Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Doctor and nurse teamwork in general practice

Roger Watson, Editor-in-Chief

'Internationally, a shortage of doctors entering and remaining in general practice and an increasing burden of chronic disease has diversified the nurse’s role in this setting. Despite a well-established general practice nursing workforce, little attention has been paid to the ways doctors and nurses collaborate in this setting.' This is the basis of a study from Australia by McInnes et al. (2105) titled 'An integrative review of facilitators and barriers influencing collaboration and teamwork between general practitioners and nurses working in general practice' and published in JAN.

The study took the shape of an integrative literature review spanning 14 years up to 2014. A final review of 11 articles out of over 200 retrieved showed 'the facilitators of and barriers to collaboration and teamwork between GPs in general practice: (1) roles and responsibilities; (2) respect, trust and communication; and (3) hierarchy, education and liability.'

The authors conclude: 'As the number of doctors entering and remaining in general practice declines, it is crucial that nurses are supported and encouraged to participate in decision-making processes and goal setting of the practice. Without the concerted support of GPs and clarity around the nurse’s scope of practice, it is likely that nurses working in general practice will not receive recognition as a highly competent and respected interdisciplinary member of the general practice team. Further research exploring collaboration and teamwork between GPs and nurses working in general practice may provide insight into the issues which influence nursing leadership and staff retention in this hierarchical healthcare setting.


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Reference

McInnes S, Peters K, Bonney A, Halcomb E (2015) An integrative review of facilitators and barriers influencing collaboration and teamwork between general practitioners and nurses working in general practice Journal of Advanced Nursing doi: 10.1111/jan.12647


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