Being a Team Player - page 2

Many nurses want to advance in their careers. Few go into the nursing profession planning on being a floor nurse forever. Unfortunately, many fail to learn the very basic principle of how to be a... Read More

  1. by   LEN-RN
    Good post, thanks.

    People are who they are, if they are self centered in their personal life, it will probably be that way at work. It is irritating.

    I probably annoy people because I like to be where the action is, even if its a cantakorus senile patient with poop from the floor to the ceiling. Teamwork, 2 nurses, 2 aides, lots of towels, sweat and laughter. Amazing how that kind of situation brings everyone together. It breaks down the barriers.

    Unfortunately, there have been a few where the barrier couldnt be cracked. (I have seen some high strung, easily rattled, dont like change, just do whats assigned)Thats okay, its their loss. We are at work for how many hours of our life?? Might as well enjoy it.

    Maybe someday I will get tired of it, but right now I am content. And laughing.
    Last edit by LEN-RN on Jun 12, '09 : Reason: sp
  2. by   pinfinity
    ...Twinklebelle, ku ma sta Ka? LOL! I will work with you anywhere; your attitude is contagious and attitude is everything! I wish you much success.

  3. by   rkitty198
    On my yearly review two years ago my boss said I was not a team player. I asked him why he thought this, surely I am there to help always!
    He said it was because I was not approachable. I would not laugh and have fun with the staff....
    One day it was very slow, I only had two patients (normal is 7) and we were sitting down and making jokes, talking about the weekend to come.
    He told me that was what he wanted to see, was me relaxing, joking and laughing with my co-workers and not taking things so seriously...

    I am a team player and always will be, but a team player means different things to me than it meant to my boss I guess.
  4. by   MedSurgeMess
    I have so many coworkers that are competing with each other to get ahead, it isn't even funny. Many of us in my unit are in MSN programs, myself and a friend are going to teach, about 7 or 8 are going for management, and 2 or 3 for NP. The 7 or 8 going for mgmt are so busy stabbing each other in the back while acting buddy-buddy with each other, that their patient care suffers, and anyone who is teamed up with them is running their buns off. It makes for a tense work environment at times
  5. by   kurandagirl
    Dear 'team player', I found your thread interesting but would like to know how many years you have been a nurse. And the divisions of choosing at that fork in the road, do you mean nurses who choose to stay at the bedside as opposed to those who seek managerial posts?

    A few points came to mind when i read of how you felt when some colleagues didnt demonstrate team work. The reality of individuals who dont know or want to connect with their pt's care or extend themselves to assist their colleagues on a crazy shift can be very disheartening, but dont take it personally ever. It may seem injust to have people employed as nurses, not having the passion and ethos you seem to have, but there may be reasons that you are not aware of. And too, the reality is that, even in the most caring of professions there will always be some who dont see the value in teamwork, connection with the patient experience, and some of those individuals are sadly the ones who sought managerial posts early in their careers. But remember that each nurse, even the ones who dont seem to care, each bring something to the unit where you work.
    Teamwork doesnt just happen. We all get taught of its importance, but for it to flow and create a safe smooth shift and unit, there has to be understanding of human dynamics. The team leader should have a deep understanding of the personalities working the shift and demonstrate the example of teamwork, but without judgement. Once you call yourself a team player amidst those you think are not, you have created a division hard to forget.
    It may seem difficult to ignore, but it sounds like youre investing alot of emotional energy on the inequality of working hard and not having the same back.
    You cant change a person with expectation even if they know what they should be doing. You CAN however move people to question whether this is the best they can do, especially when youre practice is genuinely about making a difference. That is very contagious and inspiring when genuine.
    Nursing is such a strange profession in that although we are the carers of society, we are so harsh on each other. For myself, when i was younger in my specialty of intensive care nursing, andhad begun doing in charges, i had expectation that nurses would practice safely, take initiative, and provide the patient with dignity and connection during their critical illness. That went out the window in a flash, and the frustration came from not knowing how to deal with this mixed bag of effort. So the years went by and slowly, through human behaviour observations, I have come to the conclusion that the team can exist with all sorts of carers, as our motivation for being there is different. Some as you say criticise individuals who get promoted, maybe to management posts. Well I think good on them, because someone has to do it. And if you think you can do a better job, then what are you doing?

    Personally, I think that being a team player means having a goal to achieve as a group, but letting go of our own EGO's first, and genuinely leading by example because you have the interests of the team in mind will set a less threatening floor to work on. No competition, no division, understanding and insight. And if someone needs to perform at a better standard, then the most successful start is to develop a good working relationship with this colleague so you understand each other, and who knows, that individual may not have been taught how to be a team player. They also may never have been approached about their performance because colleagues talked behind their back instead. Not really a good example of teamship or strength in dealing with performance challenges. I have seen this isolating behaviour all too often, and it only creates worse standards and discomfort for all on the shift.

