Charateristics of Professional Nursing Select a characteristic of professional nursing that you believe nursing has difficulty meeting. Describe the actions that you believe nursing should take in...

Charateristics of Professional Nursing

Select a characteristic of professional nursing that you believe nursing has difficulty meeting. Describe the actions that you believe nursing should take in order to meet that criterion. How would you go about implementing those actions?  Words: 250

Text:  Kearney-Nunnery, R (2012). Advancing Your Career:  Concepts of Professional Nursing. (5th, ed.). Chapter 1, pages 8-11.

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Collaboration in the medical field, especially in the hospital setting, is often a challenge to nurses. Too often, physicians do not communicate sufficiently with the nursing staff; even among nurses, there is often a lack of harmonious working together. And, yet, because communication, an interactive process, is used in health care to coordinate patient care, it should be of paramount importance to health care givers. For, research conducted in America and in Europe indicates that whenever nurses and physicians make concerted efforts to collaborate with one another, there is decidedly improved care and patient satisfaction. For instance, 

A 2010 study at University Hospital Basel in Switzerland found that a deficiency in collaboration between doctors and nurses had a negative impact on patient outcomes.

 Certainly, when physicians collaborate with nurses, the nurses feel more respected and are more positive in their attitudes, an outlook that is projected to the patient. With more knowledge of the patient's condition(s), a nurse can be more attentive to what they need to be, and, in turn, notify the attending physician providing significant feedback.

Lack of cooperation among nurses and other health care workers also poses problems in hospitals since everyone on an interdisciplinary team is trained in her or his specialty and, as a consequence, focuses on health care with a different perspective. As a solution to this challenge, certain professionals such as Patricia Kelley suggests that teams, formal and informal, and advisory committees are formed. She suggests a five stage formation:

  1. Forming - Creation of a group that first meets with the intention of being a team, becoming acquainted with one another through their interaction. Purpose and goals are established with this team.
  2. Storming - Establishment of the idea that "conflict is a natural process of the development of a team." Within the team meeting, differences should be openly confronted and the participants made to realize that "real teams don't emerge without risks of conflict" [Katzenback & Smith]. Within the setting of the team meeting, conflicts can be more easily resolved than in a more spontaneous, stressful setting which involves immediate patient care.
  3. Norming - After the resolution of antagonistic and resistant feelings through the Storming stage, a growing cohesion in the group will occur as team members learn to resolve conflicts with one another, or at least, be more respectful of others who have differences of opinions. "Overcoming barriers to performance is how groups become teams" [Katzenback & Smith].
  4. Performing - In this stage the group has reached "maturity" as the group has become cohesive. Moreover, there is a sense of solidarity with collaboration established as team members work together as a whole. 
  5. Adjourning - In this stage, the team assesses its progress and reviews its activities. For example, the team can ask of themselves these questions:

Were the team goals sufficiently met?
Was there anything that could have been done differently? 

Teams that learn to collaborate and work harmoniously are much more effective care givers, states Kelley.  Successful teams have strong, thoughtful leaders and co-operative members--all that is needed for optimum patient care and positive working conditions.


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