She says the providers meet with patients in groups, too. Every visit includes a 15–20 minutes of education and a chance for the patient to talk with the team about any concerns.
Do Personal Ties Matter?
Listening to Saathoff talk about her colleagues and the tremendous amount of respect they have for each other, I wondered how much of that was simply because they all got along on a personal level. After all, it's much easier to work as a team when you're all friends, too. So I asked Saathoff whether providers' personalities need to mesh well in order for interdisciplinary care to truly work.
"No, I don't believe so," she says. "[With] a lot of the personal aspect of work you just have to leave it off the table. You're there to take care of the patient and your personal feelings should not be involved."
Still, whether or not individual members like each other or even get along personally, Saathoff again emphasizes that respect is something that is needed. And part of that is realizing that each member of the care team, including nurses, brings their own unique perspective, experience, and training to the table.
"They may be able to find a way to get through to the patient that a provider might not think of," Saathoff says. "It's very important to utilize that…Your nursing staff is just essential to good care."