Center for Immersive and Simulation-based Learning

Teamwork

Types of Learning - Teamwork

Modern healthcare involves far more than a solo doctor by herself taking care of a single patient. Whether in hospitals or clinics healthcare is a “team sport” involving a large team of doctors, nurses, allied-health professionals, technicians, and assistants. Getting the optimum performance from any team requires the right knowledge, skills and attitudes about teamwork. It also requires constant practice in the techniques of working as a team. Sports teams know this as do orchestras, pilots, astronauts, and the military. Yet, healthcare personnel have long worked in teams without really practicing their teamwork. We now know that this sometimes leads to problems.

Types of Learning - Teamwork

Simulation is an ideal vehicle for teaching and practicing teamwork whether for individuals, groups, or complete multidisciplinary teams. All the aspects of simulation that make it useful for addressing decision-making is doubly true for tackling issues of teamwork. For example, communication is the major way that teams leverage their collective wisdom and skill, yet breakdowns in communication are common. Simulation lets people practice effective communication and to see what happens when it doesn’t happen optimally. Conflict resolution is another aspect of teamwork that is naturally practiced during simulations.

Types of Learning - Teamwork

Simulation is important because much of routine patient care doesn’t challenge the team to its fullest. When situations arise that do challenge the team – and are a great risk to the patient – the team needs to be able to respond at its best. Only repeated practice can assure the ability of a team of disparate individuals to function at peak performance when they least expect to do so.

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