What is teamwork? According to the dictionary “it is the combined action of a group of people, especially when effective and efficient”. As per Vince Lombardi “It is an individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.

Why Is Teamwork Important In Nursing


As a nurse my definition of teamwork is the dependability that you have on your team or group towards a common goal of saving lives and to provide a better nursing care. It is the reliability that you can count on your team and vice versa when there are emergencies and difficult/ complicated tasks at hand.

It’s that assurance that your team is not going to leave you when you need them…it’s that trust that you can depend on them to assist you and be able to collaborate with you as a team towards the same goal of helping the patient and making patient’s safety and well-being a priority.

Nursing care profession can be a tedious job. Without a good teamwork, it can be daunting as we never know what is in store. Nowadays patient comes to the hospital with different symptoms that are brought about by multiple comorbidities that are not easy to treat or to care for. With that in mind, we know that there’s going to be a lot of medications to be given and other treatment plans to be carried out.

But because of teamwork, no matter how difficult ones assignment is, It is going to be more manageable to handle. The team is there to help or assist and more often than not they’re there to give words of encouragement. Gestures that are always heartwarming and very uplifting. To get us by during a hard day of work.

How To Be An Effective Team Member


  1. By having good work ethics. Punctuality is one. In any given profession that works in shifts, it is very important that a staff member relieves the one before his/her shift on time. It is disheartening to carry out a task that belongs to someone else especially if that particular nurse already had a bad or difficult day.
  2. Being mindful. By focusing on helping others rather than being on the receiving end all the time. A coworker will not find it hard to lend a hand when it is reciprocated on a time he/she needs it.
  3. Be friendly. A coworker will find it easy in being a good and happy team member under a friendly or no anxiety driven atmosphere.
  4. Learn how to listen. It is very important to seek other team members ideas too, By listening we are able to collaborate well and come up with a good team approach which is usually always very effective.
  5. Communicate well. This comes hand in hand with respect. Our tone of voice and how tactful we are affects the relationship of each other within the team. Aside from being able to communicate a process well, having been able to collaborate in a tactful and respectful manner is critical.
  6. Be reliable. Dependability is a good quality that one must possess to be an effective team member. Your presence alone is going to be reassuring once a team member knows that you belong to his/her team.
  7. Being respectful. It is always very crucial to form team environment that is free of judgment and mistrust.
  8. Trustworthiness. Nothing can beat an honest and truthful work environment where everyone trusts each other. This also goes hand in hand with respect and reliability.


Benefits Of An Effective Teamwork

  1. More productivity.
  2. It fosters a good working environment.
  3. It creates a positive work ethics.
  4. Creativity ensues because when every ones ideas are taken into one it becomes a grand idea.
  5. It motivates each member of the team to be a contributor.
  6. It helps build trust.
  7. A good camaraderie develops.
  8. The efficiency of patient care and other tasks improves.
  9. It reduces workers to be burnt out and be frustrated.
  10. It creates a healthy working relationship.
  11. It encourages open communication as there’s no air for hesitation. 


There’s a code blue. A patient is needed to be resuscitated as he lost his consciousness, has no breathing and no pulse. The code team came in which right away demonstrated bad approach in teamwork. The team of nurses assigned to the patient started doing the first line of interventions when they came. Rudely or irritatingly one Nurse practitioner from the code team asked “whose in charge of this patient”? Then another practitioner yelled at the other nurse who was doing the compression “don’t stop”! She added “is somebody recording this”?

A doctor gave an order for a medicine. The Pharmacist handed the syringe of medication to the nurse practitioner who after pushing the medicine threw the empty syringe on the floor. And the rest of the other code team gave each other orders or instruction in a very rushed and rudely way.

In the meantime, the other Nurse practitioner who was outside ordered the rest of the team to stop the code as she stated that it’s a no code patient according to the chart, even though the parents of the patient were both standing outside the room and wanted it done as they are the legal decision maker for the patient.

The team effort was appreciated even though there’s no effective teamwork demonstrated in there. The process became so stressful as it should have been demonstrated efficiently and with effective teamwork. In a critical emergencies like that, it is expected to be in an environment that is filled with anxiety and panic. But it is unjustifiable to treat each other with disrespect. It is very important to present a professional attitude towards each other, the patient and the family member as that builds trust and ease.

From the patient or family members perspective, it is very calming to know that the team gets a long well. It gives them that hope and assurance.

The team, just like the group of nurses, who already was starting to intervene with the patient based on their scope of practice should have established their plans and has delegated their assignments properly. Their manner of communication has to improve. And the air of arrogance should be eliminated.

Each one’s task, no matter how little or simple is very important. Everyone’s goal should be focused on the patient’s life, safety and well-being. The family’s feeling should have been taken into consideration too.

The Take Away From This Scenario

As what Phil Jackson quoted “The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team”. If each team member works in unison with one goal, each will have a commitment to undertake tasks that is favorable and respectful to the team. Remember you are your team.

Did you have any situations to share that are in the realm of teamwork? Do you have any feedback about teamwork? If you have any questions or comments please leave them below. Thank you for reading.