This is a reflective essay based on my attendance at a multidisciplinary team (MDT) meeting whilst on my two-week placement at a local mental health day hospital. The aim of this essay is to discuss the importance of the multidisciplinary team within the mental health environment and discuss factors that can influence the success or failure of multidisciplinary teams.
Mental health teams generally comprise of psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, nurses, occupational therapists and social workers, but other therapists such as family therapists, psychotherapists and counsellors might also become involved in the care of the patient (Perkins & Repper 1998).
Multidiscipline involvement is important within mental health nursing as people with mental health problems have multiple needs, so a variety of expertise is required to meet the needs of these people (Darby et al 1999).
Multidisciplinary mental health teams can been defined as:
"A group of practitioners with different professional training, employed by more than one agency, who meet regularly to coordinate their work providing services to one or more clients in a defined area" (Ovretveit,1993: 9 cited in Onyett 2003)
The advantage of a multidisciplinary team approach is that all professionals work together by collecting the facts and by bringing information together, to obtain as complete a view as possible of the problems of each individual patient. In doing this they are able to make sure that the proper range of treatments are used in a properly planned way (Onyett 2003).
One of the disadvantages of a multidisciplinary team is that problems can be encountered when different professionals work together, there can be unclear goals, lack of direction and poor leadership (D...
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...will be able to increase my knowledge and understanding of how different disciplines work together.
Burns, S. Bulman, C. Palmer, A. (1997) Reflective Practice in Nursing - The growth of the professional practitioner. London: Blackwell Science.
Darby, S. Marr, J. Crump, A Scurfield, M (1999) Older People, Nursing & Mental Health. Oxford: Buterworth-Heinemann.
Gibbs, G (1988) Learning by Doing, A guide to teaching and learning methods. Cheltenham: The Geography Discipline Network. (GDN).
Newell, R. Gournay, K (2000) Mental Health Nursing - An evidence based approach. London: Churchill Livingstone.
Nursing and Midwifery Council (2002) Code of Professional Conduct: London
Onyett, S. (2003) Teamworking in Mental Health. Bristol: Palgrave Macmillan.
Perkins, R. Repper, J. (1998) Dilemmas in Community Mental Health. Oxon: Radcliff Medical Press Ltd.
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