How To Encourage Team Building Among Nurses

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The quality of your hospital’s patient care, patient outcomes and your hospital’s reputation as a quality care establishment depends on how well your nurses work with each other. When nurses bond and work collaboratively in a cohesive team, communication mishaps and other issues can be averted. Healthcare establishments should encourage team building amongst nurses in order to develop positive attitude and improve patient care. Here are a few tips on how you can encourage positive team building and team spirit among your nurses. blog med pic

Conduct Team Building Exercises And Activities

Team building exercises and activities help foster shared communication and goals. These activities make nurses coordinate with one another, which will help them manage patients’ needs better in the long run. Team building exercises help build a sense of unity among nurses. Core skills such as patient assessment and administering medications are reinforced as well. A nursing team that is cohesive is better equipped to handle emergencies as they arise.

Indoor activities: You can adopt several indoor team building exercises and activities such as role-plays, where nurses play the role of the doctor, nurse and patient. Symptoms are discussed and analyzed and medications are prescribed. This exercise teaches nurses that only when the whole team works in coordination can good results be achieved.

Outdoor activities: Take your nurses out on a day picnic. Conduct a rappelling experiment; assign two nurses to rappel together. They must support each other’s weight and watch out for each other to prevent accidents. Exercises such as this one also foster team spirit. You can come up with several other creative team building exercises and activities to enhance cooperation, cohesion, coordination and collaboration within your nursing team.

Extend Support To New Staff And Build Morale

In most hospitals, senior staff waits till new nurses prove themselves before extending their hand to them. It’s a kind of rite of passage in hospitals. While this may help new nurses to hit the floor running, it won’t help their stress levels. New nurses might feel resentful and unwelcome as a result.

Ensure your nurse managers and senior nursing staff welcome new nurses warmly. Instead of putting them through their initial ‘prove yourself’ paces, senior staff should support, train, mentor and talk to junior staff. This will help build morale among new staff that will in turn grow into reliable and happy performers. The impression you make on your nurses initially matters a lot when it comes to nurse loyalty and retention.

Help The Team Bond With Each Other

Your nursing team might just be doing its job mechanically without really jelling together. This happens when the nurses don’t take the time to get to know each other personally. In this way, each person becomes isolated and an island in themselves.

It’s necessary that nursing teams should bond with each other as individuals in order to work as a cooperative team. Mutual care, concern, liking, respect and support should be encouraged and developed. When nurses have successful attachments with the people they work with, they experience greater job satisfaction and express greater commitment to the hospital.

To this end, organize potluck dinners, picnics, and group dinners hosted by the establishment. Make sure that at least once a month, you get your nursing team together to bond and get to know each other. Ask senior staff members to organize movie nights at their homes where their teams can get together, watch a movie and relax. Nurses work long hours, spending more time with their co-workers than with their families. It’s necessary that they like the people they work with. The best and most powerful bonding occurs after work hours, in a casual environment.

Set Up A Peer Mentoring Program

You can set up a peer-mentoring program to build successful teams. Receiving feedback and guidance from a peer makes a great impact on a nurse’s efficiency and belief in self. It gives the nurse greater confidence to deal with any given situation. Assign peers and mentors within each team and see that the nurses interact and share their knowledge amongst themselves. This works better than any training program, while enhancing team bonding at a personal level.

Conduct Positive Relationship Seminars

Yes, hospitals are rushed, they have to provide patient care and there might not be much time to provide training and conduct seminars. However, it is necessary to conduct regular seminars on building positive relationships. Everyone needs reinforcement in this area. Knowing that one’s employer proactively encourages personal development, team bonding and job satisfaction is a factor that’ll motivate your nurse teams to perform better.

  • Teach nurses to respect differences, as an important part of team building
  • Prime nurses for positive thought. Negative thought wastes a lot of energy and usually doesn’t accomplish anything. Teach nurses that instead of complaining, they should be proactive and take initiative. By doing so, they can actually make improvements happen.
  • Teach nurses to acknowledge and recognize co-workers and be sure to offer them praise and encouragement
  • Stress on the need to always listen to what others have to say
  • Teach nurses that the only way to feel appreciated is to appreciate others
  • Encourage nurses to offer a helping hand to another nurse who’s in dire need. If another nurse is struggling with a very demanding patient or a very irate family member, encourage team members to pitch in and help. Explain to your nurses that even if it’s not their patient, it never hurts to help someone who needs it. The favor is usually reciprocated and this helps build a stronger team.
  • Teach nurses to always admit their mistakes and take responsibility for what they do. Everyone makes mistakes and sometimes mistakes are the beginning of great learning. Discourage the blame game.

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