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Discussion on Teamwork

Why a Clinical Unit Should Depend on the Team and How Teamwork Can Benefit From Quality Care As Well As Risk Management

Unity is strength and where there is collaboration and teamwork, goals and objectives can be attained. Teamwork in clinical unit is critical as it enhances patient care. Teams offer a vehicle for allowing firms to react to shifting environmental occurrences. Health service managers who do not comprehend means of working through teams risk organisational outputs (Harris, Harris & Johnstone, 2006). From my own experience, I believe that teamwork in clinical setting facilities sharing of skills, expertise and ideas that support quality care. Rafferty, Ball and Aiken (2001) ascertain that teamwork enhances financial outcomes, lower staff turnover and absenteeism, increases motivation of staff, lowers conflict, instigates better patients’ outcomes and ensures high quality of care.

From a personal perspective, I believe that diverse abilities and skills of team members promote quality care and better patients’ outcome. While working in a medical unit team, every team member had a role to play based on their skills and we blended our diverse skills to enhance patient care. Teamwork facilitates improvement of patient safety, and is a key factor to patient safety improvement. However, communication in teamwork is crucial because communication breakdown results to unintentional harm to patients. Additionally, the psychological health and wellbeing of team members affect effectiveness and initiatives of a team. Effective teams are based on shared values and every team member must self manage themselves through understanding their values, strengths and their best performances. Therefore, each team member should understand what he/she is good at and develop their contribution in the team based on their strengths (Drucker, 1999). With respect to risk management, when a patient’s safety is at risk, the most knowledgeable resolution must be attainable in a short period. Many successful malpractice suits involve situations where the call for expert intervention is not addressed punctually (Carrol, 2011). I believe that teamwork facilitates effective risk management given that a team comprises of different people with diverse skills, values and expertise. However, effective risk management calls for active involvement of team members and efficient communication.


Carrol, R.(2011). Risk management handbook for healthcare organisations. UK: John Wiley and Sons.

Drucker, P. (1999). Managing Oneself. Harvard Business Review, 77(2), 65-74.

Harris, M., Harris, R., and Johnstone, L., (2006).  Working with health teams.  In M. Harris (Ed,).  Managing Health Services: Concepts and Practice (2nd ed.) (pp135- 156).  St Louis, Missouri: Elsevier/Mosby.

Rafferty, A., Ball, J. & Aitken, L. (2001). Are Teamwork and professional autonomy compatible, and do they result in improved hospital care? Quality & Safety in Health Care 10 (suppl. 11), ii32-ii37.

Response to Example 1

I like the composition of your post with regard to how you have organised your thoughts. You have provided a consistent argument starting with what comprises a good team and importance of teamwork. It is true that an effective team must hold the right composition, shared objectives and a major trust level (Kotter, 2001). I concur with your assertion that an effective team must be motivated and functional and good teams acknowledge the strengths of their team members. According to John, Charlotte and Trevor (2003), good teamwork calls for team members to respect and recognise the function and role of each team members when ensuring that the interests of the patient remain supreme. If poor skills can jeopardise the role of the whole team and interfere with the interests of the patients, then we should not waste our time attempting to improve or tolerate them. The time and energy wasted in such endeavours could be used in advancing our expertise in areas that are more critical to patient care. In my unit, we focus more on upholding the interests and care of our patient rather than focusing improving poor skills. Our collaboration, cooperation and commitment to quality care have helped us attain our goals and those of the patients.


John, E., Charlotte, C., & Trevor, A. (2003). Community mental health nursing and dementia care: Practical perspectives. UK: McGraw-Hill International.

Kotter, J.P. (2001). What leaders really do, Harvard Business Review, 79(11), 85-97.

Response to Example 3

Your post is informative and introduces multi-disciplinary and uni-disciplinary teams besides providing the difference between the two types of teams in terms of meeting teams’ objectives. It is true that uni-disciplinary clinical teams experience less power struggles compared to multi-disciplinary teams. I have worked with a uni-disciplinary team and our team was very effective in providing quality care to our patients as we experienced no power struggles. According to Manley, McCormack and Wilson (2013), relationships in scores of multi-disciplinary and uni-disciplinary teams are usually time laden with complexity. The quality of team functions can affect clinical outcomes. You have provided an apparent way of providing risk management to patients based on their conditions. However, your post focuses on patients as part of the team and not health care providers working as a team when handling a single patient’s case. It is true that involving a patient as part of a team can lead to better care, but how can such a team address their disagreements emanating from the care of the patient who is also part of the team. Such a team must be very cautious because any conflict could jeopardise the interests and wellbeing of the patient. According to Ferrell and Coyle (2005), tension ad stress can arise from ethical conflict among team members and conflict objectives concerning patient care that can devastate the patient.


Ferrell, B., & Coyle, N.(2005).Textbook of palliative nursing. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Manley, K., McCormack, B., & Wilson, V.(2013). International practice development in nursing and healthcare. UK: John Wiley & Sons.