Communication and Teamwork in Nursing; Communication Concerns in the Workplace, Teamwork and Patient Care, and Challenges to Interprofessional Teamwork.

Communication and Teamwork in Nursing

This essay is about communication and teamwork in nursing. Study it to gain insights that you can adopt when writing educational essays concerning the significance of communication in teamwork.

Introduction to Communication and Teamwork in Nursing Essays

The NMC Code (2018) establishes guidelines for nurses to follow in order to guarantee and maintain safe professional practice. Communication and teamwork are two key qualities mentioned in the code. In order to offer excellent patient care and to defend the best interests of staff, communication and teamwork between staff and patients are important. The purpose of this article is to highlight the critical role that these play in nursing and the obstacles that nurses may confront. The essay will look at important research that has been done on the advantages of efficient communication and cooperation in the nursing field.

It will also recognize situations like The Francis Inquiry (2013) and The Laming Inquiry (2003), in which inadequate communication or collaboration led to negative consequences for the healthcare business. The essay will focus on current placement experiences to give more proof, as well as provide deeper insight into the value of communication and collaboration in all healthcare situations.

All nurses must speak properly, according to the NMC’s Code of Ethics (2018). Nurses must “employ words that individuals in your care, colleagues, and the public can comprehend,” according to the NMC (2018) (Page 9). Nurses should also “take reasonable measures to satisfy people’s language and communication requirements, giving, when feasible, support to individuals who need help communicating their own or other people’s needs,” according to the Code (Page 9). Nurses must ensure that what they say is suitable for the person’s age, language/culture, and level of comprehension while interacting with patients in order to accomplish this (Royal College of Nursing, 2016).

Aspects of Communication

There’s a lot more to consider than simply spoken words when it comes to effective communication (Royal College of Nursing, 2016). It’s crucial to think about the tone of your voice, the message your body language is sending, what the other person is saying, and the veracity of any written communication. Listening and attending, nonverbal, speaking, questioning, and written communication are the five most significant forms of communication (RCN, 2016).

Care may be jeopardized if nurses do not communicate effectively. Nurses must listen to what patients have to say, answer questions in a way that they can understand and process, and pass information on to colleagues in order to communicate effectively (RCN, 2016). It is critical for nurses to be aware of what they say to patients. Nurses must make sure that every communication is clear, accurate, and honest, as well as suitable for the person’s age, language/culture, and comprehension ability.

It’s also crucial to think about how things are expressed and the tone of voice used. When dealing with both service consumers and coworkers, nurses must be polite and considerate. For example, ensuring that patients are called as they prefer and avoiding the usage of ‘pet’ names are also important considerations.

Benefits of Communication

Communication is an important part of nursing that may assist patients. Effective interaction with both patients and other healthcare professionals requires good communication, and without it, treatment may be jeopardized. Misunderstandings have the potential to cause damage; nurses can safeguard patients by communicating properly. As a result, the patient experience is improved and complaints are reduced. It may also benefit employees by increasing their self-confidence, professional status, and reducing stress. The NMC Code (2015) specifies that nurses should “verify people’s knowledge from time to time to reduce misunderstandings or errors to a minimum.”

In the vast majority of circumstances, efficient communication can safeguard patients from potential damage caused by misconceptions. (M. Ali, 2017) While it is unusual for major damage to come from poor communication, even little errors may have serious effects. For example, due to a breakdown in communication between professionals, the incorrect drug is provided. Another example is that at an end-of-shift handover, poor communication might result in vital information not being relayed, potentially resulting in patient damage (World Health Organization, 2007).

Furthermore, poor communication can lead to non-compliance with medication regimens, repeat clinic visits, disagreements, and, in some cases, legal action. As a result, it is estimated that the NHS loses over £1 billion per year as a result of these flaws (McDonald, 2016). In addition, according to Jones (2010), patients are more likely than any other element to rate the quality of treatment they get based on communication and personal engagement with healthcare personnel. Patients’ trust in healthcare experts grows as a result of effective communication, and they are more inclined to follow any advice offered. Despite this, according to a 2016 Care Quality Commissions inpatient study, about a third of patients could not comprehend nurses’ explanations some or all of the time (CQC, 2017).

Factors that Contribute to Poor Communication

Poor communication can be caused by a variety of factors. Background noise or a crowded environment can make it difficult for a patient to hear the message clearly. It’s also crucial to consider the patient’s condition, as messages may be misinterpreted as a result, such as in the case of a patient with dementia or hearing issues. Practitioner factors can also play a role; for example, if a nurse fails to communicate in a way that patients understand, a message may be misinterpreted. Language limitations may also generate communication issues, which can lead to mistakes.

