The Value of Communities of Practice as a Learning Process to Increase Resilience in Healthcare Teams
Keywords:communities of practice, vulnerability, moral distress, COVID-19, moral resilience
AbstractThis paper addresses the role that communities of practice (CoP) can have within the healthcare environment when facing uncertainty and highly emotionally impactful situations, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic. The starting point is the recognition that CoPs can contribute to build resilience among their members, and particularly moral resilience. Among others, this is due to the fact that they share a reflective space from which shared knowledge is generated, which can be a source of strength and trust within the healthcare team. Specifically, in extreme situations, the CoPs can contribute to coping with moral distress, which will be crucially important not only to facing crisis situations, but to prevent the long-term adverse consequences of working in conditions of great uncertainty. The purpose of this paper is to analyze how CoP can support healthcare professionals when building moral resilience. To support that goal, we will first define CoP and describe the main characteristics of communities of practice in healthcare. Subsequently, we will clarify the concept of moral resilience, and establish the relationship between CoP and moral resilience in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, we analyze different group experiences that we can consider as CoP which emerged in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic to navigate moral problems that arose.