Monday, June 4, 2012

Team Nurse

The health care TEAM, as it is called, is a multi-disciplinary collection of professionals, such as the psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, activity therapist, and nurse, gathered to promote the patient's health, welfare, and goals.  Where I work, some teams work well together, and some do not.

Nurses are also supposed to work as a team with other nurses as well as the hospital attendants.  I have the most miserable days when there is no teamwork, even if nothing seriously wrong happens.

When I am immersed in the heavy morning medication pass, I make a list of needed doctors and orders.  Most doctors tour in the morning while I am otherwise distracted and do not check in with me.  When I mention to the other nurse on the unit that Dr. So-and-so is needed to renew an order, and she replies, "Medications are your problem," this is not teamwork.  After I finish the medication pass, I have to call the doctor myself.  If the doctor has already checked in on the unit and left, I am usually met with an observation such as, "I asked Nurse So-and-so and she said there were no issues.  Don't you communicate with each other?"  I have now reached the point where I reply, "No, doctor, Nurse So-and-so and I do not communicate well."  I have demonstrated extreme competence in attention to detail in many areas, so I think that the doctors now see that I am a thorough nurse and some other nurses are . . . not as thorough.  They seek me out instead of certain other nurses because they know a task will be completed quickly and correctly.

I have also worked with a handful of nurses who work efficiently.  I love these days, no matter the workload.  While I am working, the other nurse is working.  If I ask if she has gotten to a task, the reply is not a snappy, "I am too busy" or "That's your job!"  Instead, if the answer is "yes," my reply is, "So what else needs attention?"  If the reply is "no," then I get to work on the task.  That is teamwork.

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