10 Tips to Being Assertive in a Multidisciplinary Team
Published: 24 November 2016
Published: 24 November 2016
Assertiveness is an effective tool for communicating your ideas, observations and evidence within a multidisciplinary team. It is the best communication tool for advocating for your patients. It is also an important tool in difficult situations.
Nurses are usually members of any number of different multidisciplinary teams, whether they work in a hospital or in a community setting. The function of these teams or organisations can range from patient care issues, to environmental response initiatives in disasters.
Sometimes, as a nurse, you may feel left out of the dynamics of a group; you may not feel confident in expressing your knowledge within a multidisciplinary team or a committee without feeling self-conscious.
Being assertive allows you to act instead of react, and learning how to substitute self-consciousness with self-assurance is the starting point to achieving this outcome. Teams and committees are formed in order to solve problems, find solutions and create new opportunities. Knowing how to participate by being assertive will contribute to the overall strength and success of the team.
Here are ten tips for being assertive in multidisciplinary teams. Many of these techniques take practice but will result in you becoming a stronger person, and more professional:
If you’re not already doing so, try putting some of these tips into practice over the next few weeks.
Being assertive takes practice. It is neither helpful nor respectful to your professional contribution to be passive or aggressive. Assertive communication makes you a stronger team player and can help the team better meet its goals and improve patient outcomes in a more timely and effective manner.
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Zoe Youl is a Critical Care Registered Nurse, Nurse Planner and Online Education Manager at Ausmed Education. In this role, she manages Ausmed's Online Education Team which develops Ausmed's online courses, lectures and articles. Before commencing at Ausmed Education, Zoe worked as a Critical Care Registered Nurse in Intensive Care at a large private hospital in Melbourne. She values the ability of education to enable personal and professional growth, is a passionate teacher and has experience as a Sessional Academic teaching undergraduate nursing students. Zoe is a member of the Australian College of Nursing (ACN), the Australian College of Critical Care Nurses (ACCCN), the Australian Nurse Teachers Society (ANTS) and the Association for Nursing Professional Development (ANPD). She holds a postgraduate qualification in Clinical Nursing (Intensive Care) and is currently undertaking a Master of Nursing (Leadership and Management). Zoe was recently appointed the Victorian Branch Representative of the ANTS National Committee. Zoe is committed to improving the health and lives of all people through the development of effective and meaningful education whilst also promoting the impact of unique non-clinical nursing roles.