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Medicine LibreTexts

7.4: Collaboration and Teamwork

  • Page ID
  • Collaborative Practice

    “Many leadership theorists and practitioners have recognized the value of teams in decision making and in accomplishing the work of the organization” (Sanford & Moore, 2015). Collaboration refers to a collective action focused on achieving a common goal “in a spirit of harmony and trust” (Franklin, Bernhardt, Lopez, Long-Middleton, & Davis, 2015, p. 2). The question is what makes this process successful, and what potentiates the synergistic influence?

    Essential Learning Activity 6.3.1

    1. Click here to read “Ten Lessons in Collaboration” (Gardner, 2005). While Gardner (2005) is an older publication, the author provides a thorough portrayal of collaborative practice and, more importantly, a comprehensive exploration of ten important lessons to consider in collaborative relationships and practice. The discussion reflects the many components of collaboration that have been integral to nursing practice in interprofessional teamwork and leadership.
    2. The Canadian Nurses Association commissioned a paper titled “Interprofessional Collaborative Teams” in 2012. Read the document, then answer the following questions:
      (a) Name five different types of interprofessional collaborative teams.
      (b) Which ones have you experienced during your clinical practice?
      (c) Provide at least one recommendation to enhance interprofessional teamwork, based on your experience.
    3. For a brief overview, watch the following video “Interdisciplinary Collaboration in Health Care Teams” (10:01) with Alanna Branton, then answer the following question: What are the barriers and enablers to interdisciplinary collaboration found in Canadian health care teams?

    Dynamics of Teamwork

    One must acquire an understanding and develop a sense of when it is important to be the leader, the collaborator, and indeed, at times, the follower. Likewise, a keen understanding of being a mentee, and when to transition from a mentee to a mentor, is critical. Ultimately one moves back and forth between these roles over the course of a relationship, including the relationship with the client and relationships within interprofessional collaborative teams. The videos in the following activity illustrate the relational dynamics of successful teams.

    Essential Learning Activity 6.3.2

    For more information on teamwork, watch the following videos, then answer the questions that follow:

    1. Tom Wujec’s TED Talk titled “Build a Tower, Build a Team” (7:22).
      (a) Which team performed consistently well?
      (b) Which team did the very best?
      (c) Why are administrative assistants important to the CEO team?
      (d) Do financial incentives contribute to success?
    2. Praveen Verma’s video on teamwork titled “Motivational Video on Teamwork, Smart Work” (6:38).
      (a) What is the moral of this story?