Healthcare and Nursing: Conflicts of Duty/Values in Elderly Care by [Author’s Name] 22 February 2012 Healthcare and Nursing: Conflicts of Duty/Values in Elderly Care Introduction Multidisciplinary and multi-professional teams exemplify an essential ingredient of today’s healthcare systems…
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Unfortunately, conflicts of duties and values in multidisciplinary teams are not uncommon. In case of geriatric care, end-of-life decisions generate the biggest controversies. At times, even the mere presence of a multi-professional team can cause a serious conflict of values for those patients, who want to be followed and monitored by a single medical specialist. In these situations, the best members of a multi-professional team can do is to make decisions in accordance with patients’ needs, values and beliefs, through communication, negotiation and mediation. Multi-professional multidisciplinary teams in geriatric care Multidisciplinary teams have already become an essential part of most healthcare routines. Multi-professional teams no longer surprise anyone but, on the contrary, represent an advanced level of healthcare development in medical facilities. “A dictionary definition of a multidisciplinary (healthcare) team is a team of professionals including representatives of different disciplines who coordinate the contributions of each profession, which are not considered to overlap, in order to improve care” (Daly, Speedy & Jackson 2009, p.210). ...
Effective communication is considered to be one of the most essencial characteristics of multidisciplinary teams (Daly, Speedy & Jackson 2009). However, for multi-professional work to be effective, healthcare facilities must pursue a set of values. The main values which healthcare organizations should demonstrate in order to promote effective multidisciplinary work include patient focus, customer orientation, and the major attention paid to the technical, professional and organizational issues affecting teamwork (Daly, Speedy & Jackson 2009). Members of multi-professional teams must be empowered to act for the benefit of patients and have skills and capacity to think systematically and holistically (Daly, Speedy & Jackson 2009). To achieve these goals and avoid ethical controversies, healthcare facilities need to make a shift away from parochial towards multidisciplinary activity, especially in aged care where end-of-life decisions have to be taken. The latter actually represent one of the major cornerstones in delivering quality multidisciplinary care to elderly patients, and conflicts of values/ duties can hinder the development of productive caring frameworks. Multi-professional teams bring together individuals working in diverse functional and professional backgrounds, and the skills, knowledge and experiences they bring to multidisciplinary teams can be equally useful and damaging to conflict resolution. In other words, these differences can lay the groundwork for the development of relevant decision making models or become the major source of conflicts within teams. Conflicts of values and duties in multi-professional geriatric teams
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