Fostering Better Teamwork among Nurses

Team of nurses in a huddle

A collaborative, team-minded approach to health care isn’t just a way to make the work environment positive and more enjoyable. It’s also a smart way to improve efficiency, encourage professional growth and facilitate effective communication to promote positive patient outcomes. When healthcare professionals work together, patients receive better care and everyone benefits! Today’s healthcare environment functions using a multidisciplinary approach to patient care. As a member of the multidisciplinary team, there are things you can do to foster collaboration and promote teamwork.

Lead by Example

All members of the team influence care and play a vital role as leaders and change agents, regardless of his or her position in the organizational hierarchy. Consider the qualities that you look for in team members and leaders. Cultivate those qualities in yourself. Trustworthiness, reliability, compassion and a willingness to go above and beyond for your colleagues are all important traits. Leading by example also involves demonstrating professionalism by example. This means avoiding gossip and negativity and encouraging others to do the same. As your colleagues grow to appreciate your professionalism and dedication to the team, they will strive to develop the same qualities in themselves.

Host Team Huddles

Collaboration and effective communication go beyond the transfer of care at shift change. Offer to host team huddles on a weekly or monthly basis with your charge nurse or department supervisor. Team huddles can focus on ideas to improve quality or efficiency, troubleshoot challenges on the unit or share the best evidence in nursing practice. These meetings can boost the morale of the team while encouraging camaraderie.

Promote Positive Communication

Positive communication in the workplace can positively influence employee motivation and organizational culture. The workplace can be a very stressful environment, particularly when colleagues do not agree. This is a natural phenomenon that occurs in all settings and all industries. The best approach to encourage mutual understanding is to foster open, non-judgmental dialogue. Listen to understand and when tensions rise, use a mediator to facilitate the discussion. Charge nurses, supervisors, and managers are trained in communication techniques that include de-escalation and team-building. These individuals are a great resource.

Encourage Knowledge-Sharing

For nursing professionals, there’s always something new to learn, no matter how many years of experience one has. Encourage your colleagues to work together and share best practices. What you learn may surprise you!

Practice Community-Building

Conflict can occur even among the most caring and dedicated individuals. Rather than seek to control or manage a situation, work to repair relationships between colleagues and build one another up! Building a strong community in the workplace begins with the same skills we use at the bedside. Assess the situation, ask questions, offer to help, identify solutions and demonstrate empathy.

Grand Canyon University is an interdenominational Christian university that offers an RN to BSN degree program in our College of Nursing and Health Care Professions. Explore our BSN degree online today, and click on the Request More Information button.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.

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