Teams and Continuity

There are many things you can do to help build awareness within your team and support continuity and co-ordination for the patient. Think about some of these ideas.
 
  • Put the ACSQHC Infographic on high quality end-of-life care up in your tea room.
     
  • Does a colleague request the need to debrief following their involvement with a patient nearing or at the end of life? Set aside some time to listen to your colleague’s experiences and challenges. Share your own experiences if appropriate. Reflect on what you can learn from your colleague’s experience.
     
  • If you are concerned about your colleague, remind them of available support. In the first instance they can talk  to their line manager. Other support options might include the Employee Assistance Scheme or talking to their GP about a Mental Health Care Plan. If eligible, Australians can access up to 10 subsidised individual sessions with a registered mental health care provider/psychologist per calendar year. These sessions are free if the provider bulk bills. 
     
  • If there is a meeting planned with a patient and other treating health professionals, ask the patient in advance if they are comfortable discussing their care with these team members present. If you ask in front of the other team members, it will be harder for the patient to express their preferences.
     
  • Play your part in creating a psychologically safe workplace:
    1) Frame the work as a learning problem, not an execution problem. This creates rationale for speaking up.
    2) Acknowledge your own fallibility "I may miss something, I need your input".
    3) Model curiosity. Ask questions, this creates a necessity for voice. (Taken from Building a psychologically safe workplace, TEDx Talk by Amy Edmondson).
     
  • Conflict within interdisciplinary teams can result from role boundary issues, differing scopes of practice and accountability. Such conflict can be further exacerbated by heavy workloads, differing power levels and avoidance. Research has shown that being willing to find solutions, adopting open and direct communication, and showing humility and respect are useful personal strategies to resolve conflict situations in healthcare teams. See Practice Resources.
     
  • If you observe a team member providing quality end-of-life care or doing something particularly well in their care of a patient or their interaction with family members, give them positive feedback. In an environment where employees’ performance is often critiqued it is good to find positive things to comment on too. It is good for team morale. Here are some steps to give positive feedback in the workplace:
    • be specific not vague, instead of “good job today” be specific. Focus on observed behaviours (skills or attitude)
    • be timely, your feedback needs to happen shortly after the event
    • focus on shared goals
    • express your appreciation

Last updated 21 April 2017