Work Teams in the Healthcare Organization

Subject: Nursing
Pages: 10
Words: 2878
Reading time:
12 min
Study level: Master

Introduction

In organizations, people are usually united in groups or teams, which serve as its main structural elements. This reduction of personnel is primarily due to the fact that only groups can perform those tasks with which no one is working separately. The use of group activities is attractive not only for the organization but also for its members. Since by uniting in professional groups, people feel stronger and more confident in the face of difficulties and obstacles. Moreover, they secure a more prestigious position in society, satisfy the need for self-esteem, and strengthen their influence to achieve their goals or meet existing needs.

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A group, in contrast to people randomly gathered together, is defined by two essential features. First, the members of the group interact with each other, so the actions of each person affect the actions of others, and vice versa; everyone is influenced by everyone else. Secondly, the representatives of the team understand that only the group has sufficient potential to achieve its goals jointly. Involvement in work is a valuable quality of employees in the workplace (Robijn et al., 2020). Hence, a group can be defined as a combination of two or more people interacting with each other to achieve specific goals or meet particular needs. It should be noted that significant gains in performance indicators that can be achieved from the use of groups are achieved with their skillful use, but if groups act or are managed incorrectly, they can create significant complications.

Particular importance is attached to group variants of activity in the field of healthcare. Ulrich and Crider highlight that “mastering the use of teams in healthcare organizations can maximize outcomes and optimize the use of resources” (2017, p. 141). The publications devoted to this topic emphasize that the effectiveness of organizational structures in the field of healthcare is achieved primarily due to their orientation to team activities. Moreover, the provision of quality healthcare requires positive, collaborative work of healthcare teams (Almost et al., 2016). Teamwork increases the level of mutual trust, promotes the adoption of a unified system of values within the professional activities of medical workers.

The people who make up the group often perform different roles, but they adhere to a system of general norms and consider the interaction of the group members important. In healthcare organizations, there are team groups specially created to achieve the organization’s goals. Moreover, one of the most significant aspects of adequate medical care is the ability of medical personnel of various sectors to cooperate collectively and promptly (Beracochea & Pied, 2020). It is usually a permanent group in which the leader has formal authority over the members of the group. Therefore, the membership in the team groups is vertical. The team leader provides communication with other groups that occupy a higher position in the organizational structure to facilitate communication and solve problems. An example of a team group is nurses and a senior nurse of the nursing department of a multidisciplinary hospital. This is a nursing team whose goal is to provide care for patients. A nurse supervisor is the leader of a group with authority over nurses and serves as a liaison with other groups.

Advantages of Teams in a Medical Organization

Most of the exciting ideas arise in groups: An individual person, performing any work individually, can find the right solution. However, it is unlikely that he will be able to take into account all aspects of the problem being solved. The more people there are, the more opinions can be expressed in the process of discussing the problem. In addition, the time for implementing a collective decision is reduced, and responsibility for its results is increased.

Increase in individual labor efforts: It is associated with the objective emergence of competitiveness, the desire to distinguish oneself or, at least, not to lag behind other people. The presence of other people causes additional energy, enthusiasm, which leads to an increase in motivation, productivity, and quality of work, the disclosure of the creative potential of employees.

Satisfaction of the group members: Working in a group allows meeting the needs for involvement, belonging, and social interaction. Close-knit groups reduce loneliness, promote the development of self-esteem, significance, as people are included in group work with unique goals. Such type of work has more chances to bring pleasure to the members of the group in a healthcare organization.

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Expansion of working skills and knowledge: People with extensive experience, skills, and secrets of mastery pass them on to all group members, teach them the necessary operations, and work to fulfill the group’s tasks. In addition, the teams have delegated the authority to solve production problems. This enriches the work and increases the motivation of employees.

Increasing organizational flexibility: Traditional organizations have a rigid structure when each employee performs only one specific job or function. In teams, its members can perform each other’s duties. Organizational flexibility is closely related to leadership, as its components influence its adaptation to environmental changes (Kocyigit & Univertiy, 2020). If necessary, the team’s task can be changed, and employees can be reallocated, which allows for increased production flexibility and quick response to changing customer needs.

Professional Maturity of the Working Group

A crucial qualitative characteristic of the working group is its professional maturity. It is characterized by strong ties between its members, arising on the basis of common value orientations, positively colored informal relations. Personal differences are quickly eliminated, discipline is conscious, there is a sense of pride in the team, stable traditions are formed. Employees have the opportunity to unleash their creative potential; they are enthusiastic about solving the tasks set.

