Archive May 2019 XX, No. 5

Staffing: Can't We All Just Get Along?

5 strategies to foster better teamwork.

Kathy Beydler

Kathy Beydler, RN, MBA, CASC, CNOR


ALL IN THIS TOGETHER As a famous coach once said: "The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team."

We're told we are part of a surgery team. But how much teamwork actually happens where you work? OR nurses are known for being tough, smart, no-nonsense, bottom-line kind of people. After all, we have to "get em in, get em out," while providing safe, quality care. Doctors are tapping their feet to get the cases going and administration is analyzing turnover times. It's stressful. And the surgical environment does not lend itself to collaboration. Here are 5 strategies to create an environment where, at least most of the time, we can all just get along.

1 It starts with the team. Every member of the team influences how the team works. I think I have a pretty good gut instinct. You know, that second sense that will shoot red flags of "Warning! Warning!" when something doesn't feel quite right. Some flags are easier than others to see. And some you don't see until it's too late.

I've had candidates who aced the interview. I checked references, even with a few people who we knew. No red flags. Or at least I couldn't see them. I hired a manager who fit this profile. Several months later she overstepped her position more than once and then I saw the red flags. I realized I couldn't trust her, and her colleagues relayed to me they could not trust her. After one of her oversteppings, she offered her resignation. The mentoring side of me thought I could help her. Note to self: When someone offers you his resignation, take it the first time. They've already put a lot of thought into offering it and, in my experience, things will never be quite the same.

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