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A Summary of Step One of the Multidisciplinary Approach

5 pages
1186 words
Sewanee University of the South
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The first step in the multidisciplinary method involves listening to the different stakeholder viewpoints. As reflected in the Riverbed city Expository text the doctors who were caring for Sheldon Greenberg seek the perspective of the relatives regarding how Sheldon should spend his last days. In the conversation between the professional and the family members, the family members are given a chance to voice their concerns after which the health professionals offer their suggestions. For instance, Shirley Greenberg narrates how Sheldons death is going to affect her and how it would be difficult to live without him. Chandra Capshaw who is a social worker in response tells Shirley that they have support groups who are specialized in providing support to family members in such instances. The scene at Rhodo neighborhood also highlights a multidisciplinary approach to solving issues. In the scene, Susan Florman appreciates all the stakeholders who made an effort to address the challenges faced by the Greenbergs family. Susan provides each a chance to explain the facts they know regarding the situation. After highlighting the facts, Susan led the participants in explaining what the facts meant and then subsequently coming up with the solutions.

Significance of Developing a Solid Understanding of the Background of a Problem

Developing a solid knowledge of an issue enables the stakeholders to devise the most appropriate solution (Van Aken & Berends, 2017). In the case involving the Greenberg for instance once the family members were informed of the condition of Mr. Sheldon, they developed solutions which could make him live comfortably for the remainder part of his life. Susan Florman who was tasked with providing palliative care for Mr. Sheldon also relied on the views of the family members, the doctor, the rabbi and the nurse to set up an adequate care for the patient. The family members, for instance, indicated that they did not want Mr. Sheldon to be heavily sedated using Morphine. Apparently, from their perspective, this would make the patient get into a coma. In response to this concern, Susan promises to use other alternatives with fewer side effects. Besides the family members concerns, the perspectives of the rabbi guide the handling of Mr. Sheldon during his last days. Specifically, Rabbi Moshe Zimmermanns concern on adherence to Judaism teachings regarding the handling of patients results in Susan agreeing to incorporate the same in Mr. Sheldons palliative care. The decision of the professionals to develop a solid background of the problem was responsible for the improved handling of the issue. Apparently, the Greenbergs found it easier to handle the situation since they got help from different individuals. More importantly, Mr. Sheldon was relieved that he could spend his last days with his family.

How Collaboration Is Used To Gather Information About A Problem.

Collaboration provides a wide variety of information which is vital in problem resolution (Roschelle, & Teasley, 1995). As reflected in the case of the Greenbergs every stakeholder who took part in the dialogue had a different view regarding how best to solve the problem. For instance, Shirley Greenberg was concerned with feeding her husband. From her perspective food was the only way to ensure that her sick husband could remain strong. This perspective was however contested by Dr. Gavin Murphy and the rest of the participants who indicated that giving food to him was no longer useful and that feeding would, in fact, worsen his situation.

Rabbi Moshe Zimmermann also played a significant role in regards to religious procedures and beliefs. Susan Florman who directed the discussion was not aware of the spiritual concerns of the family. Form her perspective she believed that the chaplain would have provided the services efficiently. However, Rabbi Moshe Zimmermann contested this view. The rabbi indicated that there were specific practices which were unique to Judaism.

Implications of collaboration towards understanding the problem

As indicated in the conversation collaboration provides different perspectives on how an issue should be addressed. Essentially it ensures that the needs of all concerned can be addressed adequately and efficiently (Hesse, Care, Buder, Sassenberg, & Griffin, 2015). For example, the coming together of the different individuals family members, the rabbi and the health professionals- results in smooth handling of Mr. Sheldons delicate condition. As reflected towards the end, the patient is happy since he is with his family members. The success of the mission can be attributed to the contribution of all individuals from all sectors such religious, health and family institutions.


From the analysis of the dialogue, it is clear that handling of problems may not be as straightforward as they seem. Apparently, each stakeholder affected by the problem has their view regarding how best to solve the problem. According to Huitt, (1992), the difference in opinions can be attributed to factors such as temperament and personality type. Because of such differences, there is a high likelihood of conflicts which can derail the resolution measures to the detriment of the whole group. In this regard, the best approach towards problem resolution is the inclusion of each member of views. In other words, the concerns of each participant have to be taken into account. Such a step will create feelings of inclusion besides improving the effectiveness of the solutions. Apparently the higher the number of people taking part in an exercise the more the knowledge which can be acquired. Hence the group can benefit from faster and more efficient problem resolution.

Distinct and Relevant Categories of Problems Facts.

Facts of a problem can be placed under different categories. The first group is moral facts which entail the spiritual beliefs which define individuals and how they relate to other members of the society. The second category is health facts which comprise of the physical and psychological well-being of an individual. The third class consists of social-cultural realities. Social-cultural circumstances, in this case, consist of how an individual relates to other members of the society, for instance, the family.

Some of the notable instances of information conflict in the discussion involved the handling of the rabbis views. From the onset, the head of palliative care does not integrate the rabbi into the problem resolution. She insists that the chaplain would provide spiritual guidance to the family in spite of the rabbi indicating that there are special Judaism laws which have to be followed. In this case, the head of the hospice operation does not adequately accommodate the concerns of the religious leader. The additional questions which need to be asked pertain to how the chaplain will handle the religious matters given the fact that all those concerned except the rabbi understand the procedure.



Hesse, F., Care, E., Buder, J., Sassenberg, K., & Griffin, P. (2015). A framework for teachable collaborative problem-solving skills. In Assessment and teaching of 21st-century skills (pp. 37-56). Springer, Dordrecht.

Huitt, W. (1992). Problem-solving and decision making: Consideration of individual differences using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Journal of Psychological Type, 24(1), 33-44.

Roschelle, J., & Teasley, S. D. (1995). The construction of shared knowledge in collaborative problem-solving. In Computer-supported collaborative learning (pp. 69-97). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

Van Aken, J. E., & Berends, H. (2017). Problem-solving in organizations. Cambridge University Press.


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