5.3.2 Trust

TrustTrust is the foundation for building healthy relationships.  It is built over time and essential to the provision of care.  Trust is one of the factors in creating a healthy work environment for the health care team since it allows interprofessional team members to engage in shared decision-making and communication. It also opens up individuals to appreciate each other’s role while retaining confidence in one’s own role (Reina, Reina, & Rushton, 2007).  

Trust forms the basis for interprofessional relationships and collaboration as it supports effective ways of relating to each other.  When interprofessional team members recognize the importance of trust and practice the behaviours that build trust, they open the door for a truly collaborative practice (Reina at al., 2007). 

Trust as an Essential Skill

Developing a sense of trust is an essential skill for interprofessional team work. Without trust, individuals are focused on individual level work, rather than collaboration (Tseng, Chen & Chen, 2005).  

The presence of trust is characterized by respect, honesty, consistency, faith, caring and hope.  Trust impacts the way team members communicate; open communication cannot occur without trust.  With trust, honest communication can occur, relationships can be built and collaboration can grow.  When there is trust in the interprofessional team, there is willingness from team members to make themselves vulnerable and to rely on each other (Arnold & Underman Boggs, 1999).

Trust has a positive impact on interprofessional team work life in terms of job satisfaction, organizational effectiveness and ultimately patient care (Firth-Cozens, 2004). It is built from predictability, consistency, sameness and continuity (Arnold & Underman Boggs, 1999). 

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icon Indicators of Success: Developing Trust in Relationships (PDF)

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