Yesterday evening was the crowning of several months of team work in an interprofessional team. My interprofessional team was made up of students from Pharmacy , Public Health (ME), Speech Language Pathology, Dental hygienists, Social workers, Occupational therapy and Physical therapy. Except for me, the rest of the team were clinicians in training,so they’ve been trained to look at problems, to communicate in a particular way and to find solutions in certain areas.
The question became, “what will happen when all these different fields in health care are asked to solve an administration problem?” At first, I felt sorry for my team members, because the question that we were trying to solve was a Public Health problem (Management facet of the field) and at first I couldn’t really see how others will use their ‘field lens’ to address the problem and proffer solutions.Thankfully, we were all able to look at the problem from different field lenses and we were able to provide recommendations to the organization that we were working with.
What did I learn from working with a team made up of clinicians from different fields?
a) Unlike, many immigrants who started their journey into the world of health care on the clinician side either as CNAs, CMAs, PCAs, HHAs, sitters, etc, I never worked in those capacities. The closest I came to working on the clinical side of health care was my extremely short stint as a Dental Hygienist after my undergraduate program. It was interesting watching how clinicians think, how they communicate, how they work with a team, what their biases are, how it could affect a team, where they look when they are trying to solve a problem. I am an aspiring global Public Health practitioner and I might end up working with clinicians to solve problems,and so it was an eye-opening experience.
b) The way a non clinician views a problem is different from the way a clinician might view the same problem. No side is better or more right than the other.
c)Often people come into a group/team with their biases about others and if that bias, isn’t checked early enough, it could create a problem later on.
d) Everyone has a role in a team and regardless of whatever your role is ensure that, you bring your strengths into the work. Ask your questions, beg for clarifications, bring up your suggestions even if no one listens.
e) Competitions can be a lot of fun. I actually enjoyed the final event. The process to the finale was tiring and often very stressful. Unlike my team members, this was my first semester in this city and I was dealing with life issues, school issues and then grrr issues. I was stressed out but I am glad that I saw the process through. I intend participating in other competitions, as I go through my program. This was an interesting experience and I learnt a lot. No, we didn’t win.
On another note, I am still waiting for a part of my plan to come into fruition. It is Month Four…….come on now…:-(