Is there such a thing as teamwork in nursing?

  1. As I am reading more and more of these BBs, my eyes are definitely opening to the whole nursing profession. I'm finding myself more aware of the realistic problems of nursing and truthfully, it is kind of scary. I'm not as turned off by the long hours and hard work as much as the politics and backbiting, I've been hearing about. I am glad for this BB however as I can see that there are other nurses that feel the same. Is there anything that we can do to work better with each other? With the amount of hours that nurses do have to work, you are spending more time at work than with your family...what can we do?

    I, for one, will not look down on any CNA, LPN, tech, whatever as I feel that we are all in this together. True we all have different levels of responsibility, but having worked in environments that were positive even if the work itself was a drudgery makes it so much easier to do the best job you can.

    I'm sorry for sprouting out but I can't see how the current situation helps the patients or the staff.

    What do you think?
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   mustangsheba
    Dear 2B: Keep in mind always that a lot of what you read here is nurses venting. Of course there are myriad problems and a lot of bureaucracy. And there are places where backbiting has proliferated. We come to this forum to seek answers and to problem solve as well as for validation. There is a lot deal of really great team work in nursing. I have worked with wonderful nurses who are supportive and intelligent and fun. I have worked very briefly with the others - those that have gathered a covey of like types to surround with support. My choice is to leave those situations especially if the powers that be have the same mind set. Rest assured that there are plenty of places to nurse that will provide the kind of atmosphere you seek. You won't be sorry. Nursing is nothing if not diversity.
  4. by   lorrie
    Dear2B,
    Nursing is a wonderful profession,however; i feel that it comes with a lot of excess baggage. I love my job and what I do but the back biting, ego maniacs, insecure people are definately there. I know it is everywhere, but I will get some criticism for this one, nursing is for the most part female dominated, and that is our nature to be back biting B@#%&*s. Everyone wants to be one up on the other and sometimes forget, for goodness sake it is a JOB, not a lifestyle, not a marriage, not a subculture. You definately have to have a degree of commitment and dedication if you want to be a successful nurse, but bottom line it is a paycheck. Some people just can't get past that. They want to feel superior over each other. I personally have a pretty fulfilling life and don't need that type of reassurance that I am important but that is the reality of nursing.
    Again...I love nursing, would not even think about doing anything else. But get used to it sister. It will toughen you up quick.
    Lorrie
  5. by   hollykate
    Yes, there is teamwork in Nursing, but not everywhere. Like I have said before My unit is all RN- so I don't have opportunity to work with Aides/LPN's etc. But the teamwork between the nurses, the secretaries and (believe it or not) the physicians is fabulous- for the most part. Most of the time, we have the orders for particular things out in before we ask (because the secy knows we need it). In addition, the MD's actually tell all of our concious patients (all 2 of them usually), "You have an excellent nurse, so I am sure you are doing well." etc. They thank us for calling regarding problems with patients etc. It's unusual, I know but it does exist. I do not work in Nirvana Hospital, however. There are moments when the teamwork breaks down entirely- and you know, at that point, I always figure it's time to suck it up and deal with it the best way you can. I think a lot of people go into nursing with an idea that it is all innocence dressed in white- helping people to achieve better health. Most of the time it is pretty gritty, not at all innocent, and people's feeling get hurt in the process- so you apologize later, but the the pt the care they need first.
  6. by   Iwant2banurse
    Thanks for writing back Hollykate...I've been working for a long enough time to realize that there will always be occasions where it is each man for himself, so to speak. I'm not naive to believe that once I put on that uniform and get the license everything will be perfect, but I feel that for the amount of time that you do spend at work (a lot more waking hours than many do with their families) it's important to me anyway that we work on getting along. I feel that even the most stressful jobs can be more enjoyable if moral is up. I've worked in the medical field for a long time (medical secretary) and if I am able,I try to be more a part of the solution than part of the problem.

