Effective Application of Interprofessional Communication in Nursing Practice
Interprofessional communication practice is the product of interactions taking place between healthcare professionals, which includes, families of the patients, patients, and community. Interprofessional communication embodies responsibility, collaboration, and transparency as its critical functions for efficiently facilitating patient with achieving their respective needs and goals. The promotion of trust and respect in communication between various stakeholders of the healthcare service delivery process to the patient is instrumental for applying Interprofessional communication within healthcare settings, and specifically in the practice of nursing professionals. Additionally, the instrument of mutual respect flourishes patient wellbeing because it creates vibrant service delivery environment based on creation of collaborative plans, setting shared goals, sharing responsibilities, and making efficient decision-making. Nurse practitioners that apply interprofessional communication at their respective workplaces tend to actively engage in paying attention to the non-verbal and verbal communication, coupled with efficient utilization of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) which enhances patent’s wellbeing.
Foronda et al. (2016) research findings suggest that miscommunication adversely affect patient outcomes. Moreover, nurses differ in communication styles from physicians, which consequently decreases the overall trust level. However, interprofessional communication of nursing professionals require capacity building training programs which are based on utilization of standardized tools and simulations techniques. Few of the critical factors highlighted in the research study are team science, valuing diversity, cultural humility, and patient safety. Treatment plans are the prioritized goals of patients, and a shared understanding on part of nursing professionals in coordination with physicians and other stakeholders enhances treatment outcomes. Additionally, interprofessional practices involve decision-making related to debate, consultation, negotiation, discussion, or interaction as techniques for achieving effectiveness in the healthcare service delivery processes. The report of University of Toronto (2017) on interprofessional practices in healthcare settings states, “interprofessional communication builds trust and understanding which leads to better patient-centered health outcomes.”
Joint Commission (2015) establishes the link between poor patient out-come and miscommunication, which consequently results in delayed treatment, patient injury, misdiagnosis, death, and medication errors. Nursing professionals, like other professionals working towards patient-centered treatments, relies on improving effectiveness of the communication taking place between various stakeholders within healthcare setting. Foronda et al. (2016) research emphasizes on the factors that hider communications effectively between various stakeholders to the process, and differences in communication style of physicians and nursing professionals further deteriorates the situation. Interprofessional communication skills increases with understanding for diversity, and capacity building trainings with standardized simulation techniques and other related tools can serve the purpose. Diversity is not limited to culture, and it includes gender orientation, income inequality, among other variables. Additionally, offering new courses on ‘patient safety’ to the academic curriculum can also unite the professions and increases wellbeing of all the stakeholders.
Analysis & Explanation
Nursing Roles and Interprofessional Communication:
Interprofessional Communication plays a key role in nursing practice at various stages of the nursing career. The practicing functionality, capacity, and competency of practicing nurses determine their nursing role. For example, in the case of public health nurses, interprofessional communication is necessary for achieving goals regarding the well-being of patients. The collaboration among team members, working together of different nurses from different backgrounds, and delivering high care results owe its happening to strong interprofessional communication. Moreover, such communication competency in public health nurses enhances patients’ outcomes, lessening medical errors, improved an optimal working environment, and progresses their learning. Similarly, as CNO, interprofessional communication enhances learning capacity, community service awareness, clarity about medical concepts, and promotes teamwork spirit. In addition, college and trainee nurses learn to improve day-to-day working efficiency, cost-effective approach, protection of patients, and adequate access to medical histories of the respective patients (Franz et al. 2020).
Moreover, interprofessional communication improves the leadership behavior of nurses in the managerial cadre. Effective communication helps in exerting a formative influence of the unit manager on all team members (Granheim et al., 2018). For example, a unit manager can effectively ask the subordinates to review and lab results, assign duties to juniors according to their capacity, and guide them regarding certain cases. The calling for members, conducting meetings, discussing specific issues, resolving individual problems on the part of members, patients, and families of patients, are certain duties of the unit head in healthcare systems. In addition, they are responsible for collecting relevant information relating to any patient, taking decisions, responding and handling families, conflict management, and implementation of orders and enhancing performance efficiency of team members, etc. The addressing all these issues and performing said duties, unit heads require strong interprofessional communication. These skills enhance the functional roles on the part of the unit head in modern healthcare systems.
