Hospital boot camp teaches docs, nurses teamwork skills

Although historically the communication between doctors, nurses and other hospital staff is less than perfect, one New York state hospital is teaching collaboration right from the start with a program that brings first-year internal medicine and pharmacy residents, nurse practitioner students and respiratory therapists together, Democrat & Chronicle reported.

Rochester General Hospital uses simulations during an eight-week resident boot camp at St. John Fisher College, to teach the young healthcare professionals to work together even in the face of high stress situations, such as patients having a heart attack and dying under their care, according to the article. The exercises teach communication and teamwork skills, facilitators say.

"Medicine is a team sport," Richard Sterns, M.D., internal medicine residency program director at the hospital, told the publication. "Teamwork is essential for safety, efficiency and patient satisfaction." 

Communication between doctors and nurses is more important than ever as healthcare moves toward more collaborative, team-based care models. "But there are several factors that can make effective communication between nurses and physicians particularly difficult to achieve," Courtney H. Lyder, dean and professor of the UCLA School of Nursing, wrote in a 2013 Hospital Impact post. "Including historic tension; conflicting viewpoints based on education, training, communication style; and terminology and existing communication processes that are inefficient at best."

Lyder called for more collaborative training programs between doctors, nurses and other staff to foster those communication skills and teach a team-based approach. Two new programs, launched at the University of Virginia Medical Center, offer a new approach to improve communication between doctors and nurses, while increasing patient safety and preventing medical errors, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

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