Team nursing

  1. I am wondering if anybody out there works at a facility where team nursing is used. If so, how do you do it? What are the responsibilities of each of the team member? I am trying to get it started in my facility, and am looking for any ideas that will help.
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    About majohn

    Joined: Apr '05; Posts: 2

    5 Comments

  3. by   ckben
    our floor tried out team nursing. it didn't work for us, but another hospital in town has implemented it successfully. for us, though, the two nurses split the work - one did assessments (usually the RN since hospital policy was that an RN had to sign off on each patient's assessment at least daily), one did meds. but the med nurse, since they were renal patients, usually was WAY behind, even before she finished checking her charts. with 8-10 patients, several of whom had been there for many weeks and had 2-3 charts by that time, she was late beginning to pass the meds, and was VERY late by the time she finished. then you have a problem with aides/whoever not wanting to help because they figure there are two nurses with these patients, they should be able to do everything themselves (despite the med nurse being overwhelmed already). but the biggest problem with team nursing was the communication issue. this would be improved somewhat by experience, but one nurse would think the other was going to do something, while the second nurse didn't realize she was supposed to do it, so the task never got done. one nurse might carry out orders or deal with a change in patient status, and the other nurse might not hear about it for several hours, possibly, in the meantime, passing a med that probably shouldn't have been or talking to a doc and not mentioning it (because she didn't know it had happened), etc.

    but some places do team nursing successfully. it takes a process that is well thought out and nurses who are committed to being a team instead of being a team in name and still trying to go solo, making it, in actually, harder for themselves and their partner.
  4. by   RN2B07
    Our facility is starting team nursing. I have done it with me, a LPN and 1 CNA for 11 pts. I personally am not a fan of the team nursing. I want out! I start with all the assessments and all charting. The LPN starts with meds & is supposed to do assessments from opposite end of hall until we meet. That hasnt happened. Meds take her the exact time as me doing 11 head to toe assessments and full charting. Then they throw a student into the mix. I feel it is unsafe for the pts. Cant give them the attention I want and can with my 5 pts. I normally have.
  5. by   level1_traumaRN
    In my facility we work as teams when we have enough staff. I do howevere work in an ER. We have two teams, the blue team and the white team. This works very well for us. We help eachother out, when we are in with one pt. the MD may order a med to be given to another, that alots the other team members to help out and give the med. It actually helps us, and there isn't a day I have worked that we didn't use team members!
  6. by   Ruby Vee
    [font="comic sans ms"]when i started on a telemetry unit in the late 70s, we did team nursing. there was a charge nurse who took no patients but was responsible for signing off all of the orders for both teams. two teams, each with 15 patients. team leader was an rn and there were two team members, which could be any combination of rn, lpn and na. (it was a real bummer when you had two nas working with you, because you had to do all the meds, treatements, assessments, calling the doctors, etc.) team leader passed the scheduled meds, called the doctors and took care of her five patients. if team members were nurses, they could do treatments and prn meds on their patients only, team leader did the rest of the prns and treatments.

    team nursing works only as well as the weakest member of the team. i worked with some great nas who would bend over backward to do baths, bed changes, clean-ups, meal trays, etc. on my patients while i was doing treatments and meds on theirs. but i also worked with some who spent the entire shift in the bathroom, the break room or the linen closet (with the housekeepers, smoking pot.) those shifts were absolutely miserable!

    good luck -- i hope you have some strong team players!
  7. by   ArmyMSN
    I've worked in a few Med-Surg units where it was tried - and was somewhat successful when you had consistency of staff team members. If you could get the same nurses/LPNs/CNAs on the same team night-after-night where everyone became accustomed to the other's strengths and weaknesses, it seemed to work better. However, in this facility, the names and faces changed every couple of shifts (it seemed). It takes a real strong team leader to keep things going, discuss each other's responsibilities before the shift begins.

    I find that the hospital would go to the "team nursing" concept whenever our staffing became short for extended amounts of time as stopgap measure.

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