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Hospital staff look to increase nurse/doctor collaboration

BEDFORD, Massachusetts--Almost 40 VA Bedford Healthcare System staff from Geriatrics, Urgent Care, and the Gloucester VA Clinic attended the Nurse-Doctor Co-Teaching program, offered virtually last week by Harvard Medical School.

The nurse-doctor co-teaching program seeks to dismantle hierarchies and promote unique expertise of multidisciplinary teams by pairing staff nurses with attending physicians to co-lead educational sessions on various clinical topics for residents and other interested staff.

Upon hearing about the interest from VA Bedford, course director Professor Helen Shields said, “I hope to fulfill participants' goals and inspire them and give them the tool kit of techniques to collaborate…in teaching together on rounds, in classrooms and at conferences locally and nationally.”

As a result of the program, VA Bedford is exploring the feasibility of identifying Nurse-Doctor Co-Teaching champions from amongst the Bedford attendees, “In order to leverage the employee engagement and decreased disciplinary silos that might have resulted from knowledge gained and increase nursing and physician collaboration and education across the facility,” Dr. Jim L. Meisel, VA Bedford Associate Chief of Staff for Education said.

Final enrollment count was 89 nurse and doctor participants from across New England and many other U.S. states, as well as Ireland and Australia.

VA Bedford Healthcare System provides Veterans with outstanding health care, trains America’s future health care providers, and conducts important medical research at four locations in Middlesex and Essex counties in Massachusetts.  

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