Collaborative Practice in Health Care
Collaborative practice in health care occurs when a member of the health care team consults with another member to provide patient care. Collaboration most often occurs between doctors and nurses. "Collaboration is defined as a relationship of interdependence; the ability to work together involves trust and respect not only of each other but of the work and perspectives each contributes to the care of the patient" (Phipps and Schaag, 1995, p. 19). Effective collaborative practice amongst all health care team members leads to continuity of care, professional interdependence, quality care and patient satisfaction and decreased costs. Ongoing collaboration between health care members results in mutual respect, trust and an appreciation of what each individual brings to the overall goal in rendering care to the client. The following vignette will provide the foundation for the discussion of collaborative care, differentiating between nursing diagnosis and collaborative problems, and potential barriers to successful collaboration.
JG is a 74 year old married Hispanic male diagnosed with colon cancer. He had a history of prosthesis placement of his left lower leg; he is ambulatory. He is a diabetic on oral medications. He worked as a farm laborer. He lives with his wife she does not speak English she is a homemaker. He has a son who lives nearby and a nephew who periodically visits him. JG can understand some English. He does have some difficulty expressing his health concerns to the staff because of his limited vocabulary. His son or nephew brings JG to his clinic appointments. He receives weekly chemotherapy at the outpatient oncology clinic. The day I cared for JG he arrived at the clinic accompanied by his nephew. This was week seven of his treatment. His clothing was dirty, he smelled of stool, his fingernails were dirty,