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Understanding the Mechanics of a Nursing Team

Participating in team work is a significant part of a nurse’s daily schedule. Understanding the way a team functions is essential. After all this can lead to better utilization of a team within any organization and further enhance the outcome. Nursing could certainly benefit from a high performing team after all, “teams make fewer mistakes than do individuals” (Miller, Riley, & Davis, 2009, p. 248).Therefore, steps need to be in place to make sure the teams are functioning at high capacity. One way to monitor the team’s success is to employ a team assessment questionnaire. The team questionnaire provides insight into the areas of the team that are functioning and addresses areas that may need redesign. The questionnaire ultimately provides direction for the team by utilizing thought provoking questions. When utilizing the questionnaire to evaluate the benefits of a team huddle. The questionnaire pointed to a deficiency in the area of roles while most of the other areas such as activities, relationships and, environment scored well; there was still opportunity for improvement. The purpose of this paper to evaluate the outcome of the team based on findings from the teamwork questionnaire.
A team consists of two or more individuals who come together for a common purpose (Baker, Day, & Sales, 2006). A recent team initiative called a huddle was instituted at my facility on several pilots units. These initial huddles proved to be successful and were implemented on my unit three weeks ago as a directive by our senior management. The huddle is a brief nursing team meeting that takes place several times a day and lasts about five to ten minutes. The huddle time will vary thought out the day in order to include all nursing shifts and personnel. Additionally, the huddles will consist of all available nurses on the unit and are led by the manager or charge nurse. The team huddles are documented in a binder and are available for all staff to review. This team initiative was implemented on the same day as a new admitting process occurred on the unit, so key goals of the team will be to disseminate information and discuss problems that hinder patient flow in the ambulatory surgery unit.
The most deficient area the team assessment yielded was in the roles category. Deficiencies would be fitting as huddles are a new concept during a critical transition. Members of the team as well as unit issues will vary on a daily basis, which can contribute to the uncertainty in the nurse’s roles and responsibilities. Furthermore, opportunity to reflect on the overall team’s effectiveness may also necessitate additional time beyond the ten minute team building effort. Although, a topic will be identified at the start of the huddle to define the team’s goals, there is no formal preparation on the part of the members. Not to mention no ancillary personnel are in attendance .This could have an impact on why some staff members are contributing more than others. Since, unit leadership initiated the huddle as mandate by senior leadership there may not have been complete by in to the process initially. Finally, implementing new teams models may bring skepticism about the importance of the team’s agenda
The activity portion generated the most success on the team assessment with new ideas and efficiency ranking high. This was evident during one huddle when nurses discussed the best way to document beta blocker compliance, since the timing of the medication was crucial for anesthesia. Additionally, timely discussions and quicker decision making were a benefit of the short meeting time. There was just one incident where the manager may have used the huddle as a platform for policy discussion. Although, this information was important another forum may have been more appropriate. Overall team members have made a concerted effort to focus on the unit’s goals of improving communication and patient flow.
Relationships scored well in the area of productivity. Most member of the team has been working….

 

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