Nursing is a service based career. Inter-professional working and inter-professional collaboration make service delivery easier and more efficient. Effective collaboration service is made possible by excellent communication, good coordination, and strategic planning. Several professions come together in inter-professional collaboration to achieve a common goal. In our case: it is the betterment of the health of the sick. Thus, it is important that when individuals are cooperating, they offer excellent services. Offering superior services and continuously improving the services ensures that the patients receive good services.
Good communication ensures that the people from different professions can understand each other (D. Bridges, 2009, p. 49). For instance, a nurse is involved in looking out for the wellbeing of the patient while in the hospital. The therapist needs to work with the nurse to set the patient on the path to recovery. If the two communicate with each other effectively, they get the upper hand and work well to make sure that the patient recovers. On the contrary, if the team does not communicate effectively, the services offered could be terribly bad. For instance, if a nurse is not on par with the physical therapist, they could use two different treatments that do not complement each other and, thus, slow down or hinder the patient’s progress. It is vital that the professionals can communicate with each other effectively in the delivery of the service. It is the marker for an efficient team, and active teams offer excellent services.
Proper coordination makes inter-professional collaboration and working a worthwhile venture. If the nurse and the therapist can communicate well with each other, they can plan their activities around the patient efficiently (L Young, 2007, p. 159). As they evaluate the patient’s progress, they can easily tell where improvement needs to be done. One professional can use the progress made by the efforts of another to start a treatment that will complement the development. For instance, if the therapist can get the patient to exercise physically, the nurse will ensure that the patient gets the right diet to complement the energy requirements caused by the physical activity. Proper coordination directly flows from a team communicating effectively; further stressing the importance of communication and inter-professional working and collaboration in the treatment of individuals. Strategic planning among health professionals involved in inter-professional working projects ensures that they can plan well around their times (M Zwarenstein, 2009, p. 4). The professionals can place themselves at the right place to practice for the benefit of the patient.
The best approach to know this is through experience the practical application of these concepts. Working with other professionals gives one the practical experience to see how well these factors work to make the collaborative process an effective one. Working with others and practically trying to use good communication and coordination will give one a clear view of the effectiveness of the process. Another approach is to experience the collaborative working as a patient (P. H. Mitchell, 2000, p. 52). By experiencing the services as a patient, one can know if the process is efficient. For instance, there will be few or no cases of confusion and mix-up among the professionals who are offering the health services. Thus, the proper communication and coordination will be visible from the smooth delivery of services in the hospital or health facility.
The best service improvement tool is the education of the health professionals on the topic of inter- professional collaboration and working (D. Craddock, 2006, p. 225). Inter-professional working and cooperation are not as widespread in use as it should be despite the fact that it has been utilized for a while. Thus, not many professionals are aware of how they can use the collaboration to their advantage and for the good of their patients. By educating the professionals on how to better offer their services, they will have a clear understanding of what is expected of them and how they can best deliver their services. The other tool is leadership (Rose, 2011, p. 7). Leadership for the health professionals is critical (L. Robins, 2006, p. 4). If the leadership has a clear picture of what inter-professional working and collaborations, then they will steer the team in the right direction; later translating to valuable services (Diane R. Bridges, 2011, p. 50). The leaders can coordinate the collaboration and inter-professional working to make the teams work well and get the best results; especially in areas where this concept has not been applied in the hospitals and health facility.
An aspect of inter-professional collaboration that I am weakest at is interdependency. Interdependency is the aspect of having to work with others as a team rather than working alone. To begin with, we are always encouraged to have our professional opinions. These views form the basis of the path that we will take when it comes to the treatment of the patients. Thus, it is always of great importance to me to have an opinion about the situation and what I am planning on doing. Inter-professional collaboration forces health professionals to work together with other stakeholders to get the best treatment possible for the patient. Therefore, when I am treating the patient, numerous other opinions have to be put into consideration. Before any move is made, one has to consult with the other people who are involved in the process of treating the patient or one can make a mistake that can undo the progress achieved by the efforts of the other professional. The situation gets even trickier when there is a hierarchy in existence. Approval for an individual step has to go through several persons before getting the necessary go ahead.
In general, interdependence seems to be a challenge rather than the strength that it is cut out to be. Thus, I end up sticking to the original opinion I had and avoiding a lot of consultations. I am, however, cautious not to make a mistake and ruin the progress of another health professional; since this will undo the progress of the whole team. It is a problem that I have recognized and one that I need to address before it ruins the good relationship I have with other professionals. The first way I believe that I can develop this aspect of inter-professional working is to have an open mind to what others have to say. The whole point of inter-professional collaboration and working is to get the necessary health professionals to collaborate to ensure individuals health are improved (M. Zwarenstein, 2005, p. 149). If I do not accept what others say as being correct, then I will never take what they say seriously.
It is also important that I develop effective channels of communication with the other health professionals to get a clear line of communication where we can all discuss and agree on what to do with the patient (S. Gelman, 2000, p. 139). Since a hierarchy seems to be a challenge to effective communication, it is important I form a network with the other stakeholders. In this way, I can have my professional opinion contribute to the general conclusion made and agreed on by the others (Davidson, 2005, p. 336). For instance, if we are treating a patient who is healing from physical trauma, it is important that my opinion is in line with that of the nutritionist and the physical therapist; just to name a few. The effective communication contributes to the right results (Taylor, 2007, p. 33). If I work on the communication, then I believe that I will be able to develop my interdependence on the other professionals (M. Lumague, 2008, p. 249). Thus, together, we can work on numerous patients and get the desired results.
An area of strength that can help with the inter-professional collaboration and working is my communication skills. I have already appreciated the fact that communication is crucial for professionals to offer efficient services. I am good at expressing what I want with my peers. I am vocal about what I want, and I always try my best to find out what is expected of me. Thus, I believe that if I improve my communication skills, I can deliver better services. I can talk to my professional peers and contemporaries and get what they feel about the course taken in the treatment of the patient. As always, areas of strength can always be improved. I can improve on this strength by listening to what others have to say better. As noted before, I have trouble getting the opinions of others. By improving on the way that I get feedback from other professionals, I am sure that I can work hard at improving the health of the patients (D. D’Amour, 2005, p. 68). Incorporating what other professionals have planned for the treatment course into the way that I plan on treating my patients will make the whole inter-professional collaboration and working venture a successful one.
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