Even though we can sometimes feel alone, we’re really not. We are often surrounded by a team of other nurses who also have a laundry list of tasks to complete and likely feel the same way we do. Behind that each nurses has a unique work history experience, knowledge, creativity, and critical thinking that could be helpful to us.
To put some helpful ice breaking and team building skills into practice, Nurse.org graciously hosted a team building experience which included a team building educational CE over a light breakfast, followed by an intense escape room experience and afterwards a debrief over a delicious lunch.
Over bagels and coffee, I lead an educational session on team building where we reviewed the importance of communication, problem solving and decision-making, delegation, learning to adapt to changes and people, and trust-building. We also learned more about one another – our strengths, our weaknesses, our interests and our career goals. Afterwards we participated in an escape room experience at the Quest Room in Los Angeles, called the Da Vinci’s Challenge, a historic adventure set in the late 15th century where we had 60 minutes to solve our way through rooms designed to test our logic and ingenuity around art, science and a world of mystery.
While I can’t give away the entire experience, I can say that this was a true test of communication and team building skills and put all of us nurses on the same level playing field as it didn’t require nursing knowledge perse but logic, problem solving, critical thinking and good communication.
There were several intense and heightened moments in the experience where some of us were ready to give up, but the others kept the team motivated and trying; there were times where we all had to wrap our minds and different ideas around the same problem and talk through several potential scenario solutions; times when we had to draw on the knowledge and skill of one another, and we had to trust one another and allow trial and error to guide us. And while there was not an assigned leader or charge nurse, everyone had the opportunity to speak up and lead at some point in the activity. Fortunately for us we were able to solve the mystery and with less than 2 minutes left.
And to wrap up the experience we debriefed over good food as nurses loves to do and shared our thoughts and experiences about the activity over some great Korean BBQ.
Team Work in Nursing
We’ve all heard the mantra; “teamwork makes the dream work” but how do we apply that to nursing when it often feels like we’re operating in silo especially when many times we don’t feel supported, we’re short staffed, we don’t always have enough of the supplies we need and there is always a sense of urgency to get things done?
Therefore, it’s important to know who you’re working with and what each other’s strengths are so we can truly help one another. It’s all about working smarter, and not harder so we can optimize quality and safe patient care while preserving our resources and maintaining our sanity?
It’s called #Teamwork.
We’ve all seen this before, when there’s a nurse who’s great at IV starts – so that’s who we go to.
When there is a colleague who knows how to use a certain piece of equipment that isn’t used often – we call on that person.
When there is a weird EKG rhythm – there’s always a certain nurse people go to for help.
It’s all about knowing your team.
Just imagine being a float or travel nurse who often arrive to a unit with the fundamentals of nursing but are unfamiliar with the team, layout, or culture of the unit. One must work quickly to assess the work environment and create a strategy before jumping into work. But let’s be honest, not all nurses, especially newer or less experienced nurses have the confidence to do this or do this right away. Because of that, it’s easy to start the shift off on the wrong foot and end up chasing our tails the entire time. To avoid that it’s best to introduce yourself, quickly learn your team, know who to go to and for what, and to tap into your resources and delegate often to make your job easier.
In addition to in-person events offering free CEUs for nurses, I also offer online FREE Cardiac CEUs for nurses! Check those out and sign up here
Do YOU Want To Meet Up With Nurses (and get a FREE CEU?)
This was our first activity like this, and the nurses loved it! Let us know, is this something you’d like to do? What activity would you like to participate in that you think would be a great teambuilding and networking activity?
Email me at NurseAlice@nurse.org and let me know where we should have our next meetup event AND what CEU you want to learn next!