Author(s): Jnger S, Pestinger M, Elsner F, Krumm N, Radbruch L
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Abstract INTRODUCTION: Team work is considered a central component of palliative care. Within this comparatively young field of medicine, the emergence of new institutions (eg, palliative care units) highlights the challenge of establishing a completely new team. METHODS: This study focuses on the factors, which enhance both the success and outcome criteria of good team work from the perception of team members in a palliative care unit. The palliative care team at the University Hospital of Aachen (n = 19) was interviewed 1 year after the unit's startup by the means of semistructured interviews. Interview texts were analysed using qualitative content analysis. RESULTS: Factors crucial to cooperation in the team members' views were close communication, team philosophy, good interpersonal relationships, high team commitment, autonomy and the ability to deal with death and dying. Moreover, close communication was by far the most frequently mentioned criteria for cooperation. Team performance, good coordination of workflow and mutual trust underpin the evaluation of efficient team work. Inefficient team work is associated with the absence of clear goals, tasks and role delegation, as well as a lack of team commitment. CONCLUSION: In a new team, close communication is particularly important for staff as they reorientate themselves to the dynamics of a new peer group. The results confirm the overwhelming importance of clarity, commitment and close, positive exchange among team members for successful team work.
This article was published in Palliat Med
and referenced in Journal of Community & Public Health Nursing