Interprofessional teams can be regarded as an approach widely accepted in the clinical setting. Different professionals work in teams to provide high-quality patient-centered care to a particular patient, which has a positive impact on their health outcomes. Being a nurse in a family primary care unit, I also work in interprofessional teams because our facility has adopted this approach. As a member of an interprofessional team, I provide care to patients in close collaboration with a medical support assistant, licensed practice nurses and registered nurses, a social worker, a chief nursing officer in charge (CNOI), and an administrator. Although interprofessional teams are effective and contribute to the improvement of the quality of provided care, certain areas of this work need improvements. Communication among administrators and CNOI, on the one hand, and the rest of the team, on the other hand, is associated with gaps and misunderstandings. The administrative staff develops new protocols, but this data is not properly disseminated among other team members as well as the rest of the personnel. This paper includes a brief description of a possible way to apply iCARE principles to address the issue.
The components of the iCARE paradigm include compassion, advocacy, resilience, and evidence-based practice. Compassion is one of the pillars of nursing practice as nurses provide care by being compassionate to patients’ suffering and trouble. This component of the iCARE model can also be applied to improve the functioning of interprofessional teams. Nurses should articulate their concerns with a focus on patient needs because the use of incorrect protocols and documents leads to negative effects and can even cause undesirable patient outcomes (Asmirajanti et al., 2019). Nurses should also appeal to administrators’ compassion as these team members should consider the hardships of nursing practitioners who have to use new protocols with little training or even data on the innovations.
Advocacy has become a part of nurses’ everyday practice comparatively recently, but nursing professionals have become effective advocates, which is leading to continuous improvements in the healthcare system. Advocacy implies practitioners’ ongoing involvement in the process of change and being the change agent guiding the transformations. These days, nurses make a significant effort in advocating for meeting patients’ needs by offering new methods, programs, and initiatives.
In order to solve the existing communication issue in our team, it is also essential to resort to advocacy. Nurses should advocate for the development of clear communication channels to disseminate data regarding protocols and documentation. I will address administrators and NCOIs, as well as my peers working in other teams, initiating discussions of possible ways to create such communication channels and platforms. This advocacy will contribute to the creation of the sense of urgency that is the first stage of change implementation. By sharing ideas and concerns, team members will bring out the gaps to be addressed, which is critical for the development of an effective solution.
Resilience is an important skill that helps nurses to provide high-quality care. Workload and emotional load tend to result in nurses’ burnout, fatigue, and emotional exhaustion. These issues, in their turn, may lead to psychological or even physical health issues. Therefore, it is important to develop resilience in order to maintain proper health and mental conditions to provide care to patients. The principle of resilience can also be utilized when addressing issues in interprofessional team performance. By sharing their concerns, nurses within the interprofessional team can help each other develop resilience and improve each other’s emotional states. This psychological support will be instrumental in creating a friendly and supportive atmosphere to implement the necessary communication-related change.
Finally, the effort should be evidence-based as nurses and other healthcare practitioners make decisions based on sound evidence. I will implement research and provide studies on the effectiveness of communication and ways to improve this function within interprofessional teams. For instance, Asmirajanti et al. (2019) note that documentation and protocols are often the area that requires specific attention of the administration and is associated with nurses’ concerns. Each nurse in an interprofessional team will conduct their research, and the results will be shared during regular meetings. The accumulated knowledge will be instrumental in developing effective communication channels and practices that will improve communication within the interprofessional teams of our unit and facility.
In conclusion, it is necessary to note that the iCARE framework can help in improving the performance of interprofessional teams in our unit, as well as the entire facility. The principles of this approach can be seen as milestones of efforts aimed at improving communication between administrative staff and the rest of the interprofessional team members. I intend to become the change agent in our unit and start the change process. I will advocate for the improvement of communication patterns and inspire my peers to contribute to this incentive. In collaboration with other members of interprofessional teams and utilizing iCARE concepts, I will be able to create a sense of urgency, develop a particular change plan, and implement it successfully.
Asmirajanti, M., Hamid, A. Y. S., & Hariyati, R. T. S. (2019). Nursing care activities based on documentation. BMC Nursing, 18(S1), 32-37. Web.