Nursing as a Team Sport
I often find myself witnessing different specialties of nursing tear each other apart. The ED nurse curses the home care nurse or the long term care nurse for not recongizing a problem before it became an emergency. Inpatient, ICU and OR nurses grit their teeth in frustration because the ED nurse isn't able to provide details about the patient's history or related health issues. Finally, home care nurses and long term care nurses pull their hair out in frustration at the lack of education a patient receives while in the hospital.
This is not a new phenomenon, but has made me crazy since the day I started nursing school. It's like each group refuses to see care from any perspective other than their own.
I believe nursing works best when it's viewed as a team sport.
Each specialty can be a player, with their own skills, strengths and assets. At every stage of care, something different is spotlighted making an entire patient experience whole.
One wouldn't expect a pitcher to do the job of a catcher with every play, right? A pitcher can catch and often does, just like a catcher can throw but doesn't pitch. Both players have the same basic skills, but once specialized it wouldn't make sense for them to be expected to do it all. That's why there's a team. Teams work together to play the game the way it was designed.
So, why do we as nurses not see our team in the same way? We all have roles that matter during the course of the patient's stay. Nursing can be and should be a team sport. Maybe then we can all get along.
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