Walking our talk : discovering benefits of dialogue on collaboration, shared leadership, and empowerment at the frontline among members of a neonatal intensive care unit interdisciplinary team in Victoria, British Columbia
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SubjectCollaboration; Empowerment; Frontline Ownership; Healthcare; Interdisciplinary; Shared Leadership
Healthcare teams caring for vulnerable patients and families have an opportunity for meaningful impact. However, a traditional paradigm that power is affiliated with hierarchy and formal titles may inhibit collaborative care. Research into healthcare team dynamics reveals the importance of frontline ownership and interconnectivity for team resilience, and identifies a challenge of toxic subgroups segregated by disciplines. This action research study engaged Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) practitioners from six disciplines, including a veteran parent, from one Victoria, BC hospital. Participants engaged in dialogue regarding their potential for positive influence from the frontline. Eleven interviews and two successive focus groups revealed a reinforcing relationship among four themes: value from sharing voices, supportive environment, feedback, and empowerment. Resulting paradigm shifts inspired participants to engage in individual and team level action. Recommendations offer strategies to permeate silos segregated by disciplines, enhance awareness of the system, and deepen relationships towards a harmonious community.
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