Everyone Likes a Team Player
We’re sure you’ve heard the phrase “there’s no ‘I’ in ‘team.’” This motto may have been essential to the success of your middle school kickball team, but it is also essential to the success of your nursing career.
The success of your career and your nursing unit is dependent upon everyone’s willingness to work as a team. We’ve rounded up a few tips on how to be a good team player in the nursing field.
Communication is always key.
We always like to reiterate the fact that communication is key in the field of nursing – especially for teamwork. Effective communication ensures that your unit runs like a well-oiled machine.
Lauren from Rasmussen College reminds us, “ if one nurse is handing off a patient to another nurse at the end of a shift, it’s critical that every single detail be clearly communicated. If something is missed about a medication or a symptom, a life could be in danger.”1
Effective and efficient communication can help to avoid misunderstanding, mistakes and conflict within your unit.
Be as flexible as possible.
If you want to be a good team player, you can’t have a “my way or the highway” attitude. Adaptability and flexibility are essential to the makings of a good team player.
“The day in the life of a nurse is unpredictable as it is, so you should always be prepared for plans to change,” Lauren tells us.1
Flexibility will also allow for the best outcomes for your patients.
Don’t be quick to judge.
It’s easy to make quick judgments about a nurse who isn’t pulling their weight, but a good team player will know to look below the surface of the situation.
Steve from Nursing Link suggests considering what else might be going on in someone’s life that would explain how they’re acting. “Every now and then there will be someone who, for whatever reason, doesn’t pull his or her own weight. Instead of complaining about this person to other coworkers, try to put yourself in this person’s shoes.”2
You never know what may be going on in someone’s personal life that is affecting what they’re doing at work.
Get to know and enjoy those you work with.
One of the best ways to ensure good teamwork is having a team that enjoys each other’s presence.
“Your coworkers don’t need to be your best friends, but it helps build camaraderie if you do things together that don’t involve IVs, open wounds or patient charts,” Steve says.2
Bonding with your team could be as simple as celebrating each other’s birthdays at work, starting a book club on your off days or getting drinks once a month as a unit.
Jennifer from Nurse Together says, “in nursing, when teamwork is emphasized and valued, every member works together to meet their patients’ needs; improved patient outcomes is their common goal.”3
When you and your unit function as a team, not only will your patients’ days be better, but your days working will be better as well. Everyone likes a team player.
What do you do to be a team player as a nurse? Tell us in the comments below!