From a very young age, we’re taught the concept of teamwork. An environment of teamwork promotes a positive vibe, encourages loyalty, and strengthens relationships. The idea of teamwork isn’t just important in our everyday lives to achieve harmony; it needs to be present in our workplace too.
According to Frans Johansson, author of The Medici Effect, innovation happens when different personalities and industries come together, and in a survey from Atlassian, teams who worked together to achieve an open work style and honest feedback were 80% more likely to report a high emotional well-being and 60% more likely to reach their achievements faster.
Happiness and emotional well-being are key components in working in healthcare. When your job is to ensure the health of your patients, it’s important to come together so everyone can succeed in this. Teamwork and collaboration are particularly important in the care of patients who are in a healthcare facility with multiple levels of medical professionals. In turn, teamwork actually gives medical travelers the ability to reach maximum potential with not only their work and facility, but with their own career goals as well.
How Different Medical Teams Work Together
Seeking the same outcomes
When you’re on a healthcare team, you’re constantly making sure you’re working toward what’s best for the patient. After all, that is the ultimate goal, isn’t it? And because everyone else involved in that patient’s care is also working toward that same goal, your team is more likely to fulfill a positive outcome. Establishing the goal—i.e. quality patient care—early on in your travel assignment allows you to get on common ground with the variety of medical professionals you’re working with.
Communication is important for resolving conflict and asking the important social questions of, “How do we talk to each other about hard topics?” “How do we raise concerns about our jobs, the process, and the functionality?” “How do we solve disagreements between coworkers?” “How can we build trust with each other?”
Throughout the hustle and bustle of hospital or clinical care, you’re always moving, or the tasks you’re performing are always in motion, being passed from medical professional to medical professional. That means everyone working in healthcare always needs to keep their respective teams in the loop. The most success in patient care comes from when everyone knows where they’re supposed to be and what their role is. When work roles are defined, the tasks get done more quickly, which makes your facility operate more efficiently. In healthcare, one misstep, timing error, or wrong decision can mean life or death for a patient, so these systems are crucial.
Holding each other accountable
Teamwork creates a no-fail system to make sure deadlines are met, errors are corrected, and quality of care is high. Much like working toward the same outcome, holding each other accountable when you’re a medical traveler means encouraging your team to do their best work, while also calling out things that may be inaccurate, and picking up the slack if something gets dropped. Teamwork is also helpful when double-checking work. Having other healthcare professionals check your work, and having you double-check theirs means less medical errors and more accurate treatment for patients to live their most healthy lives. When one healthcare professional misses something, there's another there to correct it.
In fact, this extra layer of checkpoints has been on deck since the 2013 Joint Commission on National Patient Safety. In its report, they urged for establishing a process for double-checking patients before procedures and medications.
Creating a positive work atmosphere
Building a sense of trust and success through teamwork relies heavily upon creating a positive workplace. It’s important to recognize people for what they do specifically that adds to the job. It’s one thing to come in, do your job, and make it a routine, but when you’re recognized for the specific ways you’re contributing to a team or helping a patient, that can add more value to your medical career and the sense of value you place in yourself. When you feel recognized for the work you do, you’re more likely to be at your best. That determination and attitude doesn’t just help your fellow medical professionals and the patients you treat, but also carries over to your personal sense of fulfilment as well.
Teamwork takes some time to establish between coworkers and can be challenging when you’re working a 13-week assignment. However, it’s up to perm staff and senior residents to set the tone for teamwork and support among medical professionals. In the same Atlassian survey, 94% of participants feel mutual respect is important to a team’s success.