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Who Wants to be a Healthcare Provider?

Clarifying Roles and Responsibilities in Team-based Care: Highlighting scopes of practice across various healthcare professions

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Learning Objectives

As a result of participating in this activity, learners will:

  1. Compare and choose providers best suited to accomplish common clinical tasks.
  2. Differentiate between scopes of practice for their own profession and that of others.
  3. Assess and discuss with other providers the similarities in their respective professions, identifying overlaps in responsibilities and capacities.


  1. Assemble learners into teams of 5-6 using some method to ensure diversity/interprofessionalism on each team.
  2. Provide each team with enough colored index cards to designate voting for distinctions based on the number of professions represented in the room. This includes cards indicating each profession, plus a card representing all and a card representing none. (Numbered or lettered cards may also be used if colors become an issue.) Teams will discuss their response to appropriate clinical scenarios read by the facilitator and when prompted each team will raise one of the cards to represent their conclusion. Voting will be done simultaneously across the room. Provide teams a restricted amount of time (30 seconds is suggested) to discuss and determine how they will vote together. Larger teams may require more time.
  3. Representatives of the respective professions will be available during the debrief to assist in explaining the scope of practice and how they may or may not be involved in the tasks listed in the clinical scenario.


Learners should be self-aware of the scope of their healthcare discipline.


Small Group, Medium Group, Large Group: 120-250 people


Minimal Equipment - Voting cards


One Hour



Scopes of Practice

The fewer the number of professions represented on the teams, the fewer representatives of the professions may be needed. It is important, however, that each profession represented among learners be represented by facilitators during the debriefing. Fewer professions will also likely indicate a need for more scenarios.

Debrief Questions

  1. What were unexpected results from discussing which professions could complete which clinical tasks?
  2. In teams, more than one person may be capable of accomplishing a given task. How do leaders resolve that and assign tasks effectively?
  3. Explain to your team members one thing you learned about another profession during your discussions.

Clinical Application

  1. In a healthcare team, what kinds of advantages or disadvantages would be present by having clinicians with the same or similar skill sets?
  2. How do teams negotiate when team members have two differing opinions, and yet both parties seem qualified to make a decision?
  3. What are potential positive and negative effects on patient outcomes of making decisions by “majority rules”?

Bloom's Taxonomy


TeamSTEPPS domain

Teamwork/Team Structure


Team Functioning

Setting aside the answers for each scenario, teams need to examine how they managed conflict when there was a difference of opinion. The challenge here is that it is unlikely that every learner will know the full scope of practice of other professions represented at the table. Each person, however, will have knowledge and be advocating for the point of view with which they are most familiar. What happens when the team disagrees, but is under a time constraint to work out the solution?

Debrief Questions

  1. How did your team resolve differences of perspective or opinion?
  2. Can any team members identify an instance in which they felt their opinion was not validated? What happened? Share the experience from your point of view with your team.
  3. How did you feel about it? How engaged were you moving forward?

Clinical Application

  1. In patient/client/people centered care, it is hard to create a truly level power structure. What is it like for the patient when their opinion or wishes seem to be discounted by members of the team?
  2. How can healthcare team members assure that all opinions and perspectives are being heard and get full consideration?
  3. Why is it important for patients/clients/people to have advocates in team-based care?

Bloom's Taxonomy


TeamSTEPPS domain

Mutual Support
Teamwork/Team Structure


Team discussions lead to exploration of scopes of practice, with learners sharing information about their own professions while learning about the similarities and differences across the team.


For more information about how to utilize games, low-fidelity simulation, and interactive learning to teach concepts of teamwork and collaboration, contact

Related Tags

accountability, collaboration, feedback, inexpensive, ip communication, leadership, low barrier, low resource, roles and responsibilities, shared mental model, situational leadership, teams and teamwork