    Thanks
  7. by   Stargazer
    Something that always seemed to help a lot in my unit was that we socialized as well as worked with each other--on and off-site. Day and noc shifts had weekly potlucks in the unit (evenings were too busy!) There was always an annual Halloween party & Christmas party at someone's house--again potluck, always BIG bashes. We even had QA Committee meetings at a member's house instead of at the hospital. And, although we generally always had good relations with the docs, occasionally we would meet w/ a specific group of physicians (e.g., cardiologists)to discuss clinical issues--again, at someone's house with food and drink, which was much more relaxed and really helped us all see each other as people, not the enemy.

    Sometimes people are really different out of uniform and away from the workplace.
  8. by   Charles S. Smith, RN, MS
    There is a critical difference between teamwork and work group. What we most often find in nursing groups is a work group that never really accomplishes the team concept. For an indepth look at what it means to be a real team, check out the book "The Wisdom of Teams" by Katzenbach and Smith. It is an easy read and I used it with my undergrad and grad students. It really does promote a paradigm shift in the way we, as nurses, have been taught about "teams".

    Regards
    Chas
  9. by   Mijourney
    Originally posted by Iwant2banurse:
    As I am reading more and more of these BBs, my eyes are definitely opening to the whole nursing profession. I'm finding myself more aware of the realistic problems of nursing and truthfully, it is kind of scary. I'm not as turned off by the long hours and hard work as much as the politics and backbiting, I've been hearing about. I am glad for this BB however as I can see that there are other nurses that feel the same. Is there anything that we can do to work better with each other? With the amount of hours that nurses do have to work, you are spending more time at work than with your family...what can we do?

    I, for one, will not look down on any CNA, LPN, tech, whatever as I feel that we are all in this together. True we all have different levels of responsibility, but having worked in environments that were positive even if the work itself was a drudgery makes it so much easier to do the best job you can.

    I'm sorry for sprouting out but I can't see how the current situation helps the patients or the staff.

    What do you think?
    Hi Iwant2beanurse. My opinion is that women, who predominate nursing, are not use to working in teams. Women tend to operate in cliques. Nursing is a profession that was not originally structured as a profession. We still have to work on overcoming the past. It's very difficult. There are places that you will find that nurses are working very well together, and there are others in which the nurses are not working together at all. Nurses, as a group, notoriously bring alot of baggage to the table when they become employed. We have been traditionally labeled passive-aggressive. We have a tremendous mountain to climb in this area, because many posters have correctly pointed out that they work with nurses who will complain but will not lift a finger to actively advocate for the patients, themselves, or others.

    I think that when nurses are seeking employment, we need need to be willing to put some serious effort in the job preparation and search and have detailed objective and goals written down. We need to have a strategy for finding out if the employer will work for us during the interview process. Too many managers and supervisor, or designated leaders, are not chosen judiciously, and are therefore not appropriate for a leadership role. These people set the tone for teamwork on the unit. Too many nurses, including yours truly, do not take the time to find out about an employer before seeking employment and do not ask the best questions during the interview. Good preparation could help you screen out potentially problem employers.
  10. by   Franni
    I too sometimes wonder how we that care for others can be soooo rude to each other and make for a horrible work place. I've come to realize that not only nurses but ancillary depts. do not treat each other with respect. WHY CAN'T WE JUST GET ALONG! Have people gotten so busy they have forgotten the golden rule!? The other day I was calling another dept. asking a question and I thanked the person by responding "Thanks so much your an angel" and she laughed like she didn't know how to respond to such a compliment then in returned thanked me. Is it so difficult even when we are busy to remember please and thank you, as well as working as a team. I know my 12hr work day would be a lot better if we only got along.
    The unit I work on has begun monthly outings and we have found it really does help to get to know your co-workers outside of the workplace. We also are good about talking about something other than work. It seems to be helping the lack of teamwork.
  11. by   LOPAIDNURSE
    I CAN'T HELP BUT COMMENT ON TEAMWORK IN NURSING. AFTER 23 YRS. IF YOU HAVEN'T FIGURED OUT THAT IS THE ONLY WAY TO SURVIVE THEN HOW HAVE YOU MANAGED SO FAR? AS FOR THE RN LPN THING I HAVE WORKED WITH THE BEST AND WORST OF BOTH AND YOU QUICKLY LEARN WHO TO TRUST AND WHO TO WATCH. ENOUGH SAID.

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