CNO Roundtable 2023

Question 2: Nurses in Multidisciplinary Teams

How can nurses work more effectively within multidisciplinary teams?

With multidisciplinary teams increasingly important in modern healthcare, the panelists offer their advice for nurses in working effectively with other members of the care team, such as physician assistants, social workers, nurses’ aides, and physicians.


Nancy Blake, LAC+USC Medical Center

It is crucial to comprehend and value everything that multidisciplinary teams bring to the bedside. The squad wins together and loses together, just like in any team sport. Patients need us to collaborate effectively to help them move from illness to wellness.


Annabelle Duschane Braun, MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center

Celebrate differences and learn from each other. Each member of the team brings unique strengths, experience, and viewpoints. Collaborating allows us to develop new problem-solving approaches, and differing opinions strengthen accountability.


Lori Burnell, Valley Presbyterian Hospital

First, respectfully listen to each stakeholder, pay attention, be curious, and build on everyone’s knowledge. Each member of an interdisciplinary team serves a unique role. Second, represent your people well. Come to each meeting prepared to offer ideas and insights.


Karen Grimley, UCLA Health

Ask to hear from team members who sit quietly — they often have keen observations and great ideas, and questions will invite them into the conversation. Also, when seeking to solve problems, use data rather than emotion to inform your choices.

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Katie Hughes, Casa Colina Hospital and Centers for Healthcare

Communication — especially learning to listen — is foundational for ensuring that the team can work together effectively. Collaboration with multiple disciplines brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table and helps to ensure better outcomes for our patients.


Joyce Leido, Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center

Establish clear lines of communication with your colleagues, don’t be afraid to ask questions, and respect each other’s role and expertise. Each professional has a unique skillset and role to play. Recognize and value each other’s contributions in providing care.


Deborah McCoy, USC Arcadia Hospital

Respect the role of each team member and how it contributes to continuity of care and excellent outcomes. Focus on shared listening, assessments, and successes. Team members who value each member’s contributions find increased satisfaction in the work they do.


Theresa Murphy, USC Verdugo Hills Hospital

It is critical for nurses to have a crystal-clear understanding of what makes nursing distinct from other healthcare professions. Role clarity fosters an environment of respect and collaboration between healthcare partners with our patients’ best interests in mind.

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Jinhee Nguyen, Adventist Health Glendale

Putting patients at the center keeps everyone involved focused on what is most important. Working in silos creates fragmented care. Patient-centric teams can pull together and face challenges with a strength that no one person or discipline could achieve alone.


Tanya Osborne-McKenzie, MLK Community Healthcare

The RN’s role in multi-professional teams is to keep the patient front and center. RNs coordinate the care of patients, whether working individually or as part of a team.


Gloria Sanchez-Rico, Huntington Health

Always approach teams with a deep sense of respect. Nurses bring clinical and interpersonal expertise to the table, so it’s important to ensure that their voices are heard, while understanding that everyone has something to offer.


Dianne Sauco, PIH Health Downey Hospital

Collaborate and communicate. Our work is busy, so find opportunities to partner with the people you work with, even if it’s in small ways. For example, if you help a CNA take a patient to the bathroom, that speaks volumes.


Darlene Scafiddi, Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center

It takes a team to provide the best care to patients, especially more complex cases. It is important to recognize that each individual has a unique role in achieving the best outcomes. Open communication is also key to successful multidisciplinary teams. ■

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