From staff nurse to nurse consultant: Team working part 8: the multidisciplinary team
John Fowler, Educational Consultant, explores ways to enhance teamwork
Have you ever watched that TV programme, DIY SOS: The big build, where a family's house is not fit for purpose and a team of people are recruited to re-wire, re-plumb, knock walls down, put walls up, fit kitchens, and so on, all in a matter of 2 or 3 days? We are shown clips of electricians, plasterers, chippies, plumbers and decorators all working together to strict deadlines to achieve the rebuild. At the end the family are moved to tears as they view the new layout, which means they can have a new way of living. Can you imagine the amount of organisation that goes on behind the scenes to recruit and co-ordinate all those different professionals coming together on those few days of filming to complete such a major task?
I sometimes think that, as nurses, we become so accustomed to all the different people and professionals we work with and almost take for granted the catering, finance, building, pathology, IT, admission team, X-ray departments and all the other facilities that are part of our healthcare system. It's only when one of these services goes wrong that we become aware of quite how much we depend on other people to deliver our hands-on nursing care. This is not a criticism of how we work as nurses; it is just a reflection of the increasingly specialised and complex nature of the provision of health care in the 21st century.
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