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“Healing the Hierarchy” with Team-based Care

In her recent New York Times article, Theresa Brown, RN, brings to light some of the challenges, errors and wasted time that come from the old-school hierarchy of health care that many hospitals still operate on. One way to fix it, she said, is teamwork.

“The good news is that there are institutions trying to improve how nurses and doctors work together,’’ Brown said. Macy grantee, the University of Virginia, was Brown’s featured example. At UVA all nursing and medical students are required to participate in a series of interprofessional education workshops, which, as Brown describes, teach students to respect each other’s areas of expertise and simultaneously build care teams that work collaboratively across disciplines. 

Tina Brashers, MD, Professor of Nursing, who leads the interprofessional education project at UVA, described in the article how the curriculum is working to get rid of what she calls the “poof factor,’’ which occurs when “doctors type into the computer and POOF, the order happens, with no input from nursing needed and little knowledge of nurses’ importance to patient care.”

As Theresa Brown states toward the end of her article, “let’s hope the interprofessional education model catches on.”

Read more about the UVA project

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