This article/ journal talks about on how to improve the teamwork between nurses in the medical-surgical department by implementing a consistent charge nurse staffing strategy.
Being a nurse is a busy work; a 40-bed medical-surgical nursing department were averaging six to seven patients per assignment. A 24 hour day of work usually has 2-3 shiftings. During every shift, one nurse assumed a charge nurse duties that included management of call-outs, staff assignments, communication with bed control, and supervision of problems and concerns during the shift. Although charge nurses received an orientation before taking on this added duty, other nurses can’t easily comply with this job being a charge nurse. Due to the incompliance, it led to staff confusion and dissatisfaction regarding expectations for assistance and resourcing of assignments which some nurses are unaware.
In order to improve the department workflow and nurses’ satisfaction, the department director added RN position who will act solely as a dedicated charge nurse which has working hours from 8:30am to 5pm which is the department’s busiest time. The charge nurse is the constant in the center of all activities, as her/his role is to see the efficient functioning of the department. Nursing staff looks to the charge nurse as the frontline manager and are recognized for their communication and organizational skills, as well as their ability to delegate, troubleshoot, think critically and remain proactive.
The staff completed a team success survey, which has a 15-question Likert scale survey that can explore staff’s perceptions of teamwork) before implementing the dedicated charge nurse role to measure success of the program. After six months of implementation of the charge nurse, a survey was readministered. They compared the two surveys. The postimplementation survey showed a significant increase in perception of teamwork.
Having a consistent and strong charge nurse can improve teamwork in nursing departments. The dedicated charge nurse can refine conflict resolution, handling department-specific issues and skills in communication.