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Camaraderie is something we all aspire to have within our nursing units. Especially in times of increased stress, nurse camaraderie creates a support network that will not only boost the staff’s morale, but will lead to a healthier work environment and positively impact the quality of patient care.

Let’s take a deeper dive into the various factors that can boost nurse camaraderie:

See the Infographic version of this blog here


Encouraging Teamwork

A patient’s chances of experiencing complications is increased by nearly five times with poor teamwork (according to a study by Mazzocco in the American journal of surgery).

Poor teamwork can lead to job dissatisfaction and result in a higher nurse turnover. With 18% of nurses leaving their RN jobs within the first year, it is imperative that health care leaders and nurse staff practice measures to promote teamwork.

Your unit has the same goals… to provide the best care and outcomes for patients. So there’s really no reason why you shouldn’t be able to work together to achieve them. The benefits of effective teamwork are countless. For starters, it shifts a nurse’s mentality from “my patients” to “our patients”. It makes more than one nurse feel accountable for a patient’s health, thereby reducing errors and increasing patient safety.

A few ways you can promote teamwork is to go out of your way to help out. If you see a nurse in your unit drowning in work, be proactive and ask how you can help out. Also, don’t be scared to ask for help when you need it. Also, saying “thank you” to your colleagues after they help out, may sound simple, but goes a long way. Being able to rely on your team goes a long way in establishing trust and leads to greater job satisfaction.

Fostering a Culture of Education

18% of nurses are enrolled in a program to advance their nursing education (according to a survey from AMN Healthcare)

We see “education” in various applications throughout a nurse’s typical day. Whether you’re educating a patient on their health status, pursuing higher education for career advancement, or mentoring a less experienced nurse – you’re constantly in an “education” mindset. As a nurse, you are required to be both a skilled teacher and receptive student.

Health care is always evolving – therefore, it’s critical that nurses maintain the mindset of a lifelong learner. No matter how many years of experience you have as a nurse, and regardless of whether you plan on advancing your nursing education, there will always be new things to learn. So keep an open mind when interacting with your colleagues. As a nurse mentor or educator, you should never undermine someone’s question. Instead, you should encourage questions, and make yourself approachable and available.

Developing Relationships with Peers

90% of nurses are satisfied with their relationship with their peers (according to American Nurse Today’s Nursing Trends and Salary Survey)

After spending 36+ hours a week with your colleagues, you probably have a good sense of their work ethics, but how well do you know their personalities? Taking the time to understand your colleagues “strengths, vulnerabilities, and idiosyncrasies of all the other members – increases productivity and effectiveness” according to an article in The Journal of Nursing Administration.

Developing a good relationship with your colleagues will also help lower any barriers towards effective communication. To get to know your colleagues on a deeper level you should seize opportunities to celebrate – whether it be work achievement or simply a colleague’s birthday. Consider inviting your colleagues to activities outside of the workplace (considering the times, this might be hosting a “virtual” game night or happy hour).

Practicing Compassion with Patients and Nurses

15.6% of nurses reported feelings of burnout (according to the PRC National Nursing Engagement Report)

We can help mitigate the negative effects of nurse burnout by creating a support network and practicing compassion among your nurse peers. Just like the compassion nurses show to their patients, nurses should also practice compassion among their fellow nurses.

Let’s face it – being a nurse is a demanding job, but your team has likely experienced the same stressful situations and can empathize with you. So be sympathetic with your coworkers, hear them out, and let them vent when needed.

Ensuring your nursing unit is practicing teamwork, education, relationships, and compassion, will bring your unit closer together. These factors will not only improve your nursing staff’s efficiency and increase overall job satisfaction and retention, but will ultimately lead to improved patient care. So get to work – start developing your dream team today!

Originally posted on 28/5/2020

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