Team work is an essential part of nursing. In order for a team to succeed in achieving positive patient outcomes the team members must show mutual respect for one another, and have excellent communication and collaboration skills. Not all team members have to like each other, but they must show mutual respect for once another. If team members do not respect each other they will be less likely to share ideas and communicate effectively. When all team members show respect for one another the team members will be able to communicate more openly and share ideas to improve patient outcomes.
It is essential that teams communicate effectively. For example, if a certified nurse’s aide does not communicate a new skin issue to a nurse in a long-term care facility the nurse will not know to asses this issue and contact the primary care provider if needed. This lapse in communication could lead to a negative patient outcome. Without proper communication, the whole picture of the patient is not seen. It is important that the primary care providers get the whole picture of the patient when making recommendations and when prescribing medications.
Collaboration is also a very important part of a good clinical team. Hamric, Hansen, Tracy, and O’Grady (2014) explain that, “By definition, collaboration describes relationships that are positive and work well for professionals, patients, and communities” (p. 300). Collaborations is a partnership that promotes an open exchange of ideas (Hamric et al., 2014, p. 300). An effective team requires collaboration to promote open communication and exchange of ideas. When team members share ideas, they are able to brainstorm and put all of their expertise together to benefit their patients. I feel that respect, communication, and collaboration are all linked together and are all needed to make an effective team.
Although team work is an essential part of nursing, it does not come without its challenges. Disagreements, conflicting personalities, lack of respect, and poor communication can all make team work very challenging. In every team, there are going to be disagreements. The important part is how a team handles those disagreements. Team members must be respectful to one another when discussing these disagreements and must be open to all ideas. Hamric et al. (2014) explains that teams must create strategies to handle disagreements in order to promote good collaboration (p. 300).
Often in teams there will be conflicting personalities. Not all team members are going to get along. Not all team members need to be friendly on a personal level. The important part is that the team members are able to put personality differences aside and focus on the patient’s care. Similarly, team members must be able to put aside any personality conflicts and show respect for one another. When teams are able to work through differences and show respect for one another, all team members will feel more comfortable communicating with one another. This will allow for increases in positive patient outcomes.