My dictionary defines team as "in common action" and teamwork as "combined effort, cooperation". Yesterday I had a fine example of this although I did have to force it from those involved. I took a patient up to a ward and as usual the staff were all very busy and there was no one to help me move the patient on to a bed. I looked in the area used a small staff room and there were 4 or 5 doctors sitting there just chatting, some with their feet up and obviously not busy. Now in fairness this is not that common an occurrence as doctors are busy people too but I thought, "I have to get back to my department, there is no nurses available but I just need some people to help me move the patient". So I asked the doctors to help - I received a blank look bordering on ignoring me but I am made of sterner stuff so I again asked for help but this time I did not give them a choice I pointed out that they were not doing anything, I needed help and the patient needed help so come on guys bums off seats and get over here. I think they were more surprised that someone expected them to 'handle' a patient than any thing else but they gave me the help I needed. I thanked them very nicely and pointed out that if they come to work in A&E they will be expected to help and sometimes be a bit more hands on than they are used to.
A fine example of teamwork in action.
Sometimes I feel that I write too much about conflict in ward areas, but in the department I work there is a good working atmosphere between the nursing and medical staff that has been forged through long experience with each other and a willingness to respect each others professionalism. I am well aware that I cannot do my job without the willingness of the senior doctors to support me. When attending interviews, a favourite question is how would you ensure teamwork? I think it is sometimes worth remembering that the team is not just nursing staff but everyone in the department.