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Strategies for Interdisciplinary Team Nursing

Written by: University of Tulsa   •  Mar 26, 2024
An Interdisciplinary Team of Health Care Professionals Working Together.

Strategies for Interdisciplinary Team Nursing

Collaborating effectively within a team is an essential component of treating patients for health care professionals in any role. Nurses and other health care professionals work together to achieve a common goal: to provide the best possible care for patients.

Current or prospective nurses who are pursuing an advanced education and seeking to enhance patient care and outcomes should understand the importance of interdisciplinary team nursing, which involves a team of health care professionals working together to address patients’ needs.

Interdisciplinary Teams in Health Care

An interdisciplinary team is a group of health care professionals working collaboratively toward a common goal. This team includes professionals with different roles involved in treating a patient’s condition or diagnosis. By working together in a group, the team can improve overall outcomes for the patient and ensure that it meets all aspects of a patient’s needs.

As the overall average life span increases, interdisciplinary teams in health care have become increasingly important. While a longer life span is desirable, patients today may experience more chronic health conditions and comorbidities that require multiple professionals to manage. With technology and medical knowledge advancements, effective patient care may require a multifaceted approach for the most success.

Positions Involved in Interdisciplinary Teams

Interdisciplinary teams in health care can look different depending on the type of field or work setting. The following are examples of positions that are involved in interdisciplinary teams:

  • Registered nurses
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Social workers
  • Surgeons
  • Lab specialists
  • Imaging specialists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Physicians
  • Physician assistants
  • Physical therapists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Specialists (for example, cardiologists)
  • Nutritionists or dieticians

While these are some of the main positions that may be involved, this is only a partial list. Specific fields may require other types of specialists to be involved in the interdisciplinary team. Understanding the positions involved and the importance of interdisciplinary team nursing allows nurse leaders to work more effectively within groups and improve outcomes for their patients.

Benefits and Challenges of Interdisciplinary Team Nursing

Taking a collaborative approach to health care benefits both health care professionals and the patients they serve. From a personal perspective, health care professionals involved in collaborative teams tend to have more support at work and feel more valued. This is because interdisciplinary teams acknowledge the work of each team member and the vital role that they play. For patients, interdisciplinary team nursing can result in better care and health outcomes. 

When multiple people work together to manage care or provide a diagnosis, patients will likely benefit from a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses all their needs. Patients may also experience faster treatment when a team cares for them. Furthermore, working within a team may help reduce errors or missed problems since more eyes are on each case.

Although interdisciplinary teams in health care offer many great benefits, they may have associated challenges as many different professionals are involved. Working within a team requires strong communication skills, decision-making skills, and conflict resolution skills. Below, explore a few tips and strategies that can make it easier to work within a collaborative team.

Tips and Strategies for Nurse Leaders for Interdisciplinary Success

For interdisciplinary team nursing to be successful, it’s important to consider the foundations needed for a team.

Create a Collaborative Team Culture

Before a health care team can successfully work together, establishing a culture and framework built around teamwork is essential. This involves taking steps to develop clear lines of communication, build trust, and implement ways for the team members to engage with each other.

Address Conflict

Even the best teams face conflict at one point or another, especially when disagreements arise relating to a patient’s care. Processes and procedures should be established to help address conflict professionally.

Prioritize Patient-Centered Care

Patient-centered care is a health care practice that centers the needs of each individual and allows patients to have a say in their care. When working in teams, prioritizing patient-centered care can keep health care professionals focused on a common goal to help best meet each patient’s needs.

Facilitate Training and Development

Part of what makes interdisciplinary team nursing so successful is the joining of a wide range of knowledge by many different people. Ongoing training and learning opportunities can help advance the skills and knowledge of the entire team and help open up new mindsets to problem-solving when working in interdisciplinary teams.

Discover How a Master of Science in Nursing Can Help You Become a Nurse Leader

Are you interested in joining interdisciplinary team nursing as a nurse leader? Explore The University of Tulsa’s online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program to help you develop the leadership skills needed to advance your career. The program provides students with the opportunity to specialize in one of four specialty tracks, which include Leadership and Innovation, Education and Evaluation, Public Health Global Vision, and Informatics and Analytics.

From clinical knowledge to soft skills, an MSN program can bring you one step closer to joining interdisciplinary teams in health care. Request information today to learn more about earning your MSN degree.

Recommended Readings

What Does a Charge Nurse Do?

How to Become a Chief Nursing Officer

International Travel Nursing: How to Work Abroad as a Nurse


Bella Vista Health Center, Benefits of Interdisciplinary Teams in Health Care

Human Resources for Health, “Ten Principles of Good Interdisciplinary Team Work”

Indeed, Benefits of an Interdisciplinary Team in Health Care Settings

Indeed, How Can Interdisciplinary Teams Improve Patient Outcomes in Healthcare?

Indeed, What Is an Interdisciplinary Team? Definition, Importance and Advantages

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