Within any hospital setting exists a team philosophy, similar to the ward philosophy. It’s usually written and posted around the hospital so anyone can read it.
It aims to break down barriers that may exist within and between different professional groups. When applied to practice, it results in a state of equality and harmony within a team, that is, if anyone gets time to read it.
From the start of my course, I have been exposed to interprofessional teamworking. This involved having to share an assignment with students from different health backgrounds.
Each of us had to learn to work together, respect one another, communicate information effectively and, very importantly, treat each other equally.
We were able to achieve this once we stopped looking at our differences and focused on what made us similar.
It all boiled down to one fundamental purpose we all shared – to strive for the best possible outcome for ‘our’ patient. With this in focus, our assignment was a great success.
Not only did we all make new friendships but also we learnt how important it is to look at situations from different perspectives, especially when considering a patient holistically.
Throughout my placements, I have come across many great examples of teamwork, effective communication and equality among all staff.
Unfortunately this isn’t always how it works, but I feel that it is fundamental that we establish this philosophy of teamwork and, most importantly, we include the patient as the captain of this team – without them we wouldn’t have a team in the first place.
To quote an old saying, I believe is important to remember: ‘The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.’
James Squires is a second-year adult nursing student in London
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