It is part of a nurse’s job description to work with physicians and other nurses to ensure patients receive the best care possible. Doing so entails a constant demand for teamwork in the healthcare facility and a need for positive collaboration among colleagues. While constantly keeping track of the patient’s health, symptoms, and information, nurses must also effectively cooperate with doctors and other staff members to drive positive results. Hence, it is the responsibility of a nurse to actively communicate all of the data and information with physicians or concerned healthcare providers.
Good teamwork also increases your likelihood of growing professionally as a nurse. Other benefits include greater job satisfaction, improved patient care services, effective and efficient processes, and better professional relationships. All of these benefits highlight the importance of teamwork among nurses and other healthcare service providers. But how can nurse leaders and management help improve collaboration in nursing? Some of the most effective methods are:
- Offer flexibility
Nurses have a better chance of working in teams if they know that the facility management is trying to utilize their unique skills. If the administration is more open to offering flexibility in work, they can ensure a better work environment that promotes teamwork among nurses. For example, many nurses choose to pursue online higher education programs to progress in their careers. These programs, such as an online DNP is necessary for their career progress, but it can take up a lot of time and effort. To accommodate the nurses pursuing higher education, the facility can offer flexible timings that suit their needs and give them time to study. Flexibility enables nurses to manage their professional and academic responsibilities without being overburdened, which leads to less burnout, better team morale, and more effective utilization of human resources.
- Promote adaptability
Nurse leaders can take an active initiative to promote adaptability among junior nurses in order to cope with the constantly changing work environment. Teaching nurses how to adapt to unexpected situations can help them navigate emergencies.
In addition, everypatientis different, which means that they will have unique healthcare demands. Becoming more adaptable and changing healthcare services to improve patient care can help nurses quickly adjust to how other professionals work and tackle complex cases. Hence, to promote adaptability, you must encourage nurses to become more aware of their surroundings. Apart from that, prepare them for the fact that they must play a supporting role wherever needed. If you are a nurse leader, then reorganize each nurse’s tasks so that they have the flexibility to prioritize emergencies over their work if necessary. You can also shadow your nurses and learn about their techniques and approaches. This strategy will help you realize every nurse’s unique skills, and you can make their placements according to this information.
- Increase communication
Communication is crucial for providing quality healthcare services. It is not an exaggeration to say that the patient’s life depends upon effective communication among nurses and physicians in most cases. Therefore, to promote better teamwork, you will have to take the initiative to improve verbal and written communication among nurses and their colleagues. This strategy will help you remove potentially fatal miscommunication and significantly boost teamwork.
You can opt for training your nurses through short courses and workshops. This way, they will learn strategies to communicateeffectively. Your observations during such training sessions will play a crucial role in determining how you choose to make your team of nurses collaborate in the hospital.
- Be transparent
If you want to bring your team of nurses together, then you must learn to become transparent. Transparency includes being completely honest and establishingtrust. Transparency is an essential tool for promoting teamwork because it ensures that every nurse and healthcare provider has the same information. This way, they will all have the same expectations, goals, and specific standards they know they have to work by.
To practice and promote transparency, you can take regular notes about patient care information and check with your team now and then. This is necessary to ensure that everyone has the exact accurate information. Then, you can help them prioritize accordingly and assign roles, which brings us to our next point.
- Clarify roles
If you want your nurses to work as a team, you must clarify their role in the healthcare setting to offer collaboration if needed. By defining roles, you are also establishing your expectations from each nurse and team member. Expectations that they will complete their tasks without overlapping or hindering any other team member’s work. When everybody has a role to fill out, it becomes easier to get jobs done and gather crucial information.
To achieve these results, you can start by writing down the roles and positions of each team member. Then, you can divide tasks between the members according to their expertise, training, and level of experience. If any changes are needed, update this document and reflect on your choices to make necessary adjustments. There will be a few trials and errors initially. But when you realize that some nurses are not performing well in a specific role or might be better in another, make timely adjustments so that they do not affect the patient’s health.
Teamwork is an essential aspect of healthcare services, and it can play an active role in improving patient outcomes. But to promote teamwork, you must establish a professional environment in the healthcare facility that leaves no room for conflicts. If any dispute arises, it is your responsibility as a nurse leader or facility management to take appropriate actions to settle the issue. It would be best to remember that the teamwork dynamic is crucial. For example, if nurses have skill sets that complement their responsibilities, they can easily collaborate. Otherwise, nurses can have a hard time working as a team, which can affect patient outcomes.