As previously stated, the NMC (2015) has underlined this problem, and nurses are required to take measures to overcome such linguistic obstacles. Such hurdles, according to the Royal College of Nurses (2016), may lead to misunderstandings, resentments, disappointments, and demoralization among both service consumers and staff. It is critical that healthcare workers be aware of these communication challenges and work collaboratively to devise strategies to overcome them. Egan (2010) suggests that healthcare workers need further training in order to improve their communication abilities.

Communication Concerns in the Workplace

Francis (2013) cited issues regarding communication in his report on the Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust. Francis (2013),  found “a failure of several teams inside the hospital, as well as in the broader community, to communicate and discuss their concerns” in his report as .the major communication concerns in the workplace. A lack of respect between professionals and service users was also highlighted in the report.

In response to the Francis Report, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) produced a report in which they said that nurses “must utilize good communication tactics and negotiating approaches to obtain optimal results, respecting the dignity and human rights of everyone affected.”

As a consequence of the Francis Inquiry’s conclusions, NHS England devised the 6Cs, one of which is communication. “Communication is fundamental to healthy caring relationships and good teamwork,” according to the 6Cs. It’s just as vital to listen as it is to speak. ‘No choice without me’ necessitates it. “Communication is the key to a productive workplace that benefits both our clients and our employees.” (National Health Service, England, 2012) This emphasizes the significance of communication in nursing.

Due to the majority of the patients having advanced stage dementia, I encountered a variety of communication hurdles during a recent placement in a North West nursing care. There are many types of dementia, all of which impair a person’s capacity to communicate over time. When talking with persons with dementia, nonverbal communication accounts for up to 90% of their conversation (Mc Namara, G. 2016).

The capacity to communicate differs depending on the stage of the illness and from individual to person. With this in mind, it is critical for nurses to communicate with patients in a person-centered manner. To help me communicate successfully, I made sure that I spoke with Nursing Home employees who were acquainted with the patients and could appreciate their likes and dislikes. This was really vital to me in order to assist customize communication with each patient. It was critical to watch nonverbal patients’ behavior and pay attention to my own nonverbal communication, such as body language and facial expressions while interacting with them.

It was frequently simple to tell if a patient was in pain or not by monitoring nonverbal communication. It’s also crucial to think about the terminology you use, as well as the tone and volume of your spoken words, to make sure you’re not speaking down to, overpowering, or treating them like a kid. Williams and Herman (2011) showed that residents’ compliance with care was typically connected with the tone in which they were addressed to. Residents who were referred to as though they were children often refused treatment and displayed a variety of behaviors such as shouting and weeping (Williams and Herman 2011).

Teamwork and Patient Care

Good teamwork, according to the Royal College of Nursing, includes services being structured imaginatively, right choices being made, patients receiving high-quality care, and teams being able to adjust quickly to unanticipated change. It is critical that all members of the team, including the patient, communicate with one another in order to provide the best possible care to patients. To function as a successful team, they must combine their observations, knowledge, and decision-making duties.

Effective cooperation may have a favorable influence on patient safety. Patients are seldom cared for by a single expert nowadays, and their care is frequently delegated to a multidisciplinary team. Multidisciplinary teams are made up of healthcare experts with a variety of skills, talents, and knowledge who work together to give the best possible patient care and treatment.

The necessity for these specialized teams has grown in recent years as chronic illness, co-morbidities, and an aging population have all increased (World Health Organization, 2012). This implies that strong teamwork is critical to reducing the risk of mistakes caused by miscommunication between teams and misconceptions about roles and duties within that team. Patients’ participation in their treatment as members of a team, according to research, may also assist to reduce the risk of mistakes or bad outcomes (NICE, 2016).

It is critical for these teams to operate well if everyone is focused on the same goal of delivering the best possible patient care. To achieve so, all members of the team must contribute their own talents and abilities. 2016 (Royal College of Nursing). Staff should “respect the abilities, knowledge, and contributions of your colleagues, referring concerns to them when appropriate,” according to the NMC Code (2018). (Page 9). Any modifications to patient care should be communicated to all members of the team at all times, and they should be given the chance to comment on any changes.

