As nurses and other healthcare providers work to meet their client’s needs, demonstrating a high level of teamwork could make their job flow more efficient, ultimately improving the quality of patient care. Whether you are on a care team made up of multiple types of healthcare experts, such as nutritionists and physical therapy specialists, or you are working with a team of nurses to care for an entire unit, teamwork is essential to getting the job done right and improving the patient’s health (Ward, 2013).

Get to know your team members

You need to know your team members well to create a proficient multidisciplinary team. If you are a newcomer to that unit, try and get to know everyone on your first day and be active when handing over tasks. While shift rotation is common for nurses who work in hospitals, you should be acquainted with all the doctors in charge even if you rarely see them. You could also ask your colleagues if you are unsure of the medical officer in charge when passing over reports.

Remember to be friendly, talkative and sensitive to your surroundings (Lindeke & Sieckert, 2005). Join the rest of the team for dinner or lunch whenever you are invited and are free to do so. Having a great time together will help you to understand each other better and create positive relationships. Socialising with the rest of the team could go a long way in building rapport and enhance camaraderie in the team.

Keep the lines of communication open

An essential part of building effective teamwork for nurses is communication. Be an attentive nurse by making detailed reports on the client’s condition and keep doctors informed about any significant changes. Similarly, when documenting the client’s response to interventions, always provide accurate information and describe the same evaluative measures so that the client’s progression can be measured and evaluated. The written notes, assessment flow sheets, and information shared between nurses during shift changes are important for doctors to communicate the client’s progress clearly and work towards achieving the expected outcomes.

Be flexible

The life of a nurse is always unpredictable, so it is important to always be ready should there be a sudden change in plans. At times, you may have to handle many patients in one shift, and it gets more complicated when your fellow nurse calls in sick and the team is unable to find any replacement. In such situations, you have to be flexible and steadily accomplish your duties without any hesitation (Lindeke & Sieckert, 2005). You might wonder why you should help with someone else's patients when you are already working hard enough taking care of your own patients. However, think of each patient as your family member. You would not want them to have less than the best care just because their nurse is not available, would you?

There are plenty of jobs out there where you can just put your head down, focus on your work and ignore everyone else, but nursing is not one of them. It is crucial to build relationships with team members and understand how each of them functions. Nurses and other healthcare professionals in the team need to have meaningful interactions to build morale and reinforce relationships, ultimately strengthening their teamwork to provide better quality of care and improve desired outcomes for patients. MIMS

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Lindeke, L., & Sieckert, A. (2005). Nurse-Physician Workplace Collaboration. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing. Vol. 10 No. 1, Manuscript 4.
Triola, N. (2006). Dialogue and discourse: are we having the right conversations? Crit Care Nurse. 26(1):60
Ward, J. (2013). The Importance of Teamwork in Nursing. Retrieved from,