Teams and Their Functioning in the Fields of Medicine and Social Care

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Teams and Their Functioning in theFields of Medicine and Social Care
04.02.2020
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Medicine and Social Care

Health and social care organizations have a specific distribution of roles, team dynamics, and processes. Medical teams are more complex than those from other sectors, and the inability to manage them sometimes causes serious errors. Therefore, they should use specialization and increase the participation of customers to reduce the mistakes.

Speaking about my personal experience, my colleagues and I may have played the roles of the shaper, implementer, finisher, coordinator, team worker, resource investigator, evaluator, and specialist. A shaper is a person who motivates other group members, while an implementer turns the ideas into reality. As for a finisher, they are those who try to make the project perfect whereas a coordinator delegates tasks. A team worker keeps the team together, and a resource investigator searchers resources. Lastly, an evaluator critically analyses the ideas, and a specialist manages a specific area. Our team is small so each member has played a few roles.

Undoubtedly, to achieve the shared goals, the team should have a clear distribution of duties and all the necessary resources for performing the tasks. Besides, it is necessary to have efficient group communication because, otherwise, individuals might have problems with meeting deadlines. Finally, training might help to address some individual weaknesses of the team members.

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The distinctive feature of teams at a health and social care work is that they use specialists from various areas in problem-solving processes. However, this approach does not protect them from medical errors as the most common reason for the mistakes is dysfunctional team dynamics that are caused by the complexity of all the processes inside the group (Mitchell et al. 2014, p. 1). In particular, attracting various specialists leads to the appearance of misunderstandings while discussing solutions to medical problems. Another peculiarity of the medical group is that every person considers their own team as more complex than others and values its impact highly (Barteck 2011, p. 62). This fact motivates individuals to appreciate their belonging to the group, which has a positive impact on the processes they manage.

At present, there are some alternative ways to perform tasks any team can employ. One of them is the use of the specialization approach. It implies each group member should complete the assignments which have been assigned him/her. Obviously, these tasks should correspond to his/her field of expertise. However, the problem is that employees in the health and social care sectors sometimes start helping others to do the job. Such cooperation is not always effective because the person normally can be an expert only in one area. Besides, unlike other workplaces, the field under consideration is characterized by constant innovations so it is impossible to follow all the changes. Therefore, each individual should do the work he/she knows perfectly. Moreover, the teams often do not involve customers in the problem-solving process. Therefore, the second alternative way to deal with tasks is the participation of patients that can help to satisfy their needs more effectively.

In conclusion, the team dynamics at health and social care sector is more complex than in non-medical area. Nevertheless, the group members play almost the same roles as people who do not work in healthcare organizations. In particular, they can act as a shaper, implementer, finisher, coordinator, team worker, resource investigator, evaluator, and specialist. The important feature of medical groups is that they involve specialists from different fields. Lastly, the possible alternative ways to perform tasks are strict specialization and participation of customers.

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The Briefing Paper: Problem Solving

Problem-solving requires the use of specific strategies and methods. This briefing paper will discuss the process of developing solutions to work-based problems on the example of the Green Haven Care Home. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has found that the organization does not satisfy the needs of its patients. In particular, the workers of the establishment under consideration have not tried to analyze the needs of patients regarding bedtime, and consequently, the patients go to bed and wake up very early which could lead to some health issues. Thus, the facility should develop a strategy that would help it deal with the issue.

Developing Solutions for Work-Based Problems

Problem-solving could be defined as determining something incorrectly and taking the initiative to address the issue. The initiative is highly important in problem-solving as it denotes taking action to deal with the problem. In the case under consideration, the Green Haven Care Home should take some measures to avoid the risks the patients might face due to ignorance of their needs and preferences. Particularly, patients can have traumas or other health issues as a result of early awakening

There are a few approaches to solving work-based problems. First, issues may be addressed in time of an accident. In this case, the employees of a company have to deal with a non-standard accident that might occur (Burrow & Kleindl 2013, p. 45). For example, the staff of the Green Haven Care Home may deal with falls or pressure sores caused by a lack of attention to patients’ needs and preferences.