Challenges to Interprofessional Teamwork

The difficulties to interprofessional cooperation, according to Weller et al (2014), fall into three categories: educational, psychological, and organizational. Because various health care personnel, such as physicians and nurses, are taught on different programs, education may provide a hurdle to efficient collaboration. As a result, the groups may not be aware of each other’s roles, responsibilities, or priorities. They may also have conflicting expectations in terms of content, structure, and timeliness, which may lead to issues within the interdisciplinary team.

Hierarchical hierarchies in healthcare may also be a psychological obstacle to good collaboration. Staff may feel uneasy when confronted with more senior staff’s choices, leading them to hide their misgivings. This hierarchical structure may have disastrous repercussions, as seen by Elaine Bromiley’s case, which will be examined in further depth later in the article.

Finally, there are organizational obstacles such as geography, such as the placement of patients inside a hospital. This may make scheduling meetings to discuss patient care plans and ward rounds more challenging. Multiple healthcare experts are often engaged in a patient’s treatment, and they must frequently depend on opportunistic encounters to share information. (J. Weller et al., 2014)

Instances of Errors Due to Poor Communication

Medication mistakes are more likely to occur when there is a breakdown in communication amongst workers, according to research. It is critical that all members of the team be aware of the exact drug, dosage, route, and time of delivery (Keers, Williams, Cooke, & Ashcroft, 2013). Furthermore, Lyubovnikova et al. (2015) discovered a link between cooperation and a variety of patient outcomes, including patient mortality and mistakes. “Where more mistakes are made, patients are plainly at higher danger,” the research adds.

Medication mistakes, omissions of care, and errors of commission are the most common errors discovered. This highlights the importance of hospital collaboration in terms of preserving patients’ lives. It was also shown that hospitals with high cooperation qualities had much-reduced rates of workplace injuries and staff illness absence, which is helpful to both the hospital and the employees’ morale.

Victoria Climbie’s story exemplifies the disastrous repercussions of ineffective collaboration. The Laming Report (2003) stated that local agencies failed to safeguard Victoria on 12 occasions during an investigation into her murder. These flaws were shown to be the consequence of insufficient staff training and poor communication and information sharing among the many teams engaged in the case. Personnel must “keep colleagues aware when you are sharing the care of persons with other health and care professionals and staff,” according to the NMC Code (2018). Victoria seems to be an exception to this rule since separate sides neglected to communicate information that may have influenced the case’s conclusion.

In the instance of Elaine Bromiley, inadequate collaboration was shown to be one of the culprits. Elaine’s situation exemplifies a lack of respect among team members. During the resuscitation, three nurses and three experienced nurses were there. During the procedure, two nurses tried to interfere, one providing a surgical airway kit and the other placing a bed in the ICU. The consultants disregarded or discarded these proposals. The fact that these efforts were dismissed may have had a key role in the case.

It was then revealed that the nurses were unable to discuss the matter with the physicians. It is critical for all members of a team to be able to express themselves and provide solutions, particularly when there seems to be danger, as in the instance of Elaine. Staff should “respect the talents, experience, and contributions of your colleagues,” according to the NMC Code (2018).

The participation of the nurses in Elaine’s case was not valued by the rest of the team. Teams must “provide an environment of excellent communication in the operating theatre so that any member of staff feels comfortable making treatment ideas,” according to the report on Elaine’s death. Professor Michael Harmer (Professor Michael Harmer, 2005).

The investigation also discovered that there were mistakes made during the transfer of care since the patient was not officially passed from the anaesthetists’ care to recovery workers. “There was no clear transfer of care in this instance between Dr A and the recovery team,” the investigation concludes. Professor Harmer (2005) proposed that a more formal handover be used in the future to guarantee that there is no question about who is accountable for the patient’s care.

Reflection

During recent placements, the necessity of collaboration in healthcare contexts was also underlined. During my time at the nursing home in question, I became aware of the necessity of the multidisciplinary team in the daily care of the patients. Although caregivers are responsible for the majority of the residents’ personal care, it is critical that information regarding the patients’ care be communicated among all members of the team, including care workers, nursing staff, district nurses, physicians, and other health care professionals.

I saw the necessity of successful collaboration when working with the RGN at the elderly home, for example, while providing medications like insulin. Diabetic people must have their blood glucose levels checked and insulin injections administered at different intervals throughout the day. Before this can be given, the RGN must first determine if the resident has eaten in order to accurately measure the patient’s blood levels.

