2. Teamwork Overview

For a number of reasons, the Canadian healthcare model emphasizes interdisciplinary teamwork. In this lesson, we will look at the qualities of an effective team.

Teamwork Overview

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The Importance of Teamwork

Being an effective team leader is a challenging responsibility that’s becoming increasingly important. Canadian workplace culture emphasizes interdisciplinary teamwork and shared learning for a number of reasons. For instance, in healthcare, our aging population and growing patient base calls for more complex skills and knowledge. At the same time, specialization within health professions is causing knowledge gaps between disciplines. In order to provide high-quality, seamless care for patients, the best option is to function as an effective team.

Key Characteristics of an Effective Team

An effective interdisciplinary team—a team made up of members from various disciplines and professions that systematically work together—has some key characteristics.

  • Established leader—A team needs an established collaborative leader with a clear vision.
  • Shared values—A team shares a set of values directing the service and care that they provide.
  • Trust, respect, and consensus—A team needs to be able to trust each other’s competence and value each other’s contributions.
  • Efficiencies—Efficient processes and infrastructure support the team’s vision.
  • Documentation—Documented feedback is encouraged to improve the quality of care provided and patient outcomes.
  • Collaboration—Decisions are made collaboratively within the team.
  • Variety of skilled members – A team is made up of people with an appropriate mix of skills, competencies, and personalities.
  • Communication skills—Team members are skilled communicators and promote effective communication processes.
  • Interdependence—The team works together and relies on each other while respecting each team member’s role.
  • Opportunities—Each member has access to training opportunities as well as rewards, recognition, and career development.

Learning Exercise: Teamwork—Overview

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