The importance of interprofessional practice is hard to overstate in current conditions since it has been closely connected to improved patient outcomes. However, the role of nurse practitioners (NPs) in interdisciplinary teams remains unclear since it is perceived to be somewhere between a physician and a nurse. The present paper offers an overview of NP’s responsibilities and describes how the introduction of NPs in primary care setting can impact care provision.
Role of NPs in Multidisciplinary Teams
The interprofessional practice is a complicated process that draws together several healthcare professionals from diverse spheres to share their knowledge, skills, and expertise in order to deliver quality care to patients. While well-coordinated multidisciplinary teams can positively affect patient outcomes and improve the healthcare delivery system in general, poorly managed teams may have the opposite effect on care provision (Marsilio, Torbica, & Villa, 2017). For a team to be capable, every participant is to be sure about her or his role in care delivery. As an NP, I will need to coordinate, manage, and control the outcomes of high-risk patients with chronic diseases (Kutzleb et al. 2015).
Moreover, I will be responsible for effective transferring patients from hospital settings to home, providing necessary discharge information. This will include patient education about lifestyle changes, dietary habits, and medication use (Kutzleb et al. 2015). I will also provide information about needed preventative measures, such as screening and immunization.
The importance of role distribution and precise identification of responsibilities is self-evident. It helps to ensure that roles do not overlap and healthcare professionals do not do the same work twice. Additionally, it improves self-efficacy of all the stakeholders, which helps them to perform at their highest capacity. Finally, it helps healthcare leaders to manger the team more efficiently (Marsilio et al., 2017). In other words, clear role articulation helps the team to be more productive while delivering care, which, in turn, improves the quality of care.
Beneficiaries and Other Stakeholders
Adequate performance of interdisciplinary teams is associated with many benefits. Such benefits include “increased learning and development of people and institutions, better resource utilization, minimization of unnecessary costs, improvements in job performance and work quality, and more efficacious outcomes for patients and their families” (Marsilio et al., 2017, p. 304). Therefore, the primary beneficiaries are the patients and their families since the instruction of interprofessional practice is associated with improved access to healthcare services (Sangster-Gormley, 2015).
At the same time, all the team members benefit from the presence of NPs since they share their knowledge and experience. Moreover, workplace satisfaction of colleagues improves significantly, which can be associated with better retention rates (Sangster-Gormley, 2015). Taking a broader view on the matter, other stakeholders of the introduction of NPs to primary care teams include the entire community, the hospital, and the healthcare system in general. In short, the participation of NPs in interprofessional practice affects diverse groups of people.
The introduction of interdisciplinary teams in primary care is of extreme importance since it benefits patients and their families, co-workers, the healthcare organization, community, and the US healthcare system. My role as an NP in interprofessional practice is to coordinate, manage, and control the outcomes of high-risk patients with complex conditions. NPs are vital for interdisciplinary teams since they increase the accessibility of healthcare services, improve patient outcomes, and allow team members to learn from their experience and knowledge.
Kutzleb, J., Rigolosi, R., Fruhschien, A., Reilly, M., Shaftic, A. M., Duran, D., & Flynn, D. (2015). Nurse practitioner care model: meeting the health care challenges with a collaborative team. Nursing Economics, 33(6), 297-305.
Marsilio, M., Torbica, A., & Villa, S. (2017). Health care multidisciplinary teams. Health Care Management Review, 42(4), 303–314.
Sangster-Gormley, E. (2015). Interprofessional collaboration: Co-workers’ perceptions of adding nurse practitioners to primary care teams. Quality in Primary Care, 23(3), pp. 122-127.