The factors determining the degree of maturity of the working group, its ability to function productively can be divided into the following:

  • technological factors, including features of the common use of tools and objects of labor, for example, advanced technologies, personal computers.
  • economic factors that are forms of remuneration, features of the form of ownership.
  • organizational factors and, above all, the relations used in the “manager-subordinate” system.
  • value-ideological and psychological compatibility of employees.

The Role of the Leader in the Formation of the Team

Informal relations between a manager and subordinates in a healthcare organization deserve the most serious attention. Despite the trend towards a more collectivist approach to leadership, hierarchical structures that emphasize the role of the individual leader are still the norm in healthcare (O’Donovan et al., 2021). Along with the ability to choose the optimal leadership style in this situation, the managers must know the typical mistakes inherent in people of their status and correctly build interpersonal relations with the staff. Typical mistakes include cases when:

  • the manager does not give specific tasks but constantly annoys subordinates with a large number of general questions.
  • he is fixated on one topic in communication with the staff, for example, labor discipline.
  • daily formulates new ideas for completing the task.
  • does not trust his employees, abuses petty control.
  • it is inaccessible geographically and in time.

The success of informal relationships with subordinates, without which it is impossible to form a sense of respect for the supervisor, depends on compliance with a number of principles and rules of business communication. Faith or trust is an essential element in leading the work group (Raamadani et al., 2019). Respect for the dignity of others is of fundamental importance. The moral and psychological basis of this principle is the axiom of social psychology, according to which no person feels comfortable enough without positive self-esteem. Therefore, the manager is obliged to see in each subordinate, not a position, but a person, to show goodwill and tolerance, to respect his personal life, and avoid advice in this area.

If subordinates mistake or commit a misdemeanor, they usually understand their guilt and adequately perceive the punishment. However, if the boss hurts their self-esteem at the same time, they will not forgive it. Therefore, when analyzing the situation, it is necessary to separate the person and the act: to criticize specific actions and not the person of the perpetrator. It is important to remember that only those leaders are respected who praise everyone and reprimand them face to face. The heads of the medical group should never complain about their employees and, if necessary, should take the blame for the wrong and uncorrected action on themselves, promptly and openly admitting mistakes.

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Major Issues

Like in any other group, there are complications that can occur during the work of a healthcare work group. Good communication is especially vital in zones of higher rates of risk, such as surgical rooms, and the capacity to contest colleagues in power when something seems incorrect or is plainly wrong is essential (Green et al., 2017). Mistakes that can happen due to the conflict or miscommunication can result in harmful and fatal outcomes.

Lack of Openness and Confrontation

Conformism in modern society is often perceived negatively. However, it is not bad and not good in itself. In some cases, it promotes cooperation, more effective communication, team cohesion, improving the effectiveness of its activities, resolving conflict situations, harmonious human relations, and mutual support of group members. In other cases, avoidance and confrontation can raise emotional exhaustion, target-enacted incivility, and lower psychological forgiveness (Hershcovis et al., 2018). Thoughtless conformity can lead the individual and the group as a whole to negative consequences in a workplace.

The collective is more than the sum of individual talents. Healthcare organizations need a balanced staff that can work together. In any team, there is a need to perform a variety of functions, and the analysis of such roles helps to create a balanced and full-blooded team. If the group members miss main work skills, it is unlikely that valuable results will be obtained. It is mandatory to reach a conjunction of professional and human characteristics, which allow coping with the work successfully.

Unconstructive Social Climate

It often appears that people of different ages, with completely dissimilar backgrounds, values, and plans for their lives, are united in the group. This can objectively lead to difficulties in forming a constructive social climate. The role of the social climate in the team as a factor affecting personal psychological well-being seems apparent, but how exactly it prevents the development of decadent complaints in workerss in conditions of lengthy crises stays the subject of many studies (Fleuren et al., 2021). The dedication of employees to the team’s tasks is one of the characteristics of a profitable climate. Loyalty to the team should be always improved because it seldom happens till each of the workers themselves decides to dedicate their energy to common aims.

Another critical aspect of collectivism in work groups is support and trust. Trust plays a vital role in relationships, especially in the context of uncertainty, an area closely related to healthcare (Layland, 2018). In this case, the team allows each individual to feel stronger and more confident. If there are disagreements between workers, then it is optimal to say about them publicly. When essential issues stay unexpressed, the climate in the group becomes protective; people cover their beliefs, choosing to be convenient rather than valuable as who they are for the collective cause.

Unclear goals

The first step to success is understanding what a working group in a healthcare organization should strive for. A capable and mature team of people is usually able to achieve the goal if everyone imagines the desired results. Goal inconsistencies directly impact the occurrence of conflicts within the team (Franke & Foerstl, 2020). Team members are more likely to devote themselves to a goal if they share it and consider it to be their own goal to a certain extent. If there is no understandable image of the purpose, then; as a result, one team members cannot promote the total achievement. Even when the aims are understandable for everyone, it is essential to come to a compromise between individual and group concerns. A successful group gives each worker the possibility to meet their interests and promote to the implementation of collective interests.

