One of the important competencies of a healthcare professional is the ability to build an effective team and use teamwork in order to provide the best patient care. It is important to understand that some problems demand both analytical and creative solutions, which are the characteristics that often are hard to find in one employee. To be more precise, some problems are logical and require an analytical approach to their solution (Van Dijik et al, 2017). In the meantime, there are problems that should be solved creatively and require an innovative approach. Teamwork presents an opportunity for individuals to combine the needed skills in order to solve both types of problems. It is important to understand that this option is often not available in the process of individual work given that realistically a person rarely combines contradictory traits of character. In addition to this, the solution of the problem will benefit if perspectives of different people are taken into account. It requires a variety of communication skills. Thus, teamwork is important not only from the point of view of improving healthcare services and patient care in general, but also from the point of view of employees’ personal development (Ryan, 2007). In addition to this, employees’ reputation and the influence that they have within the company play a big role in terms of proving the ‘credibility’ of decisions offered by them. From this point of view, it is safe to argue that employees will put more efforts working as a part of a team, if compared to working alone. I therefore try to develop my leadership skills in order to be able to lead a team effectively and make sure that people with different approaches to the problems are involved in the decision-making process.
Another competency that is crucial for a healthcare professional to have is Value and Ethics for Interprofessional Practice. For instance, appreciating cultural diversity is crucial in healthcare environment and I work on developing this competency. Leaders often face the problem of building a cohesive team from individuals with different cultural and/or religious backgrounds. Yet, it is therefore important for leaders to appreciate diversity. A failure to achieve this might result in negativity and internal conflicts that will negatively affect the functioning of a healthcare services. Appreciating cultural diversity helps to collect different perspectives and thus expand company’s potential. The importance of appreciating diversity seems to be especially relevant to modern globalized world. This is also one of the biggest challenges of leadership today. Namely, leaders face the problem of differences in religious and cultural values, which creates challenges in terms of working with patients. When intercultural interaction occurs, a failure to appreciate cultural diversity might lead to conflicts and negatively affect service delivery. In contrast, the promotion of cultural diversity creates a situation when the perspectives of people from different cultural backgrounds are taken into account, which expands the potential of a healthcare organization. To be more specific, individuals with different ethnic statuses reflect their unique cultural heritage and perception of the world, which creates many possibilities for a company. From this point of view, teamwork helps to look at the same issue from different cultural standpoints, avoid tunnel vision and Western exceptionalism and find the best viable solution (Hofstede, 1980).
In addition to this, the development of Value and Ethics for Interprofessional Practice competence might lead to the creation of a more egalitarian environment in the workplace. Employees of all ranks in are actively encouraged to offer their vision of appropriate model of organization’s development and this vision is often taken into account when company’s plan of development is constructed. The shift to a more egalitarian distribution of power that happens within a healthcare organization makes a very full contribution to the support of change initiatives. The fact that there is no visible leader also signifies the shift from the classical Weber’s bureaucracy to a more egalitarian social environment. Namely, frontline and low-ranking workers that used to be a part of the strong system of bureaucracy with its emphasis on hierarchy are actively encouraged to participate in change teams (Rowlinson, 2001). In addition to this, the level of autonomy of each employee increases significantly, which again creates a situation when diverse perspectives and approaches to decision-making process are taken into account. Mental models that are actively challenged and analyzed through a critical lens within a company also positively affect change. As a result of teamwork, the critical analysis of values and norms within the organization, change initiatives that contradict the established way of thinking are considered.
This course has made a very full contribution in terms of me moving closer to achieving the above-mentioned competencies. To be more precise, the course helped me to acquire a better understanding of diversity. As I have found during the course, diversity plays a very practical role in terms of collecting different perspectives from people with different social and cultural backgrounds. In addition to it, the course incorporated many group work assignments, which helped me to improve my leadership skills and understand better the benefits of teamwork. Namely, as seen from my teamwork experience, teamwork might lead to the creation of a more egalitarian environment, which had a positive effect on healthcare services delivery.Finally, the course gave me a new lens through which ethical dilemmas in healthcare field can be solved, which I expect to translate into practice in future.
- Hofstede, G. (1980), Culture’s consequences: International differences in work-related values, Sage, London.
- Rowlinson, S. (2001). Matrix organizational structure, culture and commitment: a Hong Kong public sector case study of change.Construction Management & Economics, 19(7), 669-673.
- Ryan, S. (2017). Promoting effective teamwork in the healthcare setting. Nursing Standard (Royal College Of Nursing (Great Britain): 1987), 31(30), 52-60.
- Van Dijk-de Vries, A., van Dongen, J. J., & van Bokhoven, M. A. (2017). Sustainable interprofessional teamwork needs a team-friendly healthcare system: Experiences from a collaborative Dutch programme. Journal Of Interprofessional Care, 31(2), 167-169.