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Intra- and Interdisciplinary Collaboration in Practice

Intra- and Interdisciplinary Collaboration in Practice

How Do You Practice Intra- and Interdisciplinary Collaboration in Practice?

Collaboration and the DNP Community of Practice is a 1-week module—Week 4 of the course—in which you examine intra- and interdisciplinary collaboration in nursing practice, including the strengths and challenges associated with these types of collaboration. In your Blog Assignments for this module, you will extend your understanding of these types of collaboration strategies while you also analyze your role as the DNP-prepared nurse in evaluating community and organizational needs, challenges, and issues. With these community and organizational considerations in mind, you will recommend practice changes and interventions to address those considerations, in essence, performing one of the core functions of the DNP-prepared nurse.


Intra- and Interdisciplinary Collaboration in Practice
Collaboration enables members of the patient care team to work together collaboratively in order to effectively develop and accomplish patient care goals. Therefore, effective collaboration plays a key role in improving the quality of care and patient outcomes. This paper provides a reflection of intra- and interdisciplinary collaboration, including the associated strengths and challenges in nursing practice.
I have had various experiences of inter and intradisciplinary collaboration. For interdisciplinary collaboration, I have collaborated with members of different health disciplines during patient care. For example, during the treatment of patients with type 2 diabetes, there was an interdisciplinary collaboration that involved nurses, pharmacists, doctors, endocrinologists, nutritionists, and exercise experts. All these team members collaborated to provide holistic care to the patients. Each member had a specific role to play depending on their expertise and skills. As (Leedham-Green et al (2019) explain, members of an interdisciplinary team have skills and knowledge from various healthcare fields and thus they utilize their combined knowledge and skills to improve patient outcomes. Similarly, I have had intradisciplinary collaboration during practice. For example, I have always collaborated with nurses during patient care. To ensure smooth collaboration, we hold meetings regularly, go for team-building activities, and form social media groups where we interact with each other. During these activities, we also get to discuss any issues arising and also utilize the platforms in updating each other about activities we are handling. According to Fleming & Willgerodt (2017), some strategies that can promote collaboration in both inter and intradisciplinary teams include regular meetings among team members, team-building activities, and training programs for the healthcare providers on teamwork and effective collaboration.
Both inter and intradisciplinary teams face various challenges during collaboration. For example, in interdisciplinary teams, because members come from different professionals there may be issues on role ambiguity and lack of shared and measurable goals, which may lead to ineffective collaboration (Walton et al., 2019). On the other hand, intradisciplinary teams may face challenges such as unhealthy competition amongst members, split loyalty among team members, and lack of trust and teamwork among team members (Walton et al., 2019). Both teams may also face a lack of commitment from members, poor decision-making, conflicts, ineffective communication, and a lack of framework for conflict resolution.
My experiences are comparable to the perspectives in Henry et al (2018). In Henry et al (2018), a case study was used to promote interactions among students. Students formed small groups and worked together discussing issues, sharing skills and ideas, and brainstorming difficult issues. Similarly, during collaboration, we often form groups among team members, whereby we discuss and brainstorm patient care issues or organizational issues, depending on the subject of collaboration. In Henry et al (2018), students worked closely with students from other disciplines and as a result, students learned more about problems within multiple fields and occupations. This is a form of interdisciplinary collaboration where professionals from various disciplines collaborate. In my experience, as we collaborate with members of an interdisciplinary team, we learn from each other and this helps provide holistic care to patients.

Fleming, R., & Willgerodt, M. A. (2017). Interprofessional collaborative practice and school nursing: A model for improved health outcomes. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 22(3), 2.
Henry, B., Garner, C., & Guernon, A. (2018). Teaching and Learning about Interprofessional Collaboration through Student-Designed Case Study and Analysis. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 30(3), 560-570.
Leedham-Green, K. E., Knight, A., & Iedema, R. (2019). Intra-and interprofessional practices through fresh eyes: a qualitative analysis of medical students’ early workplace experiences. BMC medical education, 19(1), 1-9.
Walton, V., Hogden, A., Long, J. C., Johnson, J. K., & Greenfield, D. (2019). How Do Interprofessional Healthcare Teams Perceive the Benefits and Challenges of Interdisciplinary Ward Rounds? Journal of multidisciplinary healthcare, 12, 1023–1032.


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