Learning from Each Other

Interpersonal Communication: 

  • 4.1: Demonstrate leadership and collaborate effectively with other healthcare team members and professional associates.

During my time at Nationwide Children’s Hospital I had the opportunity to work with the cardiology team for two weeks. The first thing that the residents told us before rounds was to not be intimidated by the big team. Originally, I thought maybe five to ten people, but in reality it ended up being fifteen to twenty people all doing patient center rounds. We had the attending, fellow, two to three residents, nurses, nurse practitioners, dietitians, care coordinators, pharmacists, and three medical students. Since we were such a large team, it was essential that we all worked together and communicated appropriately to ensure the best possible care for the patients.

The patients on the cardiology unit were very complicated with a problem list that would take up an entire page. It was extremely challenging to go through their medical history and understand everything that had been going on with these kids and then go and present all the findings to the whole team. Even though I struggled with the general medical knowledge about the various pathological processes, I had more difficulty figuring about the next steps for the patients. Since I did not know some of the main pathological processes, like hypoplastic left heart syndrome, I had difficulty formulating a plan. I was very fortunate that before rounds, my residents took the time to review our plans so by the time rounds came we would at least be on the same page as everyone else.

Rounding with such a large team was such an incredible experience. I had the opportunity to interact with so many different specialties and learn from each and every one of them. The specialists that I learned the most from this rotation were the dieticians. Many of the children on the cardiology unit struggled with feeding intolerance and had to slowly be weaned to an appropriate diet regimen. Interacting with the dieticians taught me how mathematical and precise feeds must be in order for the child to tolerate it and still receive all of his or her required nutrients. I am very grateful for the experience I had working with such a large team and I plan to use the communication skills that I’ve learned from this rotation in residency.


  • Foster an interprofessional environment where everyone feels comfortable speaking out if they notice any problems either with the patient or the team.
  • Make sure that medical students feel like an essential part of the team.


  • Actively reach out to other members of the care team, such as pharmacist, dieticians, physical therapists, and occupational therapist to ensure that the patient is receiving the utmost care.
  • Communicate effectively with social workers, so that all the patients’ needs are met.
  • Call nurses while we are rounding, so that they can be a part of rounds.
  • Foster a good learning environment:
    • Acknowledge when a medical student does something well
    • Encourage medical students to come up with their own assessment and plans before running them by me
    • Always give credit to the medical student, if it was their plan or idea

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