Types and Characteristics of Health Care Teams

by Mark Hughes, MD, MA

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    00:00 So let's talk a little bit more about the types of healthcare teams.

    00:04 So they can be unidisciplinary so that just means a single discipline, works singly or collaboratively.

    00:11 So this would be the classic example of like in pediatrics.

    00:14 We have pediatric residents, we have pediatric attending physicians, one discipline all working together to take care of children who are patients.

    00:25 There may be multidisciplinary teams, so 2 or more disciplines are juxtaposed but they remain separate.

    00:34 So you might have the primary pediatric team that's taking care of a patient, but then they bring in a consultant, the patient has kidney disease and they need to have a nephrologist come in.

    00:43 So they're in independent discipline, but they're coming in to work jointly just not, they're still saying separate but they're still having the same goal of taking care of the patient.

    00:57 There may be interdisciplinary teams where this is 2 or more disciplines but they're integrated with each other.

    01:05 So this would be for instance in a nursing unit you have the physicians, the nurses, perhaps there are social workers, physical therapists, other members of the team are all working together, they're sharing information, they are rounding together, they have common methods to take care of patients and it's a collaborative undertaking.

    01:31 And then there may be transdisciplinary.

    01:33 So, this is the more comprehensive kind of frameworks where maybe even new world views are being introduced.

    01:41 You're thinking about, you know, bigger problems, real world problems and you need a variety of disciplines to come out of from different angles to try to solve that problem.

    01:54 So, what makes a good healthcare team and what are its characteristics? So as I said, they could either be co-located, they could all be working in the same unit or they might be distributed.

    02:07 You might have phlebotomy team that travels throughout a hospital too to do blood draws.

    02:13 You might have nursing intravenous team that, you know, puts in IVs in inpatients and they distribute themselves throughout the hospital.

    02:25 Healthcare teams may be transitory, so they may only, you know, function for a short period of time.

    02:30 We'll talk about rapid response teams as one example of that that they come together in the moment to take care of, you know, a crisis situation but then they disband.

    02:41 Or they may be established.

    02:42 So, a team that is based in a particular unit is there all the time, they get to know each other, they develop relationships that are longer term, and they build this common trust that they can rely on each other to accomplish their work.

    02:59 It may be that there is a core group, but there may also be times where there is a contingency group that is just brought in when there is a more urgent problem.

    03:09 So as I mentioned, the nephrologist that comes in just to be part of the team for the urgent kidney issue, but not part of the core team for a particular unit.

    03:24 So in medicine, we may have various teams, the rapid response team that comes when a patient has a cardiac arrest or respiratory distress rushing into to handle that problem.

    03:35 Palliative care team, I'm a palliative care physician so we work interdisciplinary.

    03:40 So we have not only physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers, chaplains, all working together trying to help patients with serious illness.

    03:54 There may be a primary care team. So, patients out in the community that are seeking care.

    04:00 Maybe they have a primary care provider that they see, but that provider may be part of another team that includes nurses or healthcare assistants, technicians, other members that perform diagnostic test and service to the patient's needs.

    04:20 Another, you know, classic example you're all familiar would be the operating room team.

    04:24 So, there may be the surgeon, there may be a physician assistant, there may be the scrub nurse, there may be the rounding nurse, all of these are there to help with the operation.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Types and Characteristics of Health Care Teams by Mark Hughes, MD, MA is from the course Communication with Patients and within the Health Care Team.

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Two or more integrated teams
    2. Three or more integrated teams
    3. One integrated team
    4. One universal team
    5. Three distinct teams
    1. Allows for a broadened perspective in terms of patient care
    2. More specific teams for specific medical conditions
    3. Each team-member works independently, reducing workload
    4. It is composed of only very driven individuals
    1. Being established
    2. Being unidimensional
    3. Group member turnover
    4. Being a slow-responding team
    5. Independent team members

    Author of lecture Types and Characteristics of Health Care Teams

     Mark Hughes, MD, MA

    Mark Hughes, MD, MA

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