Teamwork Makes The Dream Work
Teamwork. It’s a huge buzzword in medicine today, with collaborative care widely recognized as the best approach. Mutual respect, openness, and willingness to listen all are key components of a successful team of healthcare providers.
But we want to take it a step further. So - what’s one of the best thing doctors can do for the nurses they work alongside?
According to nurses: take the initiative to teach.
The relationship between doctors and nurses works best when it’s a collaborative one, yet that collaboration is not often taught in medical or professional schools. As one doctor wrote,
“During medical school, I spent countless evenings in a library, half-asleep, poring over textbooks and talking through cases with other medical students. What I did not do, ever, was take a class with anyone studying to be a nurse, physician assistant, pharmacist or social worker. Nor did I collaborate with any of these health professionals to complete a project, participate in a simulation or design a treatment plan.” (“Doctors and Nurses, Not Learning Together,” NYTimes)
While it’s true that doctors have hours of clinical and academic training that nurses usually don’t, that doesn’t mean they have to keep that knowledge to themselves. One of our core principles at SWC is partnership: we believe that empowering nurses through education creates better patient outcomes and better health care. That’s why we offer a series of certification courses for nurses focusing on the specifics of wound care (both in person, in cities across the country, and online).
But we also charge all of our doctors to be teachers: to educate the nursing staff in the facilities they serve to provide better, more effective wound care.
And when nurses (in all specialities) across the country were asked what they found most helpful in their relationship with doctors, here’s a sample of what they said:
“I love it when I can tell that a doc loves their job by teaching!”
“Always continue to teach even if you're not at a teaching hospital.”
“Let’s share our combined knowledge and experience so we can provide the best care for our patient. If i ask for an order, or a question, and it’s wrong, tell me and tell me why. Especially the why. I'm a nurse because I wanted to constantly learn, not have some desk job where everything is the same every day.”
“I love when doctors take the time to teach me things.”
Imagine a world where empowering nursing staff through consistent education wasn’t just a lucky one-off occurrence, but a core part of the job. That’s the world we believe in, and it’s what all of our doctors and facilities are striving to create.
Teamwork: it makes the dream (and the care) work.