Students who have recently graduated from a psychiatric nurse program or any other nursing courses will surely know the value of working as a team. Patient care requires a fully rounded nursing staff, each with a different set of skills that can tend to various aspects of patient well-being. Nursing is a round-the-clock job filled with unexpected events – particularly in the realm of psychiatric care. Were it not for the help of a team of well-trained staffers, the mental state of a patient could easily be in jeopardy. Being an invaluable member of such a team can be a challenging, but always rewarding experience. To help make a hospital run smoothly, here are some ways in which nurses can give their best performance as a team.
When clear and precise directives are assigned to each nurse, the team is able to function with much more coherence. Approaching each member of the team as an individual one-on-one is a great way to start. Lay out in precise terms your own vision for what needs to be accomplished regarding the patient, and let each member know what their responsibility will be in achieving this goal.
Empowering the Team
Transparency is also a great way of empowering each member of the team. Express what you believe each individual’s unique set of skills brings to the table. Developing partnerships as opposed to a leader/follower dynamic will likely increase efficiency as well as reduce any personality clashes that could hurt cooperation.
Everyone on a nursing team understands the various difficulties and complications involved in treating a patient, especially patients with mental illnesses. To keep team members from feeling like just another piece of the machine, recommend them for specific tasks they would be well-suited for. If one nurse has a strong ability to make patients comfortable when it comes to administering medication, then place that responsibility in their hands.
Encourage Unique Solutions to Problems
A team that works well together often does so because some members are well-equipped to follow standard procedure while others rely on fast, outside-the-box thinking. The same standard process doesn’t always work for individual patients the way it should, so a fresh perspective should always be encouraged and welcomed, even if it seems unusual. Just the suggestion might send the rest of the team off on the search for a better answer.
Allow for Mistakes
We all make mistakes, from lifelong doctors to graduates fresh out of their online nursing program. Being confronted with the reality of treating a patient can be startling at first and new nurses should be encouraged to constantly ask questions. Mistakes are a learning journey, and with every mistake come new knowledge for how to act the next time the same situation is presented.
What other team-building facets can help nurses provide the best patient care?