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Hello Maria. Reflecting on your area of nursing expertise, what has been your experience with working within an interprofessional team? Did you have an opportunity to speak up on behalf of your patient but failed to do so? If so, what prevented you from speaking up and how would you handle a situation similar to this should it arise in the future?


  Interprofessional collaboration is the collective involvement of various professional healthcare providers working with patients, families, caregivers, and communities to consider and communicate each other’s unique perspective in delivering the highest quality of care. (Moss et al, 2016) At work, I saw a physician did not wash his hands before and after seeing a patient who I was taking care of. The doctor was busy, and I was afraid to interrupt him. I knew I should have told him that washing hands is important to prevent the spread of infections between patients. However, I was not able to tell him about it because of the fear. Hesitancy to speak up is one of the factors that may contribute to communication errors and/or adverse events. (Okuyama et al, 2014)

           According to Okuyama et al (2014), effective communication and teamwork skills are crucial to improve patient safety for health care professionals. Health care professionals are expected to speak up about their concerns before a critical event reaches a patient to provide a chance to correct the plan or intervention. (Okuyama et al, 2014) In addition, establishing a culture that empowers staff to speak up when concerned about the quality or safety of patient care is important. The Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA) Keystone Center has implemented the Speak‐Up! Award program that acknowledges frontline health care staff for voicing their concerns and making care safer. (Novak, 2019) And this program presents evidence that fostering a psychologically safe culture of speaking up yields fiscal and humanistic returns, both of which are crucial to sustainable, meaningful progress in safety and quality. (Novak, 2019)

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