Interprofessional collaborations are the norm in many healthcare models. They work by bringing together people from several disciplines. This collaborative approach is used across the sector to ensure professionals can learn from each other’s roles and experiences. Similarly, when the team is made up of people from culturally diverse backgrounds, everyone benefits from the group’s shared knowledge. Cultural competency and working interprofessional knowledge can promote a higher degree of medical accuracy, and as a result, may foster better outcomes for patients. So, how can nurses ensure they are ready to excel in these environments?
Gain the edge with an academic qualification
It’s widely accepted that medical professionals are lifelong learners. Choosing to go back to university can be an effective way of learning more about teamwork, but it also provides the opportunity for health professionals to climb the career ladder. Registered nurses can follow a nurse practitioner route through the RN to MSN online programs at Wilkes University. The course has three different specialties to consider, allowing students to excel in the leadership role of their choice.
Look at how the system works in other facilities
When the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was introduced back in 2010, some facilities were faster than others to adopt the team-based approaches it promoted. Nurses who are new to the idea can gain more experience by visiting culturally diverse institutions with a vigorous interprofessional program (IP). Connecting with those who are passionate about the initiative and learning from them provides insight into how these programs work. With a deeper understanding of Interprofessional working, nurses can see the advantages and will be more committed to the process when they become part of it.
Understand that all clinicians have different experiences
Being a nurse is not easy, but healthcare practitioners in every field work hard to do their best every day. Moreover, all nurses have completed years of education and work in a range of health situations, many of which are complex. Nurses who are new to cross-cultural multidiscipline collaborations may be surprised by the professional experiences of others, but adopting a respectful attitude is important.
Ask questions and embrace the chance to learn
Whether they are collaborating with social workers, pharmacists or the hospital chaplain, nurses should interact as much as possible with their team. Most people are happy to speak about their work, so nurses can ask about their roles, their training and their triumphs to learn more. By building a rapport, clinicians have the potential to fill the gaps in each other’s knowledge and become better at what they do.
In the modern US healthcare system, nurses should feel comfortable when working as part of an interprofessional team and in a diverse environment. Although some new competencies will have to be mastered, the payoff is hugely significant. These effective ways of working together build trust amongst colleagues and benefit patients. Furthermore, collaborations support the continued learning of health professionals and encourage conversations about health matters, which might otherwise be overlooked.