Interprofessional teams play a crucial role in the delivery of healthcare. In recent years, this concept has become more prevalent in various practice settings. This paper will explore the concept of interprofessional teamwork and its impact on patient outcomes. We will specifically focus on the iCARE components, which include compassion, advocacy, resilience, and evidence-based practice (EBP). The goal is to discuss how these components can contribute to interprofessional teams and patient outcomes, and consider how nursing actions can further enhance this relationship.
For the purpose of this paper, I will consider my current work environment as an example of a setting with interprofessional teams. I am employed in a hospital setting, where interprofessional teamwork is highly valued and strongly encouraged. This is crucial in providing comprehensive and patient-centered care. However, there are still areas within the interprofessional teams that can be improved, such as communication and collaboration between different disciplines. This will be the focus of the discussion pertaining to team function improvement.
Compassion is an essential component of nursing care that contributes to positive patient outcomes. In an interprofessional team, nurses can demonstrate compassion by actively listening to patients’ concerns, providing emotional support, and showing empathy. By advocating for the patient’s individual needs, nurses can ensure that their experience of care is personalized and tailored to their unique circumstances. This can be achieved by actively involving patients in shared decision-making processes and respecting their autonomy. By incorporating compassion into interprofessional teamwork, the team can work together to address the physical, emotional, and psychosocial needs of patients, ultimately enhancing patient outcomes.
Advocacy plays a vital role in improving patient outcomes within interprofessional teams. Nurses can advocate for their patients by being their voice and ensuring their needs and preferences are considered in the healthcare decision-making process. By collaborating with other members of the interprofessional team, nurses can ensure that the patient’s best interests are always at the forefront. This can involve advocating for increased resources, facilitating communication between team members, and addressing any barriers to optimal care. By advocating for the patient, nurses can contribute to improved patient outcomes and a more patient-centered care approach.
Resilience is another crucial component that can enhance interprofessional teamwork and patient outcomes. Resilience allows healthcare professionals to adapt and overcome challenges in the healthcare setting. In an interprofessional team, nurses can demonstrate resilience by effectively managing their own emotions and stress levels, and supporting their colleagues during difficult times. This can create a positive work environment that promotes collaboration and effective communication, both of which are essential for providing high-quality care. By fostering resilience within interprofessional teams, nurses can contribute to improved patient outcomes and overall team effectiveness.
Evidence-based practice (EBP) is a fundamental aspect of nursing care that is essential for improving patient outcomes. In an interprofessional team, nurses can contribute to EBP by staying up to date with the latest research and incorporating evidence-based interventions into their practice. They can also collaborate with other team members to gather and analyze data, leading to improved decision-making and outcomes. By practicing EBP, nurses can provide high-quality and patient-centered care that is based on the best available evidence. This can result in improved patient outcomes and serve as a foundation for interprofessional teamwork.
In summary, the iCARE components of compassion, advocacy, resilience, and evidence-based practice can greatly support interprofessional teams and patient outcomes. By demonstrating compassion, advocating for patients, fostering resilience, and practicing EBP, nurses can contribute to the effectiveness and success of interprofessional teams. In my unit or organization, I can influence this process by actively collaborating with other members of the team, engaging in ongoing education and professional development, and advocating for a culture that values interprofessional teamwork. Through these actions, I can help create an environment that promotes collaboration, effective communication, and ultimately, improved patient outcomes.
American Nurses Association. (2015). Nursing: Scope and standards of practice. (3rd ed.). Silver Spring, MD: Author.