Another approach to solving work-based issues is applying reappraisal of equipment which means that the employees have to assess all the equipment and provide its appropriate maintenance. It is especially important for the Green Haven Care Home as its patients are the individuals over 65, and they cannot notice any possible risks. Actually, CQC has not found any issues with the equipment, but the employees still have to check it.

In addition, customers should also participate in the problem-solving process since they might help with developing strategies and/or coming up with specific solutions. The employees of the Green Haven Care Home might ask the patients about the times they want to go to sleep and wake up. Besides, the latter can leave feedback regarding the fact of whether their needs and preferences are satisfied in the facility (Gido & Clements 2014, p. 382). Although the patients of the establishment under consideration are quite old, they still may reveal some important data. Apart from that, the employees might use not only verbal communication but also analyze their body language and habits. For example, the fact that most of the patients sleep in the lounge in the morning could mean that they wake up too early, and they need more sleep.

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Assessing Tools and Methods for Creating Solutions to Problems

Today, organizations apply few assessing methods for developing solutions to work-based issues. First, they use a mathematical approach meaning that employees rely on special algorithms. This method is very organized and effective so the individuals can come up with the best solutions possible. Another advantage of algorithms is that they make the process of developing solutions standardized (Kimbrough & Lau 2016, p.179). On the other hand, the process in general requires much time. Therefore, it is impossible to use algorisms in case of emergencies. In addition, this method works with numbers, and not all situations are connected with figures. For instance, the case in the Green Haven Care Home does not deal with any numbers so algorisms cannot be applicable there.

The employees of the Green Haven Care Home might try to use a heuristic method for addressing their problems. It is an experienced-based technique so it does not require the use of any numbers (Nirjar 2011, p. 102). The staff might discuss their experiences of dealing with the issue. The organization under consideration has been providing care to the elderly for a long time; therefore, the workers should possess information about the ways of offering care, treatment and support that correspond to the needs of patients.

Besides, the employees of the facility can apply the trial and error method. However, it is very risky for older people so it is appropriate. Nevertheless, one can resort to it in case of low effectiveness of previously mentioned two approaches. The thing is that the implementation of the approach can lead to the death of the patient; thus, the organization cannot put their patients at risk without any significant reasons.

Creating an Appropriate Strategy for a Specific Issue under Consideration

Developing a proper strategy for a certain problem involves four stages. The first one is determining the type and size of the issue. In the given case, the Green Haven Care Home has the problem with meeting the sleeping needs of their patients that is quite serious because most of the elderly do not receive appropriate treatment and support. The second step is setting the plan. With regard to the facility under analysis, the staff might decide to make evaluations of the sleeping needs of their patients to make a personal day schedule for each individual. The third stage involves the implementation of the plan. The employees of the care home should start assessing the patient’s needs and wake up people accordingly. The final stage is the evaluation. This is when the workers of the organization should check whether their scheme has helped to resolve the problem.

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The Potential Influence of Implementing the Strategy

There is no doubt that implementing the strategy can greatly enhance the quality of services in the organization. The success of the implementation of the strategy depends on the activity of patients, employees, and supervisors. In particular, the workers need feedback from their customers to determine the best solutions to the problem. The patients of the care home might say what they would like to change in the treatment or care process. The employees should be patient and attentive while assessing the needs of their customers because the patients are over 65 and cannot express their views easily. The supervisor should carefully monitor the process of solving the issues because the staff might ignore the strategy and continue to work as before the assessment of CQC.

In conclusion, the Green Heaven Care Home should develop solutions to problems through the checking of their equipment, gaining feedback from customers and addressing all the potential risks. The most appropriate method for designing solutions is a heuristic one. Moreover, the organization should divide the process of scheme creation into four stages. The implementation of the plan depends on the involvement of all the stakeholders.

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