Collaboration and teamwork are at the heart of the nursing profession. As with much of health care, it takes a village to ensure patients receive the best care when recovering from illnesses. If you’re interested in becoming a nurse, how will teamwork in nursing look on a daily basis? What’s the importance, and how can you improve your collaboration skills?
The Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) students at Averett University work with peers and professional nurses on a regular basis during the 16-month program to develop collaboration skills. It’s key to learn those skills early in nursing school so you’re well-prepared for your career.
The team-focused attitude of nursing is one of the benefits of the profession. We’ll show you exactly why teamwork and collaboration in nursing are important and how to develop your skills in that area.
What’s the Importance of Teamwork in Nursing?
Teamwork is at the center of excellent nursing care. While nurses are in charge of caring for their own patients, they rely on other nurses and health care providers at times. That’s because many nursing tasks, such as moving a bedridden patient, take a team effort. Or if you don’t know how to perform a certain task, you may need to consult with a more experienced nurse on staff. Additionally, if one patient needs more attention during a shift, you may need the other nurses on the unit to jump in and help with your other patients.
Nurses rely on each other for help as well as advice and comradery. Because of the interplay between nurses, they often develop a strong friendship with each other. This dynamic rapport between the nursing staff is one of the reasons why so many nurses love the field.
How to Develop Teamwork Skills During Nursing School
Now that you see why teamwork and collaboration in nursing are important for your future career, how can you set yourself up to improve these skills? Here are six ways to get better at teamwork in nursing school:
1. Practice with Peers During Skills and Simulation Labs
Learning to collaborate as a nurse starts early in your ABSN education. Skills and simulation labs during nursing school are the perfect place to develop a collaborative mindset in a safe and supportive atmosphere.
Skills labs are where you’ll learn how to perform various hands-on tasks like placing an IV, taking vitals and interviewing a patient. While practicing various nursing skills with peers, you’ll be able to consult your peers or your instructor when you have questions.
In simulation labs, you’ll take the skills you’ve learned and apply them to patient care scenarios. You’ll work alongside your peers to care for high-fidelity manikins. These exercises will teach you to become comfortable managing a variety of health situations, such as childbirth, wound care and cardiac arrest.
2. Learn How Nurses Work Together During Clinical Rotations
In addition to gaining experience through nursing labs, you can also strengthen your teamwork skills by making the most of your clinical rotations. Clinicals provide an opportunity to see how nursing works in the real world. You’ll work alongside professional nurses and practice taking care of patients.
During clinical experiences, you’ll see how much the nursing staff works with each other and with other members of the care team. This teamwork ensures their patients are safe and supported during their recovery process.
3. Form a Study Group
Another great way to practice collaborating with peers is to start a study group during nursing school. Study groups are effective for many students in the ABSN program, as they provide academic support, accountability and comradery.
Look for peers in your cohort who share similar study styles and goals, and ask if they’ll meet weekly or biweekly to study for your online courses. As a group you can do flashcards, complete practice questions and work through challenging topics together. This is one of the best ways to use collaboration to improve your academic success.
4. Stay Humble and Ask Questions
Another great way to foster teamwork in nursing school is to use your peers and professors as a resource when you don’t understand something. If you’re confused, speak up and ask those around you for help rather than trying to figure it out on your own.
Your professors are here to help you succeed, and they love when students come to them with questions. Plus, your peers will also benefit from explaining complicated concepts to someone else because that will only cement it in their mind. A key part of mastering teamwork is realizing that you don’t have all the answers and being humble enough to ask for help.
5. Learn Your Peers’ Strengths
Another great way to improve your teamwork skills is to practice optimizing the strengths of your peers. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, and when you start working as a nurse, you’ll learn the unique strengths of everyone on the health care team.
Maybe one nurse on the unit is great at placing IVs, so you can consult that nurse if you’re having a hard time placing an IV in a patient’s vein. Another nurse may be certified in wound care, so you can consult that nurse if you have questions about a patient’s wound. Using the team members’ unique skillsets in this way will not only ensure your patients receive the very best care, but it will also set you up to learn from the experts.
6. Practice Gratitude
Finally, the last key aspect of teamwork in nursing is gratitude. Starting in nursing school and again in your career, acknowledge the value of each person you work with.
Show gratitude to your professors for educating you, thank your peers for supporting you and recognize your family and friends for cheering you on in your journey to become a nurse. It takes many people to help you reach your dream, and it’s important to thank others for their role in the process.
By practicing a grateful mindset in nursing school, you’ll learn to have the same mindset in your career as a nurse. After all, showing appreciation to the other nurses and health care providers who help you during your shifts will go a long way to building rapport within the care team.
Team Up with Averett to Earn Your Nursing Degree
If you’re ready to begin your career as a nurse, there’s no better place to start than the Averett University ABSN program in Norfolk, Virginia. The accelerated nursing program helps students earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree in as few as 16 months.
Do you have a prior non-nursing bachelor’s degree or at least 60 non-nursing college credits? If so, you may be eligible for the ABSN program. Our admissions counselors will work with you to see if you need to take any prerequisites before applying. We offer three start dates each year, so you won’t have to wait long to begin school.
To learn more about the admissions process at Averett and how to get started with the ABSN program, reach out to our admissions counselors. Simply fill out our online form, and we’ll get in touch with you.