Have you ever been on a team building day? I remember a team building day with the diverse staff team I worked with as a missionary. We had different activities that day with varying degrees of difficulty and hilarity. Ice-breaker games were also beneficial for getting to know our team members.
I haven't had any like those in my recent NHS jobs due to time limitations. However, I now have a vision of how a team can work well together and how we can each contribute to developing and improving teamwork.
In my earlier years of nursing in a paediatric emergency department, we had a consultant who set up a multidisciplinary approach to our weekly review clinic. Children were returned to the department to be reviewed when they had suffered injuries that were ambiguous in their presentation and treatment. Other children warranted a form of follow-up that did not require specialist orthopaedic opinion and some children returned because their injuries were not healing as expected.
The clinic was led by the consultant, with a registrar or junior doctor assisting. Nurses, Emergency Nurse Practitioners (ENPs) and later physios joined our team. These mornings involved assessments of the individual children by the relevant doctor or physio individually or jointly with the consultant and each was discussed with the wider team as necessary. Investigations were carried out as appropriate and then treatments were carried out by the nurses.
Cases were discussed by the consultant with the whole team as a way of educating the team on the different case presentations. Parents and children were included, when follow-up exercises were important for ongoing recovery and rehabilitation following specific injuries. We all benefitted from this multidisciplinary educational approach and I found that it gave us a sense of cohesion on shift.
In the course I am taking for my next role as a trainee paediatric ENP, I am delighted that once again I will be working alongside physios, doctors and other ENPs, assessing and treating patients with injuries. I am learning lots already and find it beneficial having these specialists to work alongside, as we can assist each other in areas of educational need, both in terms of assessment and in the treatment of injuries. It is also beneficial for the patient and their family, as together we can provide a holistic and more well-rounded approach to their care.
Here are some helpful hints for working within your multidisciplinary team
- God is your boss (remembering this can aid focus and personal perspective)
- Get to know your team members well
- Be servant-hearted by being other-people centred
- Be an encourager
I hope you have great times in your respective teams and enjoy building rapport within them.
Rachel Peddar is a trainee paediatric ENP at University Hospital, Lewisham