Saturday, 14 February 2009


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.


Nurse Anne said...

Our doctors would just walk up to a nurse who was the middle of inserting a cathetar and tell her to do it. Then they would go and sit back down.

Nurse Practitioners Save Lives said...

I would say that I can't believe that, but I can. I used to see it all the time at the hospital I worked at as a RN. Please check out Change of Shift on my site Wed. the 5th.

RehabNurse said...

I have asked MDs whom I work with to help me to do dressing changes (i.e. hold patients, etc.) on difficult patients.

Usually this happens because I have to unravel the patient for them to do their thing. It's a "you help me, I'll help you" thing and most of the time they go along with me, because I have all the stuff ready to do it right then and there.

They'd never wait for me, but they find it hard to refuse when I'm all ready!

Emory said...

It cannot really have success, I suppose so.
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