By Fizza Hussain, Staff Nurse and alumnus of Edinburgh Napier University’s Adult Nursing programme.
Fizza Hussain graduated in 2018, and currently works at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh. In this blog Fizza shares her thoughts on how feeling part of team can make a big difference when working in the care environment. Fizza reflects on what managers could do to help facilitate team building and also adds examples of how nurses working on the floor everyday can be leaders in building a team.
Adult Nursing student Fizza Hussein.
The most beneficial factor I’ve seen in leadership in nursing is inclusion. A good leader takes care of their entire team while also including the welfare and best interests of patients.
Nurses make a huge difference in the lives of their patients: from pushing them to mobilise and speed up their recovery, to talking them through the basics of life with cancer or a new stoma. Nurses include the patients’ best interests at the heart of everything they do. It’s so important for them to also feel included. To do that well, feeling like you are part of a team is so important to a good working environment. I know it has made me feel more supported and comfortable asking questions. When there is openness, there is less opportunity for error.
Little things can make