Interview and Interdisciplinary Issue Identification: Ms. Gordon’s Case

Summary of the Interview

The interview was conducted in the hospital… and Ms. Gordon agreed to be a participant. The interview questions were prepared in advance, and the answers were recorded; moreover, some issues were also clarified by phone to collect all the necessary information. Ms. Gordon is a geriatric nurse, and her responsibilities include caring for the elderly, helping with routine activities, assessing their mental status and recognizing common health problems, organizing medications, and educating. Ms. Gordon noted that due to her specialized role, she faces various patients’ health problems and must have knowledge that allows her to make decisions in any area. She also indentifies this aspect an issue of concern, since she often needs the consultation of specialists for her patients when a question relates to specific diseases. Nevertheless, getting a consultation is problematic due to specialists’ workload and often their unwillingness to cooperate.

However, management requires medical staff to respond to requests from their colleagues to meet patients’ needs, although the rules or frameworks for this task are not set. Thus, often Ms. Gordon cannot fulfill her duties and help the patient for a long time until she receives confirmation and direction from her colleagues.

Ms. Gordon also notes that at her previous workplace, the interprofessional collaboration was at a higher level, possibly due to the smaller size of the hospital. Each specialist knew the exact time to visit patients, and the proposal for new approaches to diagnosis and treatment was encouraged at general meetings. Ms. Gordon notes that collaboration in this hospital is low, and colleagues discuss different issues only if necessary.

Issue

The interview demonstrates that the hospital’s central issue is the lack of organization for doctors and nurses to carry out their duties and assist each other. This disadvantage forces patients to wait a long time for checks and the meeting of their needs and also hinders the fulfillment of nurses’ duties. Ms. Gordon says that sometimes she thinks that she can learn everything by herself faster than waiting for all the specialists, so she tries to cope on her own if the competence allows. This approach is ineffective and can be harmful to patients. In addition, the hospital lacks a culture of collaboration that helps not only to respond to requests from colleagues quickly but also to develop new, more effective approaches to diagnosis and treatment. Therefore, these aspects need to be improved to encourage interprofessional collaboration and enhance care quality for elderly patients.

Change Theories That Could Lead to an Interdisciplinary Solution

Lewin’s theory of change is most suitable for improving collaboration and interdisciplinary approach as it has three stages: unfreezing, moving, and refreezing (Wojciechowski et al., 2016). The first stage is focused on problems that interfere with team interaction and set goals, which allows employees to find directions for work. The second stage is a gradual process of changing or moving. Wojciechowski et al. (2016) note that involving personnel in forming a new system of interactions is one of the key points at this stage. The next step is to establish new principles through communication and socialization of personnel, as well as a system of penalties and rewards. Wojciechowski et al. (2016) use a more complex approach and several theories as their goal are more complicated. However, this source is also relevant for this assignment as it shows the effectiveness of Lewin’s theory of change for strengthening interprofessional collaboration. Therefore, this theory and approach are appropriate for the situation in the hospital… as it can change the organizational issues and also the attitude of employees towards collaboration and improve patient care.

Leadership Strategies That Could Lead to an Interdisciplinary Solution

The most appropriate strategy for enhancing interdisciplinary collaboration is to use a transformational leadership style. This style’s peculiarities are that the leader inspires employees, considers their individual needs, and motivates while giving them autonomy in decision-making (Alvinius, 2017). Consequently, this style is ideal for Lewin’s theory of change in the movement phase as employees will be motivated to propose convenient changes. For example, employees can create a clear schedule for the monitoring of patients and organize meetings to discuss professional issues. In addition, Espinoza et al. (2018) determined that the presence of a transformational leader is necessary to enhance dialogue and innovation in an interprofessional team. This article is the most suitable for finding a solution as it examines the issue of leadership and its impact on teamwork, confirming the effectiveness of transformational leadership. Hence, evidence from the literature and the compatibility of leadership strategy and change theory demonstrate the relevance of the approach.

Collaboration Approaches for Interdisciplinary Teams

A transactional leader can also help strengthen team collaboration by motivating all team members to share their experiences and listen to others’ opinions. Ms. Gordon noted that interprofessional collaboration is rare in their hospital, so the first step is to assemble a team of professionals experienced in their field. Since older patients usually have many health problems, such a team should include nurses and doctors from various disciplines, such as cardiology, orthopedics, surgery, and endocrinology. Simultaneously, as Mayo (2018) emphasizes, all team members need to feel safe in the exchanging of ideas and knowledge and not consider themselves as insufficiently competent. In this case, the leader will have the role of a coordinator and motivator who can create a safe work environment by focusing on each participant’s strengths and the importance of their cooperation. Mayo’s article is relevant and credible, since it is published in an authoritative medical journal according to current standards, and also relates to the considered issue. Therefore, motivating employees to share their knowledge in a safe work environment is the most appropriate approach to enhance collaboration, which should be encouraged by leaders.

References

Alvinius, A. (2017). Contemporary leadership challenges. InTech.

Espinoza, P., Peduzzi, M., Agreli, H. F., & Sutherland, M. A. (2018). Interprofessional team member’s satisfaction: a mixed methods study of a Chilean hospital. Human Resources for Health, 16(30), 1–12. Web.

Mayo, A.T. (2016). Teamwork in health care: Maximizing collective intelligence via inclusive collaboration and open communication. AMA Journal of Ethics. Web.

Wojciechowski, E., Murphy, P., Pearsall, T., & French, E. (2016). A case review: Integrating Lewin’s Theory with Lean’s system approach for change. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 21(2). Web.