Roles and contributions
One of the most important aspects of interpersonal relationships in the workplace and learning to work effectively in a team takes time. The complexity of teams and team-working are summed up by Whyte (2007, p22)
'All teams are unique They vary in function, membership, stage of development and cohesion of members. They are composed moreover of individuals with differing histories, beliefs and values, customs and practices, and ways of working and reaching decisions.'
Thinking about Teamworking
To work effectively as a team member it is important that you understand:
- the influence of these factors in effective team working
- the roles and contributions of the multi-professional team and team members
This means that you need to think about the factors influencing effective team working, especially in diverse groups including different personalities, values, professional ideals and communication styles. Take some time to reflect upon the teams within which you work.
Delegating aspects of care to others
As a registered healthcare professional, it is important that you fully understand how to delegate an aspect of care or treatment to another member of the team. Regulators set the standards which all registrants must demonstrate, and many newly qualified practitioners naturally need to develop their delegation skills. Review the standards and make sure your portfolio contains reflective accounts which demonstrate you putting this standard into practice in your day-to-day work.
Healthcare Support Workers Induction Standards and Code of Conduct
Healthcare Support Workers (HCSWs) are increasingly taking on tasks previously dealt with by registered staff, but are not a regulated workforce group. In NHSScotland, the HCSW Code of Conduct has been adopted to ensure that employees meet minimum standards. If you delegate to a HCSW it is important that you both understand and implement the Code of Conduct.
- Compare the HCSW Code of Conduct with your own regulators standards, where are they similar, where are they different?
- Discuss with your team or mentor how the new HCSW Code of Conduct is being introduced in your area. Is there anything you or the team need to do differently?
- Do you have new HCSWs starting who will be supported to complete the Mandatory Induction Standards?
How do I contribute to my team?
Now that you have looked at team roles in the previous section, this activity requires you to:
- concentrate on how you work with patients/clients and their families
- reflect on your own and the contribution of other team members to team working
Here are some questions that will help you:
- which team working skills do you think you are particularly good at?
- where does your role overlap with other professions?
- what effect can role overlap have on your team working skills and confidence in your own role?
- what is the impact of this overlap on the patient/client journey and patient/client care?
- how can flexibility at role boundaries provide more effective team working?
- which team working skills do you need to learn to develop within this role?
Use the Goodpractice 'Develop Yourself' toolkit to access resources that will help you develop your skills. An Athens password is required to access this resource, if you do not have an Athens password contact email@example.com or complete the application form at this link http://www.knowledge.scot.nhs.uk/login.aspx
Record your answers to the questions above and your reflections on them for your portfolio.
During your first year as a qualified practitioner your confidence and experience will grow, and this will influence how and what you contribute to the team. Peer support can be really helpful in helping you cope with this change. Remember, there will be many other newly qualified practitioners finding their feet in new and changing teams.
Share your experiences and some of the skills that you are developing with your colleagues and other newly qualified practitioners.
In your first year as a registered practitioner, you will be supported in getting established in this role by a range of team members and wider peers and colleagues.
These are the people who help you become part of the team; introduce you to the work that you need to do safely; can answer your questions; are able to direct you to where you may find an answer; and provide a listening ear. Ask yourself:
- what have you learned from being supported in this way?
- what impact does this support have for you?
- how has it helped you become part of the team?
- how did you feel knowing that support was available?
- what have you learned that will help you support other colleagues?
Reflect on the impact that the support you have received has had on you and identify how you think you can support others.
Revisit this activity in 3 months and 6 months and add to your original reflections. Focus on how the support you have received has helped you develop the confidence to support others. Record examples of what you have done.
An important skill that you need to develop is providing feedback to colleagues on aspects of their work or situations that you have found yourselves in.
With your mentor's agreement, use your reflections from the 'Being supported' activity on how they have supported you to provide them with some feedback.
The Goodpractice Develop Yourself Toolkit provides some general advice on giving feedback. An Athens password is required to access this resource, if you do not have an Athens password contact firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the application form at this link http://www.knowledge.scot.nhs.uk/login.aspx
This will be a valuable addition to your evidence for your KSF review.
Web Resources - Team Roles
Carry out a search for some useful websites which will help you to develop as a team member.
Try using the key words "teamwork", "collaborative working" or "multi-professional teams". Explore some of the results there is a huge variety of information from a range of sources and professions that you will find useful. However, you do need to think about the reliability of the information that you find.
Remember to add them to the favourites on your computer or record them in another way that will be useful to you.
Your reflections on what you have found will make a useful record to keep and compare in your portfolio later in your first year as a practitioner
It will be useful for you to link this activity with the following activity in the Research for Practice unit: Finding the right research: Top tips for literature searching
Contributing to Team Decisions
As a newly qualified practitioner you will be part of many team meetings about patient/client care. Think about your experience of these and record your initial thoughts about how your team communicates and operates to ensure patient/client care is safe, effective and person centred. Record:
- what was the purpose of the meeting?
- which team members were involved in the meeting?
- where did communication work well?
- where did any blocks to communication arise?
- why do you think that some aspects of communication worked well while other didn't?
- did the team agree on the care or actions needed?
Once you have gained some more experience within your new role, you should feel confident to become more actively involved in decision making; taking an active role within case conferences; referring to another agency; and/or working jointly with other agencies (e.g. housing, social work).
Discuss your contribution with your mentor and identify opportunities where you can get more involved or have more input into the meeting. Also, make sure your Personal Development Plan reflects any learning needs you may have.
The Communication module on Assertiveness has some useful tips for building confidence and professional assertiveness.
The Goodpractice Develop Yourself Toolkit 'Negotiating and Influencing' page gives you access to a range of resources you will find useful. (Athens password required).
Your reflections make a useful record to keep and compare in your portfolio later in your first year as a practitioner
Real People, Real Decisions
Select a real situation from your current clinical experience where working as a team was important to the outcome for the patient/client.
Reflect the decisions that were taken and why that option was chosen.
- how satisfied you were with your contribution in this case?
- was the patient/client satisfied with the outcome of the team work?
- are the roles of team members clear and unambiguous?
- could the team have worked more effectively to improve patient/client's satisfaction?
- could the team have worked more effectively to improve the outcome?
- looking back, what changes would you make to improve the patient/client's satisfaction and/or outcome?
Your reflections make a useful record to keep and compare in your portfolio later in your first year as a practitioner.
Team Roles and Responsibilities
Summarise your learning from the other activities you have completed in this section for your Flying Start NHS portfolio.
Team working is an aspect of your professional practice which will continue to grow and be challenged throughout your career in the different roles that you will work in. Therefore, lifelong learning in this area is vital for all healthcare practitioners.
- what aspects of team working do you think that you need to develop your skills in
- how are you going to develop these skills or if you need help in identifying ways of doing this
- how are you doing to know that you have achieved your aims
Discuss what you have noted down with your mentor.