Teamwork in nursing is one of the most important elements of the profession, and measures like creating a rapport, emphasizing communication and anticipating your fellow nurses’ needs can help ensure that health-care teams provide the best possible care to patients.
Given the growing needs of the patient population within our nation’s health-care system, teamwork in nursing has become more vital to the profession than ever. As medical teams come to manage patients suffering from multiple ailments, not only has effective collaboration between nurses and other health-care professionals been linked to better patient outcomes, but it can also yield benefits like higher job satisfaction and less employee turnover.
In a team-based health-care environment, members from different care disciplines―physicians, nurses, pharmacists, nutritionists, physical therapists, and others―work with patients and their families to develop the best possible treatment plans. Loyola University’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program Track emphasizes nursing teamwork and collaboration through our hybrid curriculum, and helps prospective nurses enter the workforce as highly capable nurses sooner.
A teamwork-based care model follows the premise that when providers and patients communicate and consider each other's unique perspectives, they can better address the multiple factors that influence the health of individuals, families, and communities.
Furthermore, interprofessional collaboration is critical to better health-care outcomes in the United States. It represents a fundamental transition from treating people who are sick to keeping people healthy. Such collaboration also reduces the number of medical errors while increasing patient safety.
So how can you contribute toward an environment where teamwork in nursing takes center stage? Read on while we explore how teamwork improves the health-care field for nurses and patients, and how you can help boost collaboration among fellow medical professionals.
1. Contribute to a Positive Work Environment
As you enter the health-care workforce, you will want to get to know your colleagues and watch how they interact with one another. Once you have a sense of how each person contributes to the team and how your role will influence patient outcomes, support your coworkers as much as possible while staying on top of your responsibilities. You are all working toward patient safety together, so by remaining positive and socially connected with your coworkers, you can contribute to an environment in which you build up your coworkers and vice versa. As more people step up for one another, you will be working alongside fellow team members who all go above and beyond for patients as well as each other.
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2. Emphasize Communication
When working as a nurse, never be shy about over-communicating. Over the normal course of a given shift, and especially when handing off care at the end of that shift, every patient detail should be clearly communicated between you and your colleagues. Knowledge about a patient's symptoms, medications, overall condition, or even if they have undergone a mood shift can all be helpful in providing the best possible care.
By emphasizing communication, you will naturally begin working more closely alongside your fellow nurses and health-care professionals. Communicating regularly will let more people on the patient care team know about each individual patient. More widespread knowledge of patient conditions can result in an improved care experience on a case-by-case basis while cutting down on individual errors. In fact, research has indicated a link between patient satisfaction and the level of teamwork practiced by those who provided them with care. By emphasizing communication, everyone benefits.
3. Be Ready to Step In
Work as a nurse is never done, and every nurse needs assistance from time to time. Whether you are carrying out a procedure which requires multiple nurses, or if you simply have too many patients to attend to during a given shift, a helping hand from a fellow nurse can be a lifeline ensuring that each patient receives the best possible care. Lead by example, assisting fellow nurses on days in which you may have a lighter load. In turn, building up that relationship will make it more likely that your efforts are reciprocated. By being ready to step in and help fellow professionals with patient-facing tasks, you can continue to boost the quality of patient care while improving the culture of teamwork with your fellow colleagues.
4. Anticipate the Needs of Patients and Fellow Professionals
Each day and every patient are different when you are working as a licensed RN, and much of the work that you do is about observing patients and anticipating their needs. When observing a patient or beginning to deliver care, there are countless small details that you will need to take note of. From reading through all of the documentation attached to an individual, to noticing new symptoms or changes in behavior, every piece of information you remember can help you to anticipate the types of care that they may need next.
Just like how observing patients can help you provide better care, noticing details about your coworkers’ workflow and the general state of your workplace through communication and observation can help you to become a better team member. If every health-care professional took note and anticipated others’ needs and went slightly out of their way to help a colleague get ahead on a task, then each work environment would run much more smoothly. Set an example for your fellow professionals by taking a small obstacle out of their way, and you’ll begin to create a much more teamwork-centric culture.
What Are the Benefits of Teamwork in Nursing?
Aside from the many benefits to completing tasks as an individual and as a unit, teamwork in nursing has many benefits that you will enjoy throughout your career. Research has shown that some of the foremost benefits of a healthy and collaborative environment is a culture of improved job satisfaction among nurses, and patients’ satisfaction with their quality of care. Nurses within a collaborative environment become more engaged in the care they deliver overall as a team; knowing that your fellow nurses have your back can make a workplace setting run much more smoothly. With nursing teamwork and collaboration covering any potential gaps in care, patients feel and appreciate the difference.
How Loyola ABSN Fosters Teamwork
As a student in the 16-month ABSN track at Loyola University Chicago, you will find our curriculum places significant emphasis on teamwork in nursing. In fact, our university has received national recognition for its collaborative education and practice models that prepare students to work together as a team to improve patient outcomes.
When it comes to teamwork, you can expect Loyola’s ABSN track to give you the knowledge, skills, and values required for working collaboratively with other health-care workers as well as patients and their families to improve outcomes.
One of the ways we teach our ABSN students the importance of collaboration in health care is through nursing simulation. These highly realistic learning activities administered in person at our ABSN program track site allow you to work through a range of patient care scenarios in a safe setting.
For example, during a simulation, you might play the role of a primary nurse while members of your cohort act in supporting roles. As a primary nurse, it would be up to you to determine the best course of action for the patient and then delegate tasks accordingly. Within other roles, it is about knowing your responsibilities and acting within the unit in whichever way will be best for the team. Just know that no matter the role a person plays within a health-care team, whether in a simulation or real life, each shares the same goal of providing the best possible patient care.
Earning a BSN can set you up for success, but see how earning your degree through Loyola can help you advance your career.
Are You Ready to Work Toward a Nursing Career?
If you are ready to enter a career filled with opportunity and access an education which emphasizes teamwork in nursing, Loyola University’s ABSN program track could be your best option. Contact our admissions team today to see the next steps toward a comprehensive bachelor’s-level nursing education.