Teamwork in Health Care Essay

1082 Words Nov 24th, 2012 5 Pages
The Importance of Teamwork in Health Care

The Importance of Teamwork in Health Care

From an early age we are instilled the importance of teamwork. The lessons may come from a soccer field, a classroom group project, or even a song on Sesame Street. Regardless of our future careers, we are all likely to experience some sort of teamwork requirement, even if it is as simple as getting along with your co-workers.
Teams working in a hospital or other healthcare setting may consist of several physicians, nurses, medical assistants, referral coordinators, pharmacists, therapists, and students among others. Such large teams can provide comprehensive care for complex and chronic illnesses, but when they fail to work well together, they
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Some teams may need to assemble very quickly and work extremely efficiently, such as in cases of trauma or resuscitation of a patient. Therefore, a greater effort needs to be implemented on teaching health care workers on improving teamwork in the work place. Improved teamwork would not only improve patient care, but also make the work place more enjoyable. However, most importantly it will improve patient safety.
Because of increasing costs of health care, hospitals are always seeking ways to make cuts and save money where they can. One way they have been going about doing this is to decrease staff. Where nurses used to have four patients, now they have five or six. Health Care professionals and now working longer shifts than ever; an 8 hour shift has turned into a 12-16 hour shift. With the higher stress workload, it’s important to be able to count on co-workers when you need them.
So if we all know the importance of teamwork, then what is the problem? The intense labor among health care professionals means that no single type of profession can deliver complete care alone. Yet “there is little to no formal training in teamwork skill development in undergraduate or postgraduate health professional education programs” (Leggat, 2007). Most team work skills are learned on-the-job. Since we know patient outcomes depend on effective interdisciplinary teamwork,

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