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Teamwork, Professional Identities, Conflict, and Industrial Action in Nigerian Healthcare

Authors Mayaki S, Stewart M

Received 18 June 2020

Accepted for publication 16 September 2020

Published 22 October 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 1223—1234


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Suleiman Mayaki,1 Martyn Stewart2

1Department of Pediatrics, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Shika-Zaria P.M.B 06, Nigeria; 2Department of Education and Training, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool L3 5QA, UK

Correspondence: Suleiman Mayaki
Department of Pediatrics, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Shika-Zaria P.M.B 06, Nigeria
Tel +2348054919184

Purpose: Modern healthcare is delivered by teams of multidisciplinary professionals. Conflicts have been widely reported between these professionals in Nigeria. Furthermore, the health system is frequently crippled by industrial actions by trade unions representing these professionals. This study aimed to shed light on the complexities of factors perceived to cause workplace conflicts, including the extent to which these are thought to link to industrial action.
Materials and methods: Focus group discussions and in-depth interviews were conducted with nurses, doctors, and medical laboratory scientists who work in multiprofessional settings giving a total of 41 participants. Results were analyzed within the framework of the social identity theory.
Results and conclusions: The dominant themes that emerged as barriers to teamwork include professional hierarchy, role ambiguity, and poor communication. At the same time, the health sector leadership and remuneration were the main themes concerning industrial actions. The salience of professional identities was also demonstrated, providing a link between interprofessional conflict in the workplace and competitive industrial actions by trade unions representing health professionals. The implications for educational and clinical practice and the need for interprofessional education are discussed.

Keywords: interprofessional conflict, industrial action, professional identity, teamwork

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