Teamwork in nursing care

Arhoni Tungoe

Teamwork can be defined as the activity of working together with other people or the act of cooperating with others in a group. Nursing teamwork focuses on shared goals among nurses and is patient-centered. In order to give high-quality, effective nursing care and to promote good healthcare outcomes for all patients, the concept of teamwork makes use of the distinct qualities and abilities of each nursing team player. The various tasks that nurses can play in a team include caregiver, educator, counselor, advocate, nurse practitioner, supervisor, and manager. As a team, they communicate and work together to provide patients with better care.

Importance of teamwork in nursing:
1.    Better patient care produced by nursing teams improves patient outcomes

2.    Strong professional relationships are developed in nursing through teamwork and collaboration.
3.    Patient safety is at a lower risk when nurses collaborate as a team.

4.    Lower healthcare expenses are the result of improved coordination among nurses and enhanced patient care efficiency.

5.    In nursing, teamwork encourages efficiency in patient care

6.    Creates an environment that is conducive to healing for patients, and gives nurses a sense of job satisfaction

Today's healthcare industry is made up of an interdisciplinary team, not just of nurses, where each member is qualified, knowledgeable, and responsible in their specific pitch as well as in their job role and responsibilities. We all share the same objective, which is to give patients high-quality care and a positive experience when they visit us, which unites us. Hence, a team work-based approach to care delivery is crucial to making this achievable.

The nurse, doctor, chemist, nurse educator, physiotherapist, nutritionist, social worker, Counselors, clinical psychologists, etc. make up the interdisciplinary team, where they all work together, communicate, and coordinate the patient's treatment. 

To ensure the best possible patient care experience and job satisfaction, we can help by sharing our thoughts, skills, expertise, concerns, challenges, and issues linked to the care of the patient. As a result, a positive work environment will be developed, employees will learn to value one another, accountability levels will rise and staff retention will ultimately grow. Positive patient care experiences are directly related to nursing workplace satisfaction.

All team members can determine the areas of care they can influence by discussing the patient's current clinical state, care needs, and progress during regular interdisciplinary meetings. Situational awareness is important in today's workplace since it can be difficult to coordinate interdisciplinary care for patients. A complete, precise understanding of the clinical situation, planned interventions, and participant roles, skills, and limitations is what is meant by situational awareness. 

Nurses should take the initiative to help other team members when faced with difficult circumstances. We must continue to promote interdisciplinary, patient centred care as nursing develops as a proactive profession.

I would like to share my personal experience of good teamwork in my organization at CIHSR, Dimapur, which happened during the pandemic time in the years 2019–2021. The whole organization joined hands to fight the COVID-19 infection. Since it was a new virus for the world, everything that was implemented was new, and we didn’t know what was going to happen to us as well as the infected patients or what consequences we were going to face. But with the cooperation of the whole organization, all the departments, be it nurses, doctors, physiotherapists, spiritual counselors, clinical psychologists, electrical, civil, IT, biomedical, billing, or pharmacists, etc., came together to fight this deadly infection and join hands to save the lives of the COVID-19-infected patient admitted to the hospital. The timely communication and coordination from all areas and departments really had a lot of positive impact on the working environment and the care rendered to the patients in the ward. 

I could see the willingness of the staff to come forward and work together with confidence since every department was busy carrying out the tasks that they were supposed to do. The bravery and boldness with which the health care personnel showed and worked gave confidence to the other non-medical professionals to go inside the isolation ward if any technical issues needed to be solved. 

From that time on we have learned a great lesson on the importance of good teamwork and till today we still continue to carry on the practice of working in teams. Open communication, coordination, accountability, and idea-sharing are essential components of successful teamwork.

1.    Darby Faubion. Importance of Teamwork in Nursing.
2.    Davis, Charlotte.Teamwork and the patient care experience,15(5):p 4, September/October 2017. | DOI: 10.1097/01.NME.0000521812.07765.11

The write is Associate Professor at College of Nursing (CON) Christian Institute of Health Sciences and Research (CIHSR), Nagaland