MAGNET MONDAY: In the Heat of the Moment — HVU Teamwork
“The strength of the team is each individual member… the strength of each member is the team.” Coach Phil Jackson
Recently, in the “heat” of managing a patient’s surgical complication, I was overheard saying, “This is the BEST floor to work on in the hospital.” Upon further reflection on my comment, considering the context and circumstances, I am better able to explain what prompted my exclamation.
AAMC’s Heart and Vascular Unit (HVU) has attended TeamSTEPPS training over the past year, and the unit has integrated this evidenced-based teamwork system, incorporating best practices into a program to improve quality, safety and efficiency of healthcare by improving communication and teamwork skills.
HVU applies TeamSTEPPS tools and strategies in our daily practice, including bedside shift report at the beginning and end of every shift, SMART discharge and interdisciplinary rounds.
Teamwork is at the core of healthcare at AAMC. My comment in no way reflected on other units or other teams as I truly believe that every staff member at AAMC is dedicated to providing the best patient care and to working as a team to ensure the best outcomes for patients. I was “speaking my truth” in the moment.
At this particular moment, a patient needed a team. A patient always requires a team approach to care, but at this moment, this patient required the attention of multiple team members in order to manage a complication with the best possible outcome.
The off-going nurse and I identified a problem during bedside shift report. Other team members were contacted (the physician, Cath Lab nurse and tech, and charge nurse) for assistance. The unit educator and another nurse came by to assist without even being asked. (I swear, people have psychic abilities or eyes in the back of their heads!). The Vascular Coordinator was also present. The off-going nurse stayed past shift to make sure that appropriate help was obtained.
The patient was ordered to be transferred to Critical Care but the transfer took time because of bed availability issues. During the “waiting period,” I needed help to monitor this patient appropriately while still caring for my three other patients. The help was available without my even asking. Even nursing students on the floor chipped in. I believe this is when someone overheard my comment.
The help wasn’t for me, although in that situation it sure seemed as if it was — and I was truly grateful. The real help was for the patient and her family. The help was also for the patient that came up from Critical Care as rooms were “swapped.”
I have always been astounded by the teamwork on HVU. I don’t know how it came to be this way as it seems so natural. It is more than just policies and procedures. It has to do with what each individual in each discipline brings personally to his or her work.
When each person has a common goal and brings his or her best, teamwork naturally flows. I am so proud to be part of this team. -Paula Christie, RN