Lightning Talk

“I Can’t Say What?” Words to Avoid and Preferred Alternatives for High-functioning Teams

Sunday, August 21, 2022, 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm CDT
Interprofessional Communication

The word “provider” is not OK to use anymore. What other words need to be removed from the lexicon of high-functioning teams? Creating a safe space is critical to the formation of high-functioning teams, and the lexicon of the team is an important element of creating this safe space. Each member of the care team brings with them their own profession’s culture and lexicon. Unfortunately, commonly used words and phrases unintentionally impair team functioning, because they may exclude or diminish the talents of other professions. To ensure every team member is equally valued and respected, it is important to understand which words and phrases are considered offensive to individual professions. It is equally important to understand preferred alternative words that are more inclusive and supportive of the entire team. Based on decades of experience with interprofessional communication, we created and published a list of words and phrases to avoid, along with updated alternatives. During this lightening presentation, we will discuss our "words to avoid" list along with the explanations and preferred alternatives. During the question-and-answer period, we will discuss interprofessional communication and draw out the perspectives of the audience. Based on audience experience and participation, we will expand our current list!