour and think if they stereotype people and treat them worse than other due to favouritism or if they say jokes or words which could offend their colleagues.
They should value people’s differences, consider the positive sides of people’s culture, promote education about anti-discrimination, organise activities where they might view and discuss the above aspects. Nurses should recognise that people are different and if they could break down stereotypes they would see the real people and relay upon their good skills and treat them with equality. The author recognised the importance of group work within the module at the university. All nursing course students were divided into groups.
Each group worked regularly doing a lot of activities. The team members arranged to meet every week. The group researched an article by Wheatley (Wheatley 2007) about collaborative team working together to achieve a positive client’s outcome. Students selected and analysed the required information and applied the evaluation to make reflective posters. At the end of the first activity the author realised that a team approach to the tasks was much quicker and effective than if she had to do it individually. The author could listen to he students who had experience in the field of healthcare and try to apply their strengths to author’s present knowledge and to find the areas for the future development. The team members learnt from each other and the author tried to make her own judgements against their criteria. The first problem that the author found out was that she could not understand why the team members spent a lot of time for talking instead of answering the questions at once. After some time the author realised that in this way it is possible to develop the skills in searching and sorting out the information and getting to know each other.
Another difficulty was the author’s verbal communication skills as the author is not a native English speaker. At the beginning she was shy while speaking and reading, she was quite passive, sometimes it was hard to understand if the team members used unclear jargon. But during her group working the author could observe verbal and non-verbal language and facial expression. The author could also develop listening skills, maintained eye contact. It helped the author to feel free to explain her points of view and express her thoughts and ideas. It was also very hard to determine the group’s strategies and tactics.
But the group working encouraged the author’s critical thinking and helped to find out the author’s own learning needs, how to use available resources, learn from attempting to answer the given questions, learn which skills to gain in order to communicate with patients and health professionals more effectively, friendly and trustworthy. In order for people to function well in a group they must go through a process of finding ways of working together. Tuckman (1965) stated his forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning stages of group development. Forming.
The team members introduced themselves and gathered first impressions of each other. There also were about organisation, time management and how to approach the target. It was quite a comfortable stage of the process. Storming. Tuckman(1965) regards it as conflict. It was difficult for the group to decide how the article should be analysed, how to make a plan and who is going to make a poster. Everyone was annoyed that they had to wait for each person to finish what he was saying. The team members decided to divide the article and everyone was responsible for the certain part of the article to analyse.
Norming. The team members started to adjust to each other points of view and performance, support increased. Performing. The team members could concentrate on their task, they worked as a team and chose their team leader which played an important role to arrange different tasks. Adjourning. The group performed the all tasks successfully. The author enjoyed working through the group development stages and was pleased with the outcome because she gained skills that she has not had at the beginning of the group work.
Reflection is recognised by Boud (1985) as ‘intellectual and affective activities in which individuals engage to explore their experiences in order to lead to new understanding and appreciation. ’ (Boud et al. 1985 cited by Pearce2003: p. 20). Sully and Dallas (2005) believe that we learn about our skills so we can develop both professionally and personally through the process of reflection. The reflection model stated by Johns (1995) contains simple questions about other involved especially the professional and the patient. Johns and Freshwater 2005) Gibbs (1988) pointed out that reflective model helps professionals to reflect on things that can be improved. The reflection cycle has six points: description of what is happening, feelings, evaluation, analysis, conclusion and action plan. (Gibbs 1988) The group members decided to look at Gibb’s Model of Reflection to help them with their own reflection skills. The reflection practice helped the author to develop her critical thinking therefore it made her aware that she needs to improve her confident behaviour to express herself and not to be afraid of negative response of the others.
She concluded that she needs to make an action plan in order to work on to be an effective communicator and to read more to develop her knowledge, to be more confident in the meetings and discussions. The group members felt they were benefited from the experience. They got more knowledge compared to when working individually. They gained skills by working together that they had not at the beginning. They learned how to resolve group conflict by talking openly to each other and respecting that everyone’s thoughts and feelings are valid.
Each group member felt confident because he developed his skills. Everybody felt himself as a group. There were no signs of discrimination towards the other members because everybody found that it might have a negative effect on the amount of work. The atmosphere was friendly and relaxed; everybody was allowed to take part in discussions. Everybody believed that teamwork is necessary to achieve the goal and that for effective teamwork communicating and listening skills are essential. Conclusion In this essay the author’s experience of collaboration at the university was shown.
It was found out that learning co-operatively is a foundation for inter-professional collaboration for the future nursing career. The above learning experience helped the author to realise that the care of patients can be improved by working as a team, effective communicating, reflection and professional behaviour of health work. This essay highlighted that the inter-professional work is vital to successful work of NHS. The Department of Health have implemented plans that will assist with the development of the multidisciplinary teams and standards that will overcome the problems that were highlighted.
The author’s experience of the group work helped to see how the inter-professional collaboration provides a positive outcome for gaining a lot of new knowledge and finding out the strengths and weakness of learning strategies. It helped to realise that it is necessary to take part in group discussions and how important to reflect on the colleagues experience, be fair and develop non-verbal communication skills. It helped to reflect on the author’s practice and become aware of the areas the author needs to develop in. It helped to understand that the group work is a team process.
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