In the case of a diabetic patient with an amputation below the knee, the multidisciplinary team acted in concordance to the needs of the client.
A multidisciplinary team characteristically consists of nurses, surgeons, psychologists and physiotherapists. In the case of a patient who has just had amputation below the knee as a result of diabetes, the work of a surgeon is to provide critical post-operative care and manage with the multidisciplinary team a regimen that can be followed by the patient to enable him/her to recuperate as fast as possible. In helping a patient with amputation, the physiotherapist would provide the recuperation in terms of physical mobility. When it comes to nurses, the target becomes vaster and more complex than it seems. Amputees, says a research by Ellis (2002) often experience phantom pains and it is the nurse’s job to address the physical as well as psychological aspect of the pains. These phantom pains can exist both pre- or post-operative conditions and may prolong to up to two years. The nurse would also provide day-to-day care and needs of the patient as life to the patient as he/she knows it will change and the stressor is to be managed day in and day out. As said by Matzo and Sherman (2001), holistic nursing care brings together the various dimensions of health care to the patient. This includes knowledge, theories, expertise, and intuition. It also uses appropriate interventions in the context of the client’s total needs
Had this network not been established, the condition of the aforementioned case, including many other patients who are benefiting from the system of multidisciplinary health care system, would not have had the chance of a better quality of life with their respective ailments.
Many holistic strategies such as establishing support groups, using touch, prayer and imagery as well as movement and music therapy and stress-management strategies to enhance health outcomes are multidisciplinary in their character. Various professionals contributed to the development of these strategies, such as nurses, physicians, social workers, child-life specialists and occupational therapists. Collaborative, multidisciplinary holistic practice is necessary for true healing and wholeness in clients.
Some issues that may rise, according to Atwal and Caldwell (2006), that hinder teamwork: (i) differing perceptions of teamwork; (ii) different levels of skills acquisitions to function as a team member; and (iii) the dominance of medical power that influenced interaction in teams. Thus, education establishments and nursing managers need to ensure that the acquisition of team-playing skills is an integral part of continued professional development.
To reduce these differences and barriers, the need for a more solidified method of working is the need of the times. If a patient’s well-being is given the highest priority, the question of dominance of respective domains, stereotyped perceptions can be reduced. For skill acquisition, if harmony between the team members is optimum, where they remain in constant correspondence and place highest value to the quality of life in question of the patient, the skill acquisition problem becomes secondary since each team member has a unique contribution to a patient’s life, health and cure. Fay et al (2006) found that that it was necessary to establish team processes that help capitalize on multidisciplinarity, i.e., all aspects of the multidisciplinary team members are to contribute fully and comprehensively to patient care. Each team member was being listened to, each had a say and each remaining in adequate contact with each other
- Atwal A., Caldwell K. (2006) ‘Nurses’ perceptions of multidisciplinary team work in acute health care’, School of Health Sciences and Social Care, Uxbridge, UK. International Journal of Nursing Practice, (6) pp. 359-365.
- Ellis, K. (2002) ‘A review of amputation, phantom pain and nursing responsibilities’ British Journal of Nursing, (11) pp. 155-163.
- Fay, D., Borrill, C., Amir, Z., Haward, R., & West, M., (2006), ‘Getting the most out of multidisciplinary teams: A multi-sample study of team innovation in health care.’ Aston Business School, UK, Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, (79) pp. 553-567.
- Guzzetta, C. (1998), Essential readings in holistic nursing, Aspen Publishers, Gaithersburg.
- Matzo, M., & Sherman, D., (2001), Palliative care nursing: quality care to the end of life, Springer, New York.