Assisted Living Facility (ALF) and Leadership:
Assisted Living Facility (ALF) is residence for the older adult population, and people with disability, while the settings are parallel to the retirement home. The design of ALF housing facility aims to entertain healthcare and other needs of adults who are unable to organize their lives independently. The role of leadership is instrumental to ALF housing facility due to the ‘social model’ of care because the industry dominates with providers that work for-profit. The leadership requirement of ALF residence are diverse, and it is due to the diverse needs of the group. Transformational leadership style is most suited to the ALF leadership because it takes into account collaborative efforts, and relies on dedicated effort on part of diverse workforce. Nursing professionals at leadership position in ALF needs to rely on diverse skills base of the workforce to enhance residents’ wellbeing. Additionally, the whole of residence is a vibrant unit and interprofessional communication enhances the wellbeing of residents. Nursing professionals at ALF’s leadership position shall work towards building environment where trust and coordination between diverse team may take place for catering to the needs of residents. Transformational leadership at ALF has the potential to create trust, along with efficient coordination mechanism between various stakeholders.
Professional potential growth of an RN in Assisted Living Facility:
The Assisted Living Facility helps elderly, unwell, and disabled citizens to facilitate their quality of life. Multiple functions are associated with registered nurses in these ALFs. Ahlstedt et al. (2019) argued that the demand for RNs, according to their capability and experience, is high in an assisted living facility compared to other nurses. In these centers, they have high growth potential and opportunities in multiple ways. Various benefits and opportunities include high pay packages, chances to be promoted to managerial ranks, higher educational options, a choice to be a nurse educator, and impact-oriented positions. In addition, registered nurses have the growth potential to channel and excel their competencies to multiple directions under the umbrella of the assisted living facility. For example, they have the opportunity to perform the role of a geriatric nurse, i.e., work with elderly patients and handle them. Similarly, registered nurses can be Assisted Living directors/administrators. In this way, they can polish their competencies by managing the assistant staff, overseeing admission matters, looking after available facilities, and handling financial matters. Meanwhile, they can adopt roles as long-term care nurses or critical nurse positions as well as wellness nurses to improve and enhance life quality of residents and patients.
Furthermore, registered nurses have the option to polish their potential by becoming nurse advocates. The main link between medical professionals and patients as well their families is advocate nurses. The well-being of the patient and their family is the ultimate goal of the advocate nurse by discussing procedures, treatment billing, and alternative treatments. In addition, these registered nurses have the potential growth opportunities as psychiatric nurses. They can upheave their capacity by resolving mental health issues and handling people with mental health conditions. Similarly, they have the choice to serve as health policy nurses to formulate policies, travel nurses, or pain management nurses. In all these positions, the registered nurses can achieve potential growth with a cherishing career, good remunerations, and above all the satisfaction by serving humanity.
Career Advancement in Assisted Living Facility (ALF):
Job demand for caring for seniors is on the rise, and the rising trend is due to the rise of aging population in United States. As per Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand in assisted living jobs is going to rise dramatically over the next ten years. For example, jobs of certified nursing assistants (CNAs) has an estimated figure of forty-one percent rise in the ten years (2016-2026) (Harper, 2018). Additionally, job opportunities for licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) and practical nurses (LPNs) have the potential of relative higher growth vis-à-vis other professions, that is, fourteen percent over the aforementioned ten years. Apart from opportunities in financial terms, career advancement in ALF requires interprofessional communication skills between various stakeholders, and diverse workforce serving residents. At personal level, nursing professionals need to create facilitative environment for collaboration between professionals in service providers to serve the residents physical, psychological, and social needs. Additionally, information and communication technologies (ICTs) provide additive edge to the nursing professionals in delivery of care services to the elderly adult and differently abled residents of ALF. Not only residents of ALF can stay connected to the outside world, but also the opportunities for nursing professionals to efficiently coordinate with diverse workforce also increases.
