Healthcare Insider Blog

A nurse practitioner cannot work in a vacuum — here’s why

  • Healthcare Alvernia

Some professions are suited for those who want to work independently; health care, however, is not one of them. In the health care system, strength is found in a community of shared knowledge and ideas. That’s why health professionals — physicians, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, staff nurses and therapists — all collaborate to improve patient care.

In a TED Talk, Pardis Sabeti, computational geneticist, shares the importance of collaboration when it comes to fighting illnesses and fighting some of the world’s most deadly viruses.

It doesn’t matter what role you play in health care, her story illustrates the power of teamwork.

In 2014 Sabeti was working with a team of health care professionals and researchers in Sierra Leone when the Ebola virus broke out. Together they worked around the clock, sequencing the virus’s genome, learning how it mutated and spread.

“I had the data, and I could have worked in a silo for many, many months, analyzed the data carefully, slowly, submitted the paper for publication, gone through a few back-and-forths, and then finally when the paper came out, might release that data. That’s the way the status quo works.”

However, with the impeccable speed at which the virus was spreading in such a short amount of time, it was obvious to Sabeti that she and her team needed help.

“As soon as the sequences came off the machines, we published it to the web. We just released it to the whole world and said, ‘Help us’, recalls Sabeti.

And help came.

Suddenly some of the greatest viral trackers in the world were part of Sabeti and the team’s community, sharing information and communicating, following the virus minute-by-minute and working to stop it.

Whether you are in a classroom in Reading, Pennsylvania or a small village in Africa, it’s evident that the best way to care for those with illness and disease is together, in unity.

Alvernia Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program curriculum is built around the basis of collaboration and shared learning.

Courses like NUR 704: Local and Global Population Based Health focus on the use of epidemiology — the study of incidence, distribution, and possible control of diseases and other factors relating to health. Students will learn to use evidence-based research to inform clinical prevention programs and policy solutions for population health disparities, as well as the strategies used by advanced practice nurses to address such disparities.

Students will learn various research methods, applied statistics and data capture in courses like NUR 703: Using Informatics for Quality Improvement and NUR 802: Applied Statistics for Evidence-Based Practice, preparing them to dive deeper into discovering the symptoms, solutions and cures that must so urgently be shared.

Furthermore, in classes like NUR 803: Translational Research, DNP students will explore the practice of inter-professional collaboration, working as a team to identify practice problems and issues, critically assess extant research, develop evidence-based procedures, and finally evaluate all work through the dissemination of findings amongst colleagues.

Sabeti ends her talk with this: “And let us not let the world be defined by the destruction wrought by one virus, but illuminated by billions of hearts and minds working in unity.”

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