Given the increasing complexity of client needs and the shift to community care, leadership and interprofessional collaboration are paramount in our current health system. Sound interprofessional leadership and collaborative practice should be the cornerstone of any nursing leadership practice, whether one is working with or mentoring a group of employees, or engaged with a multidisciplinary team in a complex client’s care.
Client and family engagement has never been more important in our health care system than it is today. As health care providers and nurse leaders, our ultimate role is to meet our client needs with a client- and family-centred philosophy, which aims to understand “where the client is at.” As a registered nurse, make this engagement happen—promote it and nurture it. It is the client’s right, and indeed the client can be one of your greatest resources in determining a plan of care for successful client outcomes.
Leadership and interprofessional collaboration are strengthened with the knowledge and skill set of emotional intelligence, reflective practice, shared leadership, appreciative inquiry, and with the ten lessons in collaboration so eloquently outlined by Gardner (2005). Healthy and positive team dynamics are essential for optimal interprofessional collaborative relationships. It is critical to identify and understand any challenges related to these dynamics and to have transparent team discussions about such challenges early on in your team relationships.
Always seek to understand others, place your focus on strengths, and continuously reflect and learn when things do not go as expected. With these, your nursing world will open to endless possibilities, for the client, for your team, and for you personally.
Additional resources on interprofessional collaboration can be found on the Canadian Nurses Association website.
After completing this chapter, you should now be able to:
- Describe the increasing complexity of health care needs in the community and the implications of that complexity within our current health system.
- Illustrate the need for interprofessional collaboration in community care.
- Explain the importance of client and family engagement in their care.
- Identify parallels between leadership characteristics or styles and interprofessional leadership within collaborative practice.
- Describe specific skills and practices that support interprofessional leadership and collaboration.
- Recognize cornerstone components that can lead to successful collaboration.
- Describe relational dynamics of positive teams.
- Discuss a client situation in which an interprofessional collaborative approach could be helpful.
- In the above scenario, discuss how you would set the stage for interprofessional collaboration, including client and family engagement.
- Identify the elements of appreciative inquiry and how appreciative inquiry supports nurse leaders in community practice.
- Discuss what reflective practice means to you and how it has or will help you in your nursing practice.
- Create a scenario where some or all of the ten lessons in collaboration (Gardner, 2005) could support a complex client situation.
- What did you learn from the “Build a Tower, Build a Team” video? How do team dynamics impact the team and its success?
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