Inefficiency of Working Methods

Any team needs reasonable working methods and an effective decision-making process. Particular attention should be paid to such issues as methods of decision-making, methods of collecting and presenting information, relationships within and outside the team, the effectiveness of resource management, and the decision analysis process. In a effective group, the work techniques are perfected so much that they turn into an informal but more stringent discipline. Viewing medical teams as complex adaptive systems, paying more attention to the interaction of team members with each other, can give an idea of the origins of team behavior (Pype et al., 2018). People study to use qualitative standards to their actions. Individual employees obtain personal abilities that are generally acknowledged and utilized in the team. The sense of competency dominates at meetings, and it is rarely dull. The team is moving forward quickly, while a high degree of individual focus and simplicity of interaction ensure a quick resolution of all relevant conflict situations.

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Solutions for Work Teams on Healthcare

In order to meet the requirements of modern society in providing better medical care and reduce economic costs, healthcare organizations resort to various modifications of staff work. The organization of employees into self-managed teams (SMT) is a solution to these aspects and will allow you to get rid of some problems that arise during their work. Geerts et al. note that “SMTs are more effective at allocating their resources, and more flexible in adapting structures to a variety of tasks, situations and conditions in comparison with traditional, hierarchical teams” (2021, p. 102). The theory of self-managed teams also notes that working in such groups requires high coherence and mutual understanding, which becomes possible as a result of long-term interaction.

The experience of each individual team member is of particular importance. However, teams must apply and combine each person’s unique experience to maintain safety and optimal performance. The authors of the article How effective is teamwork really? agree that effective teamwork ensures safe and effective medical care at various levels of health systems (Schmutz et al., 2019). The effectiveness of communication in a team directly affects its development. In addition to the importance of individual reflection, it should be noted that collective reflection also supports the stability of group members (Barratt, 2018). The analysis of the experience of joint activities is now becoming one of the key conditions for the effectiveness of teams and the competitiveness of healthcare organizations.

Team training can also act as a way to solve the problems mentioned above. In addition to knowledge of adequate medical care, group members should know how to communicate and interact successfully. Furthermore, research highlights the critical role of interdisciplinary collaboration in the success of team learning, an area in which psychologists respond to real-world problems (Bisbey et al., 2019). Willingness and confidence to share knowledge and ask questions trigger individual and team learning (Doyle et al., 2020). The development of learning theory in this area and the observation of interactions within the team is an intriguing direction for many studies.

The strategies of the ward-based outreach teams implemented in medical care departments are also presented as one of the ways to solve the problems of work of healthcare groups. A study of the work of such groups showed a significant improvement in progress, increased access to health care, and improved health indicators for a significant part of the population (Assegaai et al., 2018). However, their possible impact on performance can only be reliably assessed if the quality of conventional data improves and if monitoring and evaluation are given adequate support and greater importance.

Biblical Foundation

When people work in a team, they are not alone. Members of a team bear the burden of disappointment together. They can share the joy of seeing how God works and strengthen and support each other by encouraging them to continue moving towards the goal and reminding each other of the gospel’s truth. As written in The Book of Ecclesiastes 4:9, two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if one falls, his companion can lift him (Goldingay & Wright, 2018). Thus, the biblical teaching emphasizes the importance of working in a team to achieve the best result.

God values diversity, and therefore he has given each of us different gifts so that we need each other. In Ephesians 4:11-12, Paul compares a community of believers to a body that consists of various members growing together and growing stronger in love (Goldingay & Wright, 2018). As a “body”, people need each other, and none of them can be self-sufficient on their own. God created us in such a way that we need Him and each other.

Conclusion

Thus, the potential of group activity, inherent in the possibility of implementing the integrative qualities of groups, manifested in the phenomenon of synergy and the ability to interact, gives reason to believe that the focus on team activity affects the effectiveness of organizational structures in the field of healthcare. It is possible to achieve a significant gain from the use of groups only with their skillful use; otherwise, they can create significant complications.

References

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Assegaai, T., Reagon, G., & Schneider, H. (2018). Evaluating the effect of ward-based outreach teams on primary healthcare performance in North West Province, South Africa: A plausibility design using routine data. South African Medical Journal, 108(4), 329-335. Web.

Barratt, C. (2018). Developing resilience: the role of nurses, healthcare teams and organisations. Nursing Standard, 33(7), 43-49. Web.

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