    The frustration you have expressed is well known. The flip side of the coin is the harder challenge and it is a challenge: for if you really are passionate about this privelege of being entrusted to care for the sick, then your practice is going to be in the limelight. It means being an example. And consistently being an example. That is your challenge. The others who dont work as team players have their own journey,and it is their journey that will teach them the rewards of perhaps not caring, or not pulling their weight. But yours is the only practice you have control over. And the energy you invest in judging others in your unit is energy you no longer have to be the best nurse you can be. I didnt read about the exact position you hold in your unit, but it really doesnt matter, manager or novice, equally important in the delivery of best practice and a smooth shift.

    I am sure nursing is the same in the USA as in Australia, so lets all remember what we are employed and paid to do in the first place: provide evidence based, best practice so that people who are sick, get the care we trained to give them. So its all about YOU, and more importantly its about your patient.
    (I am laughing at how long this reply to you is, and Ive only just joined....take it easy.....)
  6. by   kurandagirl
    Quote from Cecilea
    What a great post . You say everything that needs to be said .
    God send us more team players please .Where I work patients needs come last and our Nursing Manager is listening to her assistant care staff not the nurses.I hate it when she is around she is rude and takes nothing on board that we report to her. I will be completing a task and she will tell me to do something else while she sits around chatting to another nurse who is doing nothing. The male nurses dont go near patients except to give drugs but the female nurses help out on the floor if it is needed but the guys wont help even if the patient is male and needs care. Its appalling behaviour and she does nothing about it .I am looking desperately for something else and am sick of nursing homes where mediocre care is seen as acceptable. By the way they say I am not a team player if I assist a pt or answer a bell when all the staff are at coffee break. The other day a handle came off a door and I was locked in a room with two guys who have assaulted staff in the past. The manager said I was making a fuss and that the door wouild open I just didnt do it properly.(I rang the emergency bell ) She gave an explanation as to how I should open the door so the handle would not come off. I had opened the door normally and the handle came off in my hand . I am afraid I walked out in disgust and left her talking to the wall.The other day we were in need of legal advice over an incident which hit the news and she told me it was not neccessary again , We needed a syringe driver we were told it was unneccesary. WE KNOW NOTHING IT SEEMS ! I GOTTA GET OUT OF HERE before i lose all sense of worth.Please dont say chatting and getting to know colleagues is important . I know it is but never ever at the patients expense.HEEELLLLP
    Down hearted Cecilea
    Mate you need to find a new place to work, but before you do that, if you dont feel you are being bullied, ask yourself whether you are as irritating as they are. If you are honest with yourself, there may be a way of developing relationships with these other carers who may just be miles apart from you because of your reaction to their less than pretty work behaviour. And if their is favouritism going on then the team leader who coordinates the shift is demonstrating that she (or he) is unable to fulfill their job description of coordinating, supervising and handling the clinical setting challenges. Again that is her journey, and her reputation, not yours. I worked in a nursing home during my nursing training and the head nurse for my regular shifts was a cranky, miserable, and abusive team leader (to the patients and nurses). She hit a pt one day for leaning back against the bed, afraid of falling,while she tried to undress him. As all staff including the director of nursing were aware but did nothing, I went to the Nurses Board and filed a formal complaint. In my inexperience and passion for not tolerating injustice, I bypassed the correct avenue, feeling it would be a waste of time. After that my roster was made difficult to fulfil, as i was going to uni. I left feeling that nurses just didnt really care about patients, they got some easy money, the less work they did, and any bully was allowed free range in how to behave. Years later I have had time to grow and observe what justice and fairness is in our job, and you know, these things take time. That bully had to endure doing a geriatric refresher course to appease the nurses board, and the humiliation of being exposed as a bully was the best outcome possible. So if you find these challenging individuals you work with continue making you feel uncomfortable or isolated at work, without being self righteous, be a humble example, seek a mentor or colleague you do connect with. Dont have divisive conversations, but do identify the problems that limit you getting the most out of your job. If its affecting you, it might be affecting the residents who live there, as you have identified. Change for the good would only be possible if all want it. If i were you tho, I would find a more professional post, where education is important and practice reflects that. This place you work at sounds like the nursing home i worked at, and let me tell you they didnt value education. Their standards mirrored that. Dont make yourself an easy target. Be realistic, and honest, and recognise this place you work in exists just as other units exist with high standards. The reality is they both exist. Find the place that meets your needs, otherwise you will allow these bullies to rob you of the most gracious experience : helping someone who needs you. Good luck, and I believe you will find that nursing job you are crying out for. This experience is preparing you for more challenges in the future.....for that you should thank them. Without their unprofessionalism, how would you know how to treat people you work with?
  7. by   cursedandblessed
    i'm having a problem with this where i'm currently in clinical. as a student, we are expected to take care of a patient's adl's(what would be considered cna type work), vitals, and other nursing care needs this summer. the other day at lunch, one of my peers thought it was appropriate to go off about a cna's asking to help her with one of her patient's, she used the cna's name, and had that "who in the heck does that tech think she is?" attitude. apparently, she told the tech that she wasn't there to do "tech work." along with a few nasty names i can't put here. this was all done in the crowded cafeteria. i turned red with shame, tried to change the subject, and when that didn't work, decided it was time to go back to the floor.

