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Interdisciplinary Care Starts With Respect for Colleagues

Alexandra Wilson Pecci, for HealthLeaders Media, November 19, 2013

She says the providers meet with patients in groups, too. Every visit includes a 15–20 minutes of education and a chance for the patient to talk with the team about any concerns.

Do Personal Ties Matter?
Listening to Saathoff talk about her colleagues and the tremendous amount of respect they have for each other, I wondered how much of that was simply because they all got along on a personal level. After all, it's much easier to work as a team when you're all friends, too. So I asked Saathoff whether providers' personalities need to mesh well in order for interdisciplinary care to truly work.

"No, I don't believe so," she says. "[With] a lot of the personal aspect of work you just have to leave it off the table. You're there to take care of the patient and your personal feelings should not be involved."

Still, whether or not individual members like each other or even get along personally, Saathoff again emphasizes that respect is something that is needed. And part of that is realizing that each member of the care team, including nurses, brings their own unique perspective, experience, and training to the table.

"They may be able to find a way to get through to the patient that a provider might not think of," Saathoff says. "It's very important to utilize that…Your nursing staff is just essential to good care."


Alexandra Wilson Pecci is a managing editor for HealthLeaders Media.

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1 comments on "Interdisciplinary Care Starts With Respect for Colleagues"


gs (11/25/2013 at 11:01 AM)
This article is the sad reflection of short sighted interpretation of "interdiciplinary". There are many more relationships other than MD-RN. Many other diciplines require much more education in the sciences and arts. Although patient interaction is not as intense in other diciplines, recognition of the level of education, knowlede, expertise and experience in those diciplines is often overlooked or minimized by such lopsided interpretations of "interdiciplinary". Infuence of many other diciplines get bullied out of lopsided (by number or influence) teams. Until this sad reality is talked about and percetion of the health care 'team" is readjusted, we will not be able to gain true efficencies in healthcare that remain untapped.