Team Up for a Home Run

By Debra Wood, RN

When nurses and physicians are on the same team, an entire community wins.

“Nursing students, for the most part, don’t know much about medical education, and medical students don’t know much about nursing education, and the goals of each,” says assistant professor Ibby Tanner, PhD, RN. “We need to teach those concepts.”

Tanner is co-director of a new five-year pilot program, funded by the late Worth B. Daniels, Jr., MD (see Hopkins Nursing Mourns the Loss of Worth Daniels, MD), and his wife, Jane W., of Baltimore, that will educate nurses and physicians together as they care for older adults with complex health situations in the Baltimore community.

“The Daniels family has understood for decades that care of patients in the community is a great challenge and a wonderful experience,” says Dean Martha N. Hill, PhD, RN, FAAN. “Worth Daniels loved caring for older people, and said we can best serve them when we see their needs in the context of their lives.”
Hopkins nursing students and Department of Medicine residents from The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Bayview Medical Center will spend time together at clinics and in home settings to assess patients and collaborate in planning and delivering their care. The exact mechanics of the program remain in planning stages, Tanner says.

“It’s imperative that physicians and nurses, as well as other professionals, learn how to function as a team in delivering optimal, safe care,” says Tanner. “By teaching them how to work in teams from the beginning, it will enhance their ability to collaborate and work together, particularly in caring for community-dwelling older adults.”

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