    my personal take on teamwork is this. i'm there to help the patients. if this means i clean up the spill of food all over the floor to keep the patient from slipping on the way to the bedside commode. (admittedly, after i had done so, the housekeeper was in the hall, and asked her if she run her mop over the area to make sure it wasn't greasy or sticky, but i removed the food and liquid immediately.)

    perhaps it's an attitude of humility that works well for me, i know i'm not too good to do what has to be done, and i never want to present that attitude.

    i've asked the tech's for help with things like putting a patient on a bedpan, as i'd only done it a few times, the patient was quite large, and the tech's are great sources for tricks and tips on how to do adl's. i thank them profusely, and every tech i've worked with has had a great attitude, including the one who was complained about above.

    as for the being a joiner, i find that part difficult. a bit of chatting about silly things is fine once my work is done. i find that going to lunch with my peers who choose to discuss patients conditions and treatments not only illegal and unethical, but extremely tense for me. i should come back from lunch refreshed, not distressed because i'm placed in a moral delimma.
  8. by   inthesky
    I think the ideal form of 'team player' is very important. At my work, the term "team player" is often perverted into a way to criticize and bully colleagues. I do my very best to help out and spend every single minute of my floor time for work. I barely even check my work email and never bring my personal cell phone to the unit. I am finding that I end up staying an extra 30min-hour at work 'helping out' in order to avoid the not being a team player criticism. A few months ago, I was called out for spending too much time with my patients and not enough time helping other nurses with their workload.

    Sorry. I know how important team work is...but I cringe at the term, due to my unit's interpretation of it.
  9. by   Scrubby
    I don't work at the bedside but in the OR we have usually 3-4 nurses to each OR. There are some nurses at my work that I dread to be allocated with. They do the bare minimum that they can get away with and are not team players and leave everyone else to run around and do all the work. We all know who they are and they get very little respect from everyone else. I call these particular nurses 'cruisers'. They have very little ambition in their career, they usually roll their eyes when someone else gets promoted or wants to further their education by doing courses etc. In fact, I have generally found their attitude towards nursing to be very negative.

    When I work with nurses like this I usually adopt the attitude of 'well if your not going to make the effort to work as a team...then you get left out of every decision making process'. As the team leader in my theatre, I will always put the team players first, they get first lunch, tea breaks etc, the cruisers get last lunch. Maybe this makes me a bully but the cruisers have a tendency to take longer for their lunch breaks and hold up everyone elses lunch. I deliberately arrange for the cruisers to scrub for the long cases etc because at least when they are scrubbed they can't get away with not working.
  10. by   sasha2lady
    I consider myself a team player. I never get help when I need it while other nurses on my shift and other shifts lay over their stuff on me every single day. For the longest Ive done it and put up with it but there comes a time when being a team player can get you completely taken advantage of and used and when the time comes that one cannot complete everybody elses work you end up feeling the heat from it...or at least i do at my facility. I get sick of doesnt mean one person to do everything and i would love to have teamwork at my place b/c most of the nurses dont know what that means. Passing the buck is a daily constant thing. it would help if there was organization also.....seems like things are always in a chaotic out of control overwhelming mess when i get to work and i spend my whole shift cleaning up the mess that 4 to 6 other nurses made for me. Talk about a quick burnout.
  11. by   tempest
    I think being a team player includes not calling in "sick" especially on holiday weekends so that the charge nurse has to call and practically harass those of us who happen to have the day off!
  12. by   trixie
    To answer a question from one reply: I have been a nurse for 18 years. Med/Surg, L&D, Nursing Supervisor, Nursing Informatics Specialist.

    When I referred to "Fork in the road", what I meant was how nurses (?people?) all tend to start out at pretty much the same place - as a new nurse. We all have that initial learning curve. Then some people just level out and never take the initiative to learn more, improve their practice, or become excellent in any way. Others continue to learn, grow, help others and really make you proud that you are a nurse just as they are. I was not referring to any career path and choosing a new job.

    I would like to add that I do acknowledge that some places are just BAD places to work (or be a patient!). But I have seen the whole attitude (for better or worse) take a turn when just one or two staff members either come on board or leave. It is amazing. This can happen with staff (and each shift is different) and management. I agree there are many people in managment positions that are not leaders.

    Hope that explains things. Great thread. Thanks for the comments!
  13. by   twinklebelle
    Quote from rkitty198
    On my yearly review two years ago my boss said I was not a team player. I asked him why he thought this, surely I am there to help always!
    He said it was because I was not approachable. I would not laugh and have fun with the staff....
    One day it was very slow, I only had two patients (normal is 7) and we were sitting down and making jokes, talking about the weekend to come.
    He told me that was what he wanted to see, was me relaxing, joking and laughing with my co-workers and not taking things so seriously...

    I am a team player and always will be, but a team player means different things to me than it meant to my boss I guess.
    I totally understand what you are writing! I have not been told that I'm not a team player as you unfortunately have been....but I feel this at the place of employment I work now! Fortunately,with ONLY one group that I rotate with. The other three groups I rotate with are excellent team players and we all take our work seriosly as you do. We are approachable if time permits. I believe pt's are always number one. They, after all, is why we have a job! That sounds callous but when reallity sets in if we have no pt's we have down time at home without pay and definately don't have access to being approached if we are not at work!! LOL!! The other group unfortunatley has their own views and I try very patiently not to JUDGE! It is very challenging to work in this type of environment. We too do try and relax and enjoy each others company when time permits! Unfortunately, most of the time we are all snowed under with the economic times changing and staffing changing constantly causing lack of employees to number of pt's. The ironic thing is we constantly are reminded by e-mails and meetings that our pt's deserve the best care, what can we do to make this better? The nursing, CNA, ratio to pt's have to be equalized but unfortunately we are stretched thinner and thinner. . I love my job! I love hands on and direct patient care. If ONLY I could do this my whole shift verses dealing with the politics, avoiding gossip, and all the paper work (although I know this is a vital necessity in nursing, paperwork). As you stated Everyone has their own perspective on what a TEAM PLAYER IS!! That is the the whole POINT of your statement if you don't realize what you typed. EVERYONE including managerial positions have their own views. That is one of our challenges as a nurse to find out what each co-workder we work side by side and with managerial position have to decifer. How they think and what they expect from you as a co-worker or employee. Unfortunately, to my co workers I love to be with the patients and treat with as much TLC as I can even if and when I feel I have a few moments to spare. I will get a warm blanket, back rub, foot massage or just a listening ear. My view is different than many many others but I try not to JUDGE because they are not me! You keep your thoughts positive even with the manager disagreeing that you are not a team player or aprroachable. Take his words in stride. Is any of it true? Maybe just a little? If so we can all change if we have to. ONLY you can decide that. Remain open minded, this is a BIG ONE in nursing! But also do what your GUT instinct is telling you to do. Each co-worker has their own views and that can be very very tricky! Until time is spent working with them it can be a long challenging road to decifer what page they are on! Also, to remember once you think you have someone figured out it can change in a blink of an eye! Obviosly several had to say she's not approachable in order for the manager to determine it to be an issue??? Or maybe he observed this on his own (I'm not sure of your working relationship)??? Or maybe it was just something to say since nothing else was liable to bring up! ?? Interesting observation!! I do not even work with my two managers or in the same building when they work but they do my reviews every 6 months! (Isn't that intersting!!!) To each his own! I too am a very serious person when it comes to my nursing career and license. I'm constantly trying to see if the plan of care for each of my patients is being fulfilled in the highest! Or does another Plan of care have to be implemented!? After all if your mother, father, brother or sister was in the hospital would you too expect them to get the best care! That's how I view my pt's! They are someones mother,father, brother ect... after all aren't they! Socializing and relaxing with my co-workers can be done after work! That is how I was taught but again everyone has their own views and we were always taught to respect one another. Again, do I agree is a whole different picture and what can be done if any? Or is it time to find a job where your beliefs fit in? Just some thoughts. This is ONLY a different view to do as you wish with. I hope it helped! You sound like you have some big shoulders and are on the right track! Good luck with your nursing career. I'm glad you realized that a team player means different things to are thinking on the correct path. You can take it as a positive or a negative! a team player means different things to me than it meant to my boss I guess.[/quote]

    When all is said and done, this is part of the emotional roller coaster all nurses deal with every day (politics)! Yuk and depressing at times but remember why you are in Nursing in the first place! Thanks for sharing! twinklebelle