Impediments to Career Advancement in Assisted Living Facility (ALF):
Every person, in alliance with strengths, has some weaknesses and threats regarding professional life. Similarly, the nurses also possess the same set of weaknesses and threats that can block ALF career advancement. Maalouf et al. (2018) stated that the top-ranking weakness is an emotional attachment with patients and their family members. This weakness breeds long-lasting effects on the treatment and care of respective patients. The other weaknesses include fear of critical condition of patients, unable to work with body fluids, and giving too much time to unnecessary details. The above all of these weaknesses on the part of nurses is unpunctuality, which can stick career in ALF.
Furthermore, various threats can lead to blocking the nursing career in ALF. The most dangerous among them is infectious diseases among nurses. The nature of work in healthcare units has made nurses vulnerable to several infections. For example, hepatitis, tuberculosis, and HIV, etc. Similarly, the main threat to a career as well as the health and life of a nurse is exposure to radiation and chemicals during working. In addition, various allergies and health issues can lead to ruin nursing career in ALF. Meanwhile, the other threats for the career are compulsory overtime, mental stress, workplace violence, and job insecurity.
Personality traits essential for a good nurse leader:
Leadership traits and qualities are the backbones of the nursing profession in modern times. Effective leadership skills are mandatory for optimal delivery of healthcare services in this regard. Practicing nurses should have as many leadership traits as they can gain and achieve through hard work and constant struggle. A good nurse leader’s most prominent leadership traits should have emotional intelligence, effective communication skills, and conflict resolution. Lacking any leadership trait from these can result in chaos in patient care and medical services. As human beings, we have emotions regarding the ongoing circumstances, and most people express their emotions with zeal and zest. But in healthcare setups and managements, nurse leader must control own emotions as well as guide the subordinate staff to control their emotions. The handling of the delicate situation in hospitals and health centers is the responsibility of the nurse leader (Wang et al., 2018).
Furthermore, effective communication is a key personality trait on the part of a nurse leader. The nurse leader is the bridge between the medical specialists and patients as well as their families. The ultimate goal of the healthcare system, i.e., well-being of patients and their families’ satisfaction, can only be achieved by strong communication skills. In this regard, the sole responsibility lies on the shoulders of the nurse leader, so they must be equipped with strong communication skills (Cummings et al., 2020). Sililarly, nurse leaders must be able to handle conflict resolution efficiently. In all organizations, including the healthcare system, conflicts are inevitable. Conflict resolution is the crucial personality trait of a nurse leader, which allows nurse leaders to resolve problems, improve productive teamwork, and gain patient satisfaction, so the leader should be able to handle the conflict situation timely.
Interprofessional communication is critical for nursing leadership, and providing better quality services for the residents of Assisted Living Facility (ALF). Interprofessional communication relies on celebrating diversity, and provides patient-centric treatment and services. Nursing professionals require higher level of coordination and trust between workforce for catering to the need of patients, and residents in the case of ALF. U.S. Labor force statistics also signifies the potential growth of job opportunities for professionals aiming for work in ALF industry, and the potential of growth is relatively higher when compared to other industry. Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are also extremely useful in self-directed learning, coupled with higher level of connectivity between various stakeholders to the service delivery process. Nonetheless, nursing professionals relies on interprofessional communication for creating treatment and care plans that increases overall service delivery to the individual. Last, but not the least, personal motivation behind interprofessional communication is the patient-centric approach to service delivery.
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Maalouf, N., Sidaoui, A., Elhajj, I. H., & Asmar, D. (2018). Robotics in nursing: a scoping review. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 50(6), 590-600.
The Joint Commission (2015). Sentinel event Data. Root causes by event type: 2004- 2014. Retrievedfrom:https://www.jointcommission.org/-/media/tjc/documents/resources/
University of Toronto (2017). Interprofessional Care Competency Framework and Team Assessment.
Wang, L., Tao, H., Bowers, B. J., Brown, R., & Zhang, Y. (2018). When nurse emotional intelligence matters: How transformational leadership influences intent to stay. Journal of nursing management, 26(4), 358-365.