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Multi-disciplinary teams at Waikato Hospital - the view from social workers


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Multi-Disciplinary Teams’ functioning at Waikato Hospital- Views from Social Workers
This abstract describes a 2014 study where social work from multi-disciplinary teams (MDTs) at Waikato Hospital are interviewed regarding teams’ functioning. Group and systems discipline knowledge and practice experience means there is expert knowledge to contribute. Processes that contribute to or hinder teams’ functioning and recommendations for improvement aimed at increasing quality of patient outcomes are provided.
The research examines discourses in medical settings highlighting their impact on MDT functioning. The higher value placed on medical knowledge can render non-medical knowledge invisible or dismissed. When facilitation of MDT meetings is automatically assumed by lead nursing or medical personnel an unspoken undervaluing of facilitation expertise is promoted and an opportunity for more effective team functioning is lost.
The medical `site of disease’ discourse promotes a narrowed focus limiting options for MDT work. Risk aversion is a highly significant focus of work in hospitals and defensive practice can result distracting from holistic patient-centred practice.
Social workers can play a unique role in teams assisting functioning and promoting the patient’s voice. However they can experience significant downgrading of their knowledge and expertise, so need to maintain critical understanding of their position and be active in maintaining competent ethical professional practice.

Item Type: Paper presented at a conference, workshop, or other event which was not published in the proceedings
Uncontrolled Keywords: Multi-disciplinary teams, inter-disciplinary, social work , health social work
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Depositing User: Rebecca Giles
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2016 19:38
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 04:19

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