Teamwork involves the merging of members of the same or different professions or domains to work towards a common goal. This group compliments the skills of each member who are consequently committed to one purpose. Teamwork is therefore challenging and at the same time rewarding. It is coupled with a lot of enthusiasm, hope and a share of its own setbacks. Teamwork is initially formed in any particular group with an aim of dividing the effort of accomplishing a particular task while at the same instance multiplying the effect.
Any positive work experience usually has an aspect of teamwork in it. Nurses make up the largest care-provider in a hospital setting thus nursing is a job that requires a lot of teamwork. This involves a nurse to nurse or a nurse to physician teamwork. In most cases, the nursing workforce is neglected by the administration involved due to the anticipation of the patients’ recuperation and recovery, thus nurturing a form of autonomy among the workforce. This serves in downsizing the emphasis on teamwork and this happens at the very expense of the same patients.
Service delivery is paramount in the field of nursing and teamwork is one of the core determiners of good service delivery. Teamwork among any group, on the other hand, is determined by various factors. These include openness, responsibility, honesty, accountability, reliability, dialogue and understanding. All this factors have to be put to consideration while putting together a coherent team. A slight disregard of any would see to the failure of the team to deliver as expected.
Teamwork does come with its own set of challenges that inhibit the delivery of good service by the team. These mainly occur as a result of conflict among the members of the team which is in turn rooted on differences pertaining distribution of duty, sharing, priority and unnecessary competition. Poor handling of such issues often leads to the occurrence of many mistakes, mistrust among the team members, confusion, wastage of resources, lack of motivation, time wastage and lots of arguments that hold no water.
More often than not, it is the patients who bear the yoke of such disagreements as the service rendered to them is henceforth substandard and this plunges their lives into jeopardy. Fallouts are common at this stage since the restructuring of these nursing teams would mean loss of time and complete loss of motivation among the team members. Precautions are therefore very necessary to avoid such grave situations as they do put the lives of others at stake. Adjustments should be made at the slightest sign of unrest among the team members.
Sharing responsibility equally is usually the first major leap by any group. Matters pertaining age, seniority and level of experience should not be used to condescend against some members. On the contrary, the members should maximize on the potential that comes with these various facets of diversity and others like gender, socio-cultural and economic backgrounds. Put together, all this facets can give rise to a whole new of teamwork with a lot of diversity which would lead to the conception of new ideas.
The approach of issues proactively rather than reactively is also a worthwhile measure to counter these challenges. Prevention has always worked better than cure and this is also the same convention with proactive action. The team members are charged with the task of ensuring that any prevailing or looming predicaments are brought to the light before they turn ugly and cause rifts within the team. This serves in ensuring that little or no time is lost in the process of solving problems.
Letting the issues accrue and the procrastination of dealing with them ends up in the wastage of time and patients bearing the lion’s share of these problems due to the poor service delivery. Cultivating a culture of dialogue is another way of avoiding conflict in the course of teamwork. When a team embraces dialogue, prevalent issues are addressed and solved amicably. Positive criticism ensures that everyone can correct each other without any hard feelings.
When criticism is directed towards a person positively, he or she is bound to make the amends wherever the error occurs. Gradual technological enhancement and restructuring the team every now and then is necessary in order to avoid monotony. This reignites the team with zeal thus ensuring a rise in quality service delivery. Clarity on the roles of each team member would also do some good. This would help in avoiding the confusion especially if the team has numerous members. Morale on the side of the administration would also improve the team’s service delivery.
This could be done through the formation of some form of healthy inter-teams competitions that would see the appreciation of the team that is best at service delivery. Incentives can also be brought to the picture. This would actually ensure that the teams work hard to outdo each other and thus better their teamwork in this process. An improvement in the teamwork among the nurses would have some major effects in service to the patients. There would be definitely be an improved client-service delivery, improved relationships between team members and consequently with the administration.
These healthcare institutions would also unveil a wider range of services due to the time efficient system. In conclusion, teamwork in nursing is sacrosanct since it is a profession that deals with lives of people. An improvement in service delivery therefore means that the clients are in safer hands.
- Institute for Innovation and Improvement, (March, 2007): Developing and sustaining effective teams. ISBN 9781904114482, Royal College of Nursing, Retrieved on 3rd April 2009 from: http://www. rcn. org. uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/78735/003115. pdf,