You are charged with setting up an interprofessional learning experience on a health sciences campus. You decide to have students from the various graduate programs (allied health, basic science, dentistry, medicine, nursing, and pharmacy) work on a health policy project together. You assign small interprofessional teams of 6 students each, one from each profession, with the goal of each developing a final health policy project description at the end of the experience. You allow the groups to determine the area of health policy they are interested in exploring, but require that it relate to a population subgroup considered vulnerable or at risk. You assign a group leader to each group. The group will decide the various roles to be played within the group and the topic to be addressed. Part 1. Building the Team ‘Team Building’ is the process of enabling a group of people to feel unified and agree to remove any barriers to self-empowerment. 1. Identify the initial barriers the case study teams may have in getting started. These may be barriers you have had in a previous work/professional setting. State how they affected your performance and that of your peers. 2. What can the team leader do to address these barriers from the beginning? Discuss reasons why team leaders fail to identify system obstacles or create a sense of unity in leading change. Part 2. Fostering Trust A big issue for interdisciplinary teams is creating an environment of trust, particularly trust that one’s efforts will be rewarded and respected by the group leader and others on the team. This discussion focuses on ways to establish and maintain a trusting relationship among group members. Discuss ways in which one could foster trust among the students of the variety of disciplines in our ongoing case study. Be creative and build on each other’s ideas.
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