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Working in a multi disciplinary team Essay Sample

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Working in a multi disciplinary team Essay Sample

MULTI-DISCIPLINARY TEAMS – WHAT ARE THEY AND HOW DO THEY WORK? Like families, multi-disciplinary teams can work brilliantly together – or be totally dysfunctional. It’s hardly surprising that when you assemble a diverse group of people with varied skills into a team, things don’t always go smoothly. (Community Care.co.uk, 2005) Care provided through a Multi-Disciplinary Team is “Person Centred” – to ensure the right care is provided in the right place at the right time by the right person. What is a Multi-Disciplinary Team?

In each scenario, consider who will be part of each team, what their role is, and how it contributes to the whole. 1. You are hit by a car on a busy main road – who will make up the Multi-disciplinary Team who will take care of you, from the roadside, through your hospital stay, and on your return home?

2. Your father is struggling alone at home since the death of your mum (although he says he isn’t!) You contact Social Services in order to find out what support is available for your elderly relative. Who could be in A Community Nursing Team for an Elderly Patient? Community nursing staff including a community matron and assistant practitioner Pharmacist

Occupational therapists and physiotherapists
Community care workers and social workers
Voluntary sector representatives

Or in Children’s Mental Health Services (CAMHS)?
child psychiatrists,
clinical child psychologists,
CAMHS trained nurses,
occupational therapists,
social workers,
child and adolescent mental health workers,
child psychotherapists,
family therapists
Things to consider for the smooth running of a Multi-Disciplinary Team: 1. Define roles and boundaries
Members of a multi-professional team including social workers, nurses, psychiatrists, and teachers will have different training, ways of working and culture. Social care, health and education are all sectors which have undergone huge change, restructuring and reorganisation. Evolving roles and boundaries consequently affect how professionals work together and can cause confusion. Everyone needs clarity on their own role and to be clear about what other team members do.

2. Taking decisions
Team members must learn to value each other’s contributions, look at how the group communicates and be aware of making judgements and holding prejudices. Emotions and egos should not get in the way during meetings and discussions. Any action to be taken should be a shared vision owned by all team members.

3. Input from service users
Professionals might like to consider whether the service user should be considered a member of the multi-disciplinary team. Put yourself in the shoes of someone who has a whole team of professionals discussing their welfare. Wouldn’t you like the chance to contribute? Don’t underestimate the value of listening to service users. Communication in Teams

The purpose of communication is to get your message across to others clearly and unambiguously. Doing this involves effort from both the sender of the message and the receiver. And it’s a process that can be fraught with error, with messages often misinterpreted by the recipient. When this isn’t detected, it can cause tremendous confusion, wasted effort and missed opportunity. In fact, communication is only successful when both the sender and the receiver understand the same information as a result of the communication. By successfully getting your message across, you convey your thoughts and ideas effectively. When not successful, the thoughts and ideas that you convey do not necessarily reflect your own, causing a communications breakdown and creating roadblocks that stand in the way of your goals – both personally and professionally.

In a recent survey of recruiters from companies with more than 50,000 employees, communication skills were cited as the single more important decisive factor in choosing managers. The survey, conducted by the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz Business School, points out that communication skills, including written and oral presentations, as well as an ability to work with others, are the main factor contributing to job success. In spite of the increasing importance placed on communication skills, many individuals continue to struggle with this, unable to communicate their thoughts and ideas effectively – whether in verbal or written format. This inability makes it nearly impossible for them to compete effectively in the workplace, and stands in the way of career progression. Getting your message across is paramount to progressing. To do this, you must understand what your message is, what audience you are sending it to, and how it will be perceived. You must also weigh-in the circumstances surrounding your communications, such as situational and cultural context. Communications Skills – The Importance of Removing Barriers: Communication barriers can pop-up at every stage of the communication process (which consists of sender, message, channel, receiver, feedback and context – see the diagram below) and have the potential to create misunderstanding and confusion.

To be an effective communicator and to get your point across without misunderstanding and confusion, your goal should be to lessen the frequency of these barriers at each stage of this process with clear, concise, accurate, well-planned communications. Source…

As the source of the message, you need to be clear about why you’re communicating, and what you want to communicate. You also need to be confident that the information you’re communicating is useful and accurate.

The message is the information that you want to communicate.

This is the process of transferring the information you want to communicate into a form that can be sent and correctly decoded at the other end. Your success in encoding depends partly on your ability to convey information clearly and simply, but also on your ability to anticipate and eliminate sources of confusion (for example, cultural issues, mistaken assumptions, and missing information.) A key part of this is knowing your audience: Failure to understand who you are communicating with will result in delivering messages that are misunderstood.

Messages are conveyed through channels, with verbal including face-to-face meetings, telephone and videoconferencing; and written including letters, emails, memos and reports. Different channels have different strengths and weaknesses. For example, it’s not particularly effective to give a long list of directions verbally, while you’ll quickly cause problems if you criticize someone strongly by email. Decoding…

Just as successful encoding is a skill, so is successful decoding (involving, for example, taking the time to read a message carefully, or listen actively to it.) Just as confusion can arise from errors in encoding, it can also arise from decoding errors. This is particularly the case if the decoder doesn’t have enough knowledge to understand the message.

Your message is delivered to individual members of your audience. No doubt, you have in mind the actions or reactions you hope your message will get from this audience. Keep in mind, though, that each of these individuals enters into the communication process with ideas and feelings that will undoubtedly influence their understanding of your message, and their response. To be a successful communicator, you should consider these before delivering your message, and act appropriately.

Your audience will provide you with feedback, verbal and nonverbal reactions to your communicated message. Pay close attention to this feedback, as it is the only thing that allows you to be confident that your audience has understood your message. If you find that there has been a misunderstanding, at least you have the opportunity to send the message a second time.

The situation in which your message is delivered is the context. This may include the surrounding environment or broader culture (i.e. corporate culture, international cultures, etc.). Removing Barriers at All These Stages

To deliver your messages effectively, you must commit to breaking down the barriers that exist in each of these stages of the communication process. Let’s begin with the message itself. If your message is too lengthy, disorganized, or contains errors, you can expect the message to be misunderstood and misinterpreted. Use of poor verbal and body language can also confuse the message. Barriers in context tend to stem from senders offering too much information too fast. When in doubt here, less is oftentimes more. It is best to be mindful of the demands on other people’s time, especially in today’s ultra-busy society. Once you understand this, you need to work to understand your audience’s culture, making sure you can converse and deliver your message to people of different backgrounds and cultures within your own organization, in this country and even abroad.


Compile a detailed report of 2000 words (plus or minus 10%) which covers each of the Assessment Criteria below, with clear headings and bullet points where appropriate. With regard to Items 1.1 and 4.1, your report should include details of any multi-disciplinary team you have worked in, or been part of.

1.1. Define the term ‘multidisciplinary team’.

2.1. List roles and responsibilities of the members of the multidisciplinary team you have worked with. 2.2. Compare and contrast their own role with
the role of a colleague within the team and explain how they complement each other.

3.1. Identify and evaluate the effectiveness of verbal and written communication systems.

4.1. Discuss how you have worked with a multi-disciplinary team to deliver a care package, highlighting the procedures used and the roles of those involved.

Anon, (2005), How to work in multi-disciplinary teams, http://www.communitycare.co.uk/Articles/2005/11/07/51502/How-to-work-in-multi-disciplinary-teams.htm [accessed 05.04.11] Anon, (2011) Introduction to Communication Skills, Why Communications Skills Are So Important, http://www.mindtools.com/CommSkll/CommunicationIntro.htm [accessed 05.04.11]

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