According to the NICE (2015) recommendations, diabetics may develop hypoglycemic if they don’t consume enough. If the patient hasn’t eaten in a while, their blood glucose level may be too low to deliver the insulin injection, which would drop their blood glucose level even further. As a result, it is critical that all members of the team communicate information on the residents so that their requirements may be appropriately appraised. This ensures that the nurse follows the NMC Code (2018), which states that nurses must “operate collaboratively to guarantee the safety of individuals receiving care.”

During a recent placement in a medical center, I also saw the advantages of a well-coordinated multidisciplinary care team. The practicing nurse had brought a newborn into the medical center for vaccines. The baby’s mother expressed worry that she had seen a little rash on the baby’s body and that the immunizations would not be appropriate for him if he had a virus. The infant had been examined by a GP at the medical center a few weeks before for a chest illness, according to his medical records.

In light of this, the practice nurse determined that consulting the GP before providing the immunizations was the best course of action. The infant was inspected by the doctor, who advised that since he had no temperature and looked to be in good health, it was okay to continue. In this case, the nurse sent the patient to the GP for advice since she didn’t know what to do. These acts follow the NMC’s (2018) code, which says that nurses should “respect your colleagues’ abilities, experience, and contributions, referring concerns to them when appropriate.”

Conclusion

Nurses Teaming up
Communication and Teamwork in Nursing

The significance of communication and cooperation in nursing has been explored in this article. In a nursing job, it is obvious that communication and teamwork go hand in hand, and that successful cooperation cannot exist without appropriate communication. The article considers what defines excellent communication as well as the obstacles that nurses may face that make communication inefficient. When we look at situations like the Francis Inquiry (2013), we can see the consequences and effects of poor communication on NHS Trusts. Such examples are useful in assisting nurses and other healthcare workers in learning from previous mistakes and avoiding them in the future.

Reflection on placement experiences has shown how adjusting communication might aid in the treatment of Dementia patients. It’s crucial to remember that no two patients are alike, thus communication has to be tailored properly. As a result, nurses must be able to communicate effectively in all modes, both verbal and nonverbal. Nurses must also be able to understand the behavior of their patients in order to guarantee that they are communicating effectively.

This article has also explored examples like the Laming Inquiry (2003) and the Elaine Bromiley Inquiry in terms of collaboration (2005). Both investigations have emphasized the negative effects of inadequate collaboration on patient care and have made suggestions to ensure that instances like these do not occur again. Drawing on placement experiences, the NMC Code (2018) has been applied to clinical scenarios and how nurses are able to follow it in order to put their patients’ best interests first. In the future, it might be worthwhile to investigate how further training may assist nurses and other healthcare workers improve communication and collaboration.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is communication what are its aspects?

There’s a lot more to consider than simply spoken words when it comes to effective communication (Royal College of Nursing, 2016). It’s crucial to think about the tone of your voice, the message your body language is sending, what the other person is saying, and the veracity of any written communication. Listening and attending, nonverbal, speaking, questioning, and written communication are the five most significant forms of communication (RCN, 2016).

2. What are the benefits of communication in healthcare?

Benefits of Communication in Teamwork
Communication and Teamwork in Nursing

Communication is an important part of nursing that may assist patients. Effective interaction with both patients and other healthcare professionals requires good communication, and without it, treatment may be jeopardized. Misunderstandings have the potential to cause damage; nurses can safeguard patients by communicating properly. As a result, the patient experience is improved and complaints are reduced. It may also benefit employees by increasing their self-confidence, professional status, and reducing stress.

3. What are the causes of poor communication in the workplace?

Poor communication can be caused by a variety of factors. Background noise or a crowded environment can make it difficult for a patient to hear the message clearly. It’s also crucial to consider the patient’s condition, as messages may be misinterpreted as a result, such as in the case of a patient with dementia or hearing issues. Practitioner factors can also play a role; for example, if a nurse fails to communicate in a way that patients understand, a message may be misinterpreted. Language limitations may also generate communication issues, which can lead to mistakes.

4. What are the communication issues in the workplace?

Francis (2013) cited issues regarding communication in his report on the Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust. Francis (2013),  found “a failure of several teams inside the hospital, as well as in the broader community, to communicate and discuss their concerns” in his report as .the major communication concerns in the workplace. A lack of respect between professionals and service users was also highlighted in the report.

References

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  • NICE. (2016). Patients should be more involved in decisions about their care. Available: https://www.nice.org.uk/news/article/patients-should-be-more-involved-in-decisions-about-their-care-says-nice. Last accessed 19TH Jan 2020.
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Communication and Teamwork in Nursing

 

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