What are examples of how to incorporate teamwork and collaboration into a nursing career?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Approaches that can incorporate teamwork and collaboration into a nursing career can include widening communication between all parties, supporting higher levels of education achievement for nurses, and embracing a less territorial approach in all parties.

Teamwork and collaboration is both a process and a product.  It can be actively seen in outcomes and in the process by which these are achieved. Creating pathways that integrate teamwork and collaboration into a nursing career will invariably help patients, the final goal of all initiatives in the medical field.

One such approach concerns communication.  Incorporating teamwork and collaboration into a nursing career can take the form of increasing communication between all interested parties.  When teamwork is embraced in a nursing career, it can take the form of more people sharing what they know about a given patient's condition. This would involve increasing communication amongst parties such as therapists, specialized, care givers, physicians, and families.  The more people who are aware and can lend insights, the greater effort at collaboration and teamwork in a nursing career.

Along these lines, teamwork and collaboration are enhanced when nurses are encouraged to continue their own professional development.  Nurses who have advanced in their professional training have more to add in a team setting.  They are able to contribute more insight to complex issues.  For example, advanced training for nurses will assist in addressing challenging chronic health problems. The teamwork construction works best when everyone is a trained professional in the field, bringing their expertise to the table.

Finally, a change in mindset might be the best way to incorporate teamwork and collaboration into a nursing career.  The territoriality that precludes an authentic collaborative experience has to be eliminated.  This "fiefdom" approach where everyone works in singular isolation prevents any real notion of unity from taking place.  Every who is providing care to patients is part of a team.  Their opponent are medical conditions that can be alleviated or even cured.  A nursing career can be the starting point for change if it spurs initiates a collaborative and teamwork approach supplanting a territorial one. 

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