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Running head: COLLABORATION

Collaboration
Salena Barnes, RN, BSN
NRSG 7410
Georgia College and State University

COLLABORATION

Collaboration is a key component within healthcare that influences both positive and
negative patient outcomes. Open communication, mutual respect and shared decision-making are
some key characteristics to successful collaboration between nurses and the interdisciplinary
team. Yet, collaboration can be challenging at best in some settings and situations. Physicians are
usual cure-focused, while nurses are more care-focused, which can be at the core of
collaborative issues (Gardner, 2015). It has been important for me to learn the skills required to
collaborate with a diverse interdisciplinary team to ensure positive patient outcomes in my new
role as an advanced practice nurse (APRN) (Gardner, 2015).
Reflection on where you were on collaboration when starting the program.
Before I decided to pursue a Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN), I worked in a variety
of settings as a registered nurse (RN) to include Medical-Surgical, Surgical Trauma Intensive
Care Unit (ICU), Orthopedics, and at a Pain Management Clinic. For me as an RN, collaboration
consisted of patient care between multiples disciplines within the organization. It involved
reviewing orders written by other healthcare professions such as medication review,
reconciliation, administration of care plan implementation, and evaluation. Primarily, I believed
that collaboration was occurring when for example physical therapy came to the floor and
evaluated a patient per physician order, nurses discussed patients when giving report, as well as
contacting the physicians when the patient was unstable or discussing their care needs during
physician rounds. I felt collaboration was successful when everyone was on the same page with
the patient and the patients care needs were being met according to their autonomy. However,
my perception of successful collaboration has evolved, as I am now a Masters prepared nurse. I
now view collaboration as a team that involves a multidisciplinary approach to works together
for improving policies, processes, and procedures with the goal of quality patient care.

COLLABORATION

What parts of the program helped you to become more proficient in collaboration?
The study abroad trip to Honduras helped me to become more proficient in collaboration.
In order for us to be successful, collaborating with interpreter, my peers, Honduran physicians, as
well as native Hondurans was essential. Specifically, when helping one of the families with home
construction, the language barrier was enormous. Without collaboration from the interpreters,
communication could not have been facilitated, which would have made it more difficult to
complete the task. Further, it also took a collaborative effort to learn about the culture, their
views on health, and common issues faced by this population. A common issue for those living in
rural areas, which was the majority of the people, was access to clean drinking water. Many
people suffered parasitic organisms, leading them to seek aid from us. Through a collaborative
effort, we treated several people, but had to discontinue providing medication for those not
present at the clinic. This was due to limited supplies and was a shared decision between the
faculty and student.
What did you do to help yourself meet this outcome?
The most important thing I did for myself to help to meet this outcome was to do a bit of
self-analysis in regards to group assignments. Working in groups can be challenging for everyone
if someone falls short in doing their part of the project, which places everyones grade in
jeopardy. I know that I put forth significant effort when doing my assignment, but that same
effort is not always matched. I have read several articles on collaboration and conflict resolution
to improve my knowledge. As a result, I have learned some new collaborative skills that include
knowing myself, being flexible and organized, being self-confident and assertive, and managing
conflict with care. Moreover, I have found that with collaboration there is a possibility of
conflict. However, establishing mutual deadlines for the work to be completed, reviewing each

COLLABORATION

others work, offering suggestions, and listening to anothers ideas in a respectful manner will
often diffuse any conflict that will inhibit forward movement.
Furthermore, collaborating with the nuns at Daybreak was an opportunity to provide
healthcare to the homeless. The nuns were very insightful in offering suggestions for accessing
community resources and were extremely knowledgeable of issues within the homeless
population. The experiences at Daybreak offered me the chance to openly communicate and
show dignity and respect, while collaborating with those providing direct care and services.
Further, I was able to inform the clients of the services offered through Daybreak to include
meals, healthcare, showers, and laundry service.
What could you have done better to become more proficient?
In order to become more proficient at collaborating, I believe it is important to continue
developing collaborative skills. One area I am still working on is gaining a better understanding
of the process skills that operate in effective collaboration. I still require practice on
understanding the organizational processes that occur in the background of a family practice. The
connection between financial processes, political influences, and policies greatly influence the
efficacy of collaboration. As I continue to work in the practice setting, I feel I will have a better
grasp on how these factors contribute to collaboration.
What could the SON have done better to help you or other students with this outcome?
I think the SON has done well at preparing me for this outcome. However, requiring
students to attend Nursing Faculty Organization meetings, which provide excellent examples of
how collaboration occurs in academia. I think it is important for students to see the
communication, planning, and shared-decision making that goes into the classes and experiences

COLLABORATION
in their program. Students could then compare what was seen in this environment to what they
see in an office or hospital setting. Also, allowing students clinical hours for attending Georgia
Board of Nursing meetings would be a good way to encourage leadership, communication,
advocacy, health promotion, and collaboration.

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References

Gardner, D. (2015). "Ten Lessons in Collaboration". OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in
Nursing. Vol. 10 No.1, Manuscript 1.