What is multi-disciplinary working? This is the term applied when a team of people work together/jointly in cooperation in order to complete something, in this case it would be to implement the best quality/form of care.
45-year-old Mark has been in an accident as he is a victim in an alleged assault. He has fractured his skull after he had been hit with a bat; this then made him turn unconscious for a limited period. Mark had then been cognisant once again, this allowed me to put him through to a full scan and he required a crucial brain scan. Mark is required a huge amount of assistance from a Nurse, Doctor and Radiologist (Neuroradiology brain imaging).
The doctor would help Mark by taking a full account of what he may require. Most importantly, the doctor would see if there are any sign of brain damage due to his fractured skull as it is a primary injury. This type of fracture often causes pressure on the brain or direct injury to the brain, so the doctor would refer him to Computed tomography (CT) scans of the brain department (that identify skull fractures in about two thirds of head injury patients).
The radiologist would help Mark by taking an x-ray and this would then process an image. The next step for the radiologist would be to determine which one of the four types of skull fractures he has. In this case, Mark has not had a massive fracture to the skull that would enact severe brain damage (loss of memory etc) so therefore, he does not require surgery and does not need to be referred over to another specialist; this would be because the tympanic membrane usually heals without surgery. The radiologist would then refer him back to the doctor.
The doctor and radiologist work together to help, Mark, by discussing what has been found to be damaged or injured and what the best form of recovery would be (discussing it amongst themselves). They will then have a chat about what medicines he might need, although the Doctor would usually say and get his way, but the Radiologist could recommend what they feel might be relevant in the given situation.
39 year old Katie Perks has had a terrible motorbike accident. She has hurt various parts of her body, but has seriously injured her leg and elbow. She is in need of a Nurse, Doctor, Radiologist and a Physiotherapist.
The Doctor at this stage would help Katie by making clear what has happened to her and what she may require, in this case it would be Physiotherapy as she has hurt her elbow and leg and pulled a few limbs. The doctor will then also explain to her the next stages, when/where the treatment may be done. He would then give her medication such as pain killers, and anything she may require. He would then look into make sure that she has been referred over to the Physiotherapist.
The Physiotherapist would help Katie by telling her what she will need to do and how long this process might last for. How she will track her performance and how she will guide her recovery to the best of her ability so that Katie can carry on her daily life as normal. The physiotherapist’s goal is to change the condition that Katie is in, so that her joints, body parts, etc that require care can all be at no pain, or at least to a minimum, so that Katie does not have to experience the extremeness of the pains she may be facing at the current moment of time or later during life all because of the accident that had occurred.
Both the Doctor and Physiotherapist help by working together effectively, to ensure that Katie receives the best form of care. The doctor will tell the physiotherapist what is wrong and where Katie is hurt. The physiotherapist will then show Katie what she has to do in order to recover as soon as possible. The physiotherapist would show Katie particular exercises to carry out and also exercises to do in her own time and tell her how many times a day to do them. The physiotherapist would report back to the doctor if no significant change (of pain) is reduced and no sign of improvement was to take place. They will both be able to access the information regarding the patient.
M3: If the professionals work well together the service for the service users will be efficient, as both of the professions can communicate effectively with each other. So therefore, this means that the treatment, planning of treatment or care for the individual will be enforced and provided with much better devotion. This also means the professionals can pass things through to each other and will be prompt, as appose to if they were not working well together then there would be delays on things such as results, x-rays, files/documentation, etc; so, it is compulsory for the professions to work well together. If they’re working well together both professions will be attentive during all times, as opposed to if they were not getting on, then the outcome of this would have been that they are appalling at their job and the professionals would be perceived as incompetent by the service user, etc. In addition to this, this also means the service user will feel very insecure, unsafe and would feel much more stressed or nervous as they may be conscious and cognisant about the fact that they can see and acknowledge that the professions are not communicating effectively enough, to give the service user the best form/quality of care. The service user might feel that they’d be safer elsewhere or with other members of the professional team (who will provide the service they are require).
The professionals will benefit from this collaboration ultimately because they will complete their job that they were required to do, to the best of their ability. Therefore, it is not only rewarding, but also flattering to know that one can do their job and are competent enough in doing it. The professionals will receive all information regarding their patient/service user without any disputes or hesitation, as they are working effectively in co-operation with each other. There can also be a bonus, which is they can also remain socially active with each other, if needs be or if they wish to do so.
The service user will benefit from the collaboration as they will receive the best form of care. They will feel secure and safe with the practitioners/service providers. This also means that if the service user is in pain (such as Katie or Mark) then pain relief can be provided quicker, so therefore, this will be a much more rapid process, as the doctor needs to know from the nurse etc that the patient requires pain killers, etc.
D2: Strengths of multi-disciplinary agencies working together:
This can benefit both the service user and service provider, as information can be processed in all areas, so the service user will get efficient care as information has been accessed by those in authorities to the treatment etc.
This will help to build close relationships between the service user and service provider; this also means it will help towards building trust. The service user will feel far more confident, they will feel that they can confide in the service provider, and, therefore, this creates a stronger force of communication.
With all the professionals working together, this maximises the expertise of each individual. With a combination of documentation transfer, the professionals can all gain more knowledge from one another. All knowledge combined into one, will enable the professions to make clear and concise decisions that will be effective. This will benefit the service users and service providers hugely.
Weaknesses of multi-disciplinary agencies working together:
Sometimes, the documentation transfer can take far longer than expected, due to all the professions being very busy. The professionals may not have the time to do it, so therefore, will do it in their own time. However, the other professional(s) may be expecting and requiring the document for reports, etc.
There is a high quality of care required from each professional, therefore, one professional’s work maybe lacking something the other professional would want to include. The files/work may not fit the requirements of other professionals, even if the written work is accurate information; one professional maybe more able than another, in some way.
The service user(s) may feel more attached to one professional than another. This also means that there could be a lack of communication skills between all the professionals; therefore, there could be potential delays, etc. The service user may not be comfortable communicating with all these different people (different service providers) and some information/detail might be left out.
Courtney from Study Moose
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