Teamwork and Commitment in Healthcare

Introduction

Commitment in a team can be described as a sense of free-flowing excitement and passion, where members are willing to anything that is required to enable the team to succeed (Larson & LaFasto, 1989). To provide effective health care, teams of health care providers need to work together as they interact to achieve the patient’s desired results. In the recent past, there has been an increased emphasis on the importance of working in collaboration as a key requirement for nurses, midwives, doctors, and health visitors in their professional practice (Sine, Saunders & Forbes-burford, 2009).

However, the hierarchical structure of leadership in the health care sector has been a major hindrance in adopting the flexibility that allows teamwork to succeed. There are various factors that a leader can put into consideration to achieve the commitment of members into the team, and they include:

Decision-Making

Concerning decisions, there are things to be taken into account. First, members must be involved and allowed to contribute their opinions in coming up with policies and procedures. This makes the team members share responsibility as far as the team’s success is concerned hence commitment (Huber, 2006). Secondly, strive to achieve consensus by seeking each member’s opinion to move forward. This is important because if not achieved, members will be working at cross-purpose a canceling each other’s effort instead of supplementing hence killing the morale and commitment. Also, if you chose the authority’s decision or for the majority, those who disagree can lose the commitment and affect others in the end (Freemantle, 2004).

Relationships

The leader should ensure that he makes the members his first priority. The members need to know that you value them and their contribution to the team and that you are interested in what they are doing and are willing to support them. Secondly, the leader should build a personal relationship with the team member. This involves treating each member as a human being where the leader endeavors to discover little personal things about each team member, for instance, what makes them feel good, annoyed (Freemantle, 2004). For example if, how a team member’s sick child is doing. This enables you to win their commitment, and it needs not to be an intellectual process but an emotional one that comes from the heart.

Goals, objectives, and aspirations

It is important to collectively come up with common goals that are willingly shared by each individual. This can be obtained by finding out each person’s self-interest and establishing how each and everyone can win when the team wins. This helps each member to identify positive reasons for why they should work together in the team hence promoting team commitment. While goals and objectives refer to the direction of action, aspiration is the spirit of pursuing it. Therefore when the goals are designed so that everyone can relate to them, it sparks out the energy in them and acts as their source of pride. This then gives them the reason to do what they are doing hence promoting unity, which results in a commitment to the team. For example, a hospital can have its vision as the medical center of choice in the whole world (Avery, Walker & Murphy, 2001).

Conclusion

The process of attaining teamwork in health care is quite complex and requires careful planning and continuous evaluation by the leaders and members. Failure to do so may result in an insidious reduction in the team members’ commitment that will eventually affect the kind of health care that patients receive and, worse, still lead to fatal consequences.

References

Avery, C M, Walker, M A and Murphy, E O (2001). Teamwork is an individual skill: getting your work done when sharing responsibility. San Francisco, Ca: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Freemantle, D (2004). The Biz: 50 little things that make a big difference to team motivation and leadership. Boston, MA: Nicholas Brealey Publishing.

Huber, D (2006) Leadership and nursing care management. Pennsylvania: Elsevier Health Sciences.

Larson, C, E and LaFasto, F, M, J (1989). Teamwork: what must go right, what can go wrong. California: Sage Publications.

Sines, D, Saunders, M, and Forbes-Burford, J (2009) Community Health Care Nursing. West Sussex, UK: John Wiley and Sons.