Kicking off the news for nurses this week on the show let’s look at what nurses do to influence the formation of interprofessional care teams. What are the things you look for in the formation of such patient care teams and what can you do to help create the types of teams you want to be a part of?

Defining The Perfect Team

nurse practitioner teamIn an article I found over at Nurse.com, I found a survey of the site’s readers on the subject. They asked nurses to define the attributes they’d like to see in team members of interprofessional care teams. The list was informative and interesting to read. Among the answers were things like good listening skills, focus on the patient, humility, imagination, caring, and a non-confrontational attitude.

The key part of the whole equation from my perspective is the nurse who is the glue that holds the team together, keeps communication lines open and relays suggestions from one team member to another in situations where the team cannot or does not meet up in person. Coordinating the diverse patient-focused goals of physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and others with the medical care team in complex rehabilitation of patients is difficult and requires the skills of diplomacy and critical thinking and prioritization.

Nurses Are The Glue In Healthcare Teams

Nurses are perfectly suited to these roles but not all nurses are equally strong in all of these skills. This is where personal and professional development comes into play. Nurses have to work on their personal development as well as their normal routine of professional ongoing education. There are some great resources out there that are classics in helping you to manage teams of people and develop the appropriate skills in yourself.

One great resource is the book “Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High.” It is one of the best books I’ve ever seen on the subject of communicating effectively with disparate team members where difficult and challenging discussions have to happen. We owe it to our patients that we are prepared to be the best advocates for them and that means improving our interprofessional communication skills, too. Check out the book.

Make sure you follow-up on the links for this news item and all of the other news and additional resource links from this week’s episode – Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis for Nurses and Episode 375.

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