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Nurse on the Run

Nursing as a Team Sport

Published April 10, 2014 9:59 AM by Lorettajo Kapinos

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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Great insight! We all have different skill sets and lots to offer our patients.  No one nursing specialty is "better than" another.  After all, being an ICU nurse of ED nurse does not require the MSN.  Our patients need us to be collaborative.  A great tool for this is Team STEPPS.  Check it out!

Alice April 16, 2014 4:24 PM


Nice Post. In today’s health care market, the practice of teamwork has gained in popularity. When nurses function as part of a unit, and when they act as part of a team, the job itself is easier and more efficient. Moreover, overall patient care is enhanced.

INSCOL Academy April 11, 2014 2:08 AM

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