I had the pleasure of interviewing a coworker who currently works as a float nurse at my hospital. Her name is Dena and she is working towards her Master’s in Nursing. She has been a Registered Nursing for 12 years and working at my employer for the past five. She decided to go to school for her RN after working as a certified nursing assistant at a local nursing home. Her current role as a fellow float nurse is to assess patients, monitor vitals, update patient records, and administer medications on her assigned floor. She may work on multiple units during the work week and never the same unit continuously unless there is a significant shortage. Dena sometimes is asked to supervise new nurses on the unit she is assigned to help them learn how to administer the best possible care for our patient population.
During our interview, Dena wanted to discuss several issues which she sees on the units in which she is assigned. She also mentioned as a float nurse she feels she could be a fresh pair of eyes for those who work on only one floor as they tend to get stuck in a daily routine and may miss an error. One of the first issues she brought to my attention were medication errors and the second issue which she feels needs to be addressed are hospital acquired infections. Dena went on to say that these issues can contribute to patients being readmitted after being discharged. Management has attempted to intervene and help with these issues by implementing tools and technological support. Electronic Medical Records (EMR) help reduce medication errors by keeping track of what medications the patient has been given and when and also what medications they regularly take at home. Dena did mention that sometimes she has seen fellow nurses manually type in a medication rather than scanning the barcode which has led to the wrong medication being administered. The nursing staff that she sees manually entering medications into the patient records are usually the nurses who are more seasoned and prefer to still use “old-school” techniques rather than learn the new technologies that are readily available for us. Dena also brought up how she feels that there is still room for improvement with interdisciplinary collaboration as she feels that management needs to clarify the roles of other department members.
During my interview with Dena we discussed many issues which we both felt needed more attention but the one we both felt should be discussed further was hospital acquired infections and how there is a need for more interdisciplinary collaboration. On the Med/Surg unit, hospital acquired infections are becoming more common as the patient census continues to rise. Establishing an “interdisciplinary team approach to promote compliance of best practices will significantly reduce the occurrence of healthcare associate infect ions in an acute care hospital” (Fraley & Rodriguez, 2015). Interprofessional collaborations involving nursing, physicians, PT, Lab, and pharmacy would allow them to examine the subject together and come up with a logical resolution. By means of implementing an interdisciplinary approach will allow the care team to learn from each other’s scope of practice, skills, experience and knowledge. This could help tremendously with the prevention of hospital acquired infections as new measures can be put in place.
Change Theory That Could Help Develop an Interdisciplinary Solution
People are resistant to change it is evadable. When a new policy is put into place there will always be those who have a hard time adapting to the new change even if it is for the better. There are theories and models that can provide a type of outline on how to give support for the adaptation to the change in policy. The Plan-Do-Study-Act Model (PDSA) is frequently utilized in healthcare settings to enhance practices. Using a PDSA would grant the interdisciplinary team the opportunity to review adjustments to help enhance any changes made (Coury et al.,2017),
Leadership Strategy That Could Help Develop an Interdisciplinary Solution
Leadership strategy is a guide to help with supporting an investment of improving management and objectives. One example would be a team that focuses on hospital acquired infections. They could focus their attention on patient centered care that puts the attention on the patient as a person and their care based on their individual needs rather than a one size fits all type of care. Patient centered care can help improve the odds of reducing the chance of any hospital acquired infections (Orchard & Rykhoff, 2015). This practice could also be useful to the interdisciplinary team to help them concentrate on the patient’s personal symptoms and help shrink recovery time. The team could individualize the plan of care for those more prone to these infections to essentially reduce or even remove the risk.
Interdisciplinary Teams and the Collaborations used
Having a variety of team members can help different perspective be brought to everyone’s attention. This is especially true when working with team members of different scopes of practice. There are various leadership techniques that can assist a interdisciplinary team. Two of these styles are delegative and democratic. While the autocratic style is a useful, the delegative and democratic styles have a better opportunity at discovering a common ground for a problem. Permitting the team to discover an agreement prior to finding a solution is an example of democratic style of leadership. When there is a disagreement allowing a vote can sometimes be the best way to handle a situation as many people rather have a majority rules situation rather than an authoritarian position. Collaboration needs communication and teamwork to obtain a common goal (Rosen et al.,2018).
- Coury, J.,Schneider, J.L., Rivelli, J.S.,Petrik, A.F., Seibel, E., D’Agostini, B. (2017). Applying the plan-dostudy-act (PDSA) approach to a large pragmatic study involving safety net clinics. BMC Health Services Research, 17(1), 411. doi:10.1186/s12913-017-2364-3
- Orchard, C. & Rykhoff, M. (2015). Collaborative Leadership within Interprofessional Practice. Leadership and Collaboration, 71-94. doi10.1057/9781137432094_5
- Rosen,M.A., DiazGrandados, D., Dietz, A. S., Benishek, L. E., Thompson, D., Pronovost, P.J., & Weaver, S.J. (2018) Teamwork in Healthcare: Key discoveries enabling safer, high-quality care.The American Psychologist, 73(4), 433-450. doi:10.1037/amp0000298