Fostering Teamwork

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    The culture on my unit, generally, is for nurses to basically look out for #1. There are a few nurses who are always eager to help out someone who is busy and will even ask if you need help, but the rest just do for their own patients and that's it. They neither offer help nor expect it. This leads to insane days when your assignment is super heavy and you feel like you're going to drop dead at the end of the day and people just look at you while you're running around like a nut thinking, "Glad that's not me," and days when the assignment is light and people are off hiding, thinking, "I worked hard my last shift, I deserve this."

    Recently, management asked the nurses to stop bugging the charge nurse every time they need help catching up, but that's hard to do when 7 out of 10 nurses give you a dirty look when you ask them for anything. I wish we didn't work this way. What can I do to encourage my coworkers to pitch in and help out? When I'm not busy I always make a point of offering to help, but is there anything else.
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    I think that this needs to come from the leadership level. Where I work it is made quite clear from the start that teamwork is not only expected but you will be reported if your coworkers feel you are not pulling your weight.Not answering others call bells and pitching in when others are swamped will earn you a "chat" with the manager.
    GooeyRN and systoly like this.
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    So true loriangel14. Otherwise you'll be swimming upstream constantly and, at best, realize limited success.
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    Oh, I forgot to mention that the nurses not only don't help each other but they don't help the Assistants either. They Assistants are always complaining to the more sympathetic nurses how most of the RNs won't even dump out a urinal when they're in the room or take a temp. It's crazy. Isn't it faster and easier to just take a temp from the thermometer that is right there on the wall then to have the assistant paged to go to the room to do it? It's kind of crazy on my unit...
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    Quote from loriangel14
    I think that this needs to come from the leadership level. Where I work it is made quite clear from the start that teamwork is not only expected but you will be reported if your coworkers feel you are not pulling your weight.Not answering others call bells and pitching in when others are swamped will earn you a "chat" with the manager.
    I totally agree. If management is pushing/encouraging/supporting a teamwork attitude among the staff, the staff will not feel the need to work together. This behavior has probably been going on for some time and will take great effort to change. You can volunteer to help your coworkers out till you turn blue in the face and they still may never reciprocate because they are used to not offering help. The leaders on your unit (manager and charge nurses) need to develop some type of campaign to instill a better teamwork effort in everyone and make it known that this is an expectation and not just something to do to be "nice" or go over and beyond for your team; this should be a basic. I've learned the most about teamwork after I began working in the ICU where a lack of teamwork is just not feasible for quality and safe care.
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    where I work, we don't even expect a "will you? do you mind?" we just take orders from each other willingly lol. You, get me a blah blah blah. I love it. No hard feelings, everyone's a grown up. The previous posters are correct, its a management problem. You may end up looking for another job if it isn't corrected, because an environment like that can erode your soul.


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