Effective Teamwork in Care Settings

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Care giving facilities require a large amount of people working hard to give great care. The only way to give the proper care to the people who need it is with teamwork. Teamwork is essential in any workplace, and this is double so in a care giving situation. Knowing how to foster good teamwork in a care giving situation can help you give the best care you can.

Listening

  • The most important team work tactic you can use is to listen. The old adage says that you can hear without listening and this is very true. All too often, someone hears what you say but doesn't listen. No doubt you've done the same thing. It is important to listen carefully to what people tell you, especially in a care setting. It can sometimes mean the difference between life and death. For example, if a co-worker tells you that "Mrs. Johnson needs her nitro at 4:00 p.m. today, not 5:00," this is very important for you to remember. If you simply hear "Mrs. Johnson needs her nitro at...5:00..." you will pass Mrs. Johnson's medicine at the wrong time. You may also even give the wrong medicine to the wrong person, or give the wrong care. Listen carefully to what everyone says. If you have trouble with paying attention or remembering, take notes.

Ask for Help

  • Another common problem in teamwork in a care setting is not asking for help when you need it. Being too proud to ask for help can lead to complications in care. If there is a man who needs two people to stand up and walk to the bathroom, get two people. Don't try to do it yourself. Picking up a man by yourself can cause you to have back injury, and can also lead to problems with his walking including difficulty walking and even injury. The reasons for not asking for help are many. Sometimes it can be too busy to get another person to help you, as they are caring for their own people. It can seem important to move fast and to care for as many people as you can as quickly as possible. However, if refusing help and going quickly can leave to injury of those you're caring for, slow down and get help.

Give Support

  • Likewise, if someone asks you for help, you should give help as thoroughly and as quickly as you can. Don't adopt an attitude or avoid giving help. Though it is important to care for everyone at your facility, it is important to give them the care they need. If losing five minutes of time to help treat one person helps that person get the care they need then the time lost was worth it. Fostering a helpful and friendly environment in your workplace will spill over into your care. If you give help easy, you will be given help easily. Helping each other out will help you develop positive relations with your co-workers and will help give you a positive attitude while you're at the job. This positive attitude will also spill over onto those you care for, and can help make their care pleasant and enjoyable.

Respect

  • The most important thing you can do in teamwork situations is to respect your co-workers and to those you are giving care. If you are snide and talking about people behind their backs, you will not engender a teamwork oriented workplace. This will create an atmosphere of paranoia, suspicion and anger. This is no atmosphere for a care giving facility. People who receive care need to feel calm, relaxed and happy. An atmosphere of fear and anger will not engender this, and this may lead to poor care conditions. You should treat your co-workers the way that you want to be treated. If you do this, your job will be much easier, and your teamwork will be much more effective in giving proper and complete care.

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