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Can you please provide me with some simple teambuilding exercise samples and also some examples of change mechanisms to implement in my unit?

Exemplary professional practice requires teamwork among nurses, collaboration with patients and their families, and interdisciplinary partnerships. Follow these strategies to improve teamwork in your unit:

  • Establish clear unit goals with staff members. Post a visible action plan in the unit identifying the various steps, responsible persons, and a timeline. Focus your efforts!
  • Choose a theme for the month (e.g. resilience, change, patient satisfaction, fall prevention, etc.) and identify team actions that contribute to success.
  • Have team members interview each other. As a result, they will discover unique characteristics and strengths in one another and spread the word!
  • Post group photos of staff around the unit—not just photos of individual staff members. Include nurses, physicians, and ancillary staff.
  • Invite all shifts to "present" their contributions to a healthy workplace. Encourage creativity, such as photos, poetry, and stories.
  • Build cross shift links through walking rounds, collaborative educational presentations, and journal article reviews.
  • Partner with another unit on an evidence-based project, charity, or community event.
  • Create and engage staff in an intranet discussion blog with specific professional topics.

As a nurse manager, use visual aids and education to support changes when they occur. Post a map displaying these stages of change and ask staff to mark their current position and move their name as they progress. Acknowledge feelings, list strategies that facilitate progress, model flexibility, and hold staff accountable to take actions to move forward. Identify change agents and mentor leadership skill development. Celebrate step achievements!

—Debra Nussdorfer MS, RN, PMHCNS-BC, ANCC Magnet Recognition Program®  Coordinator at Penrose St. Francis Health Services in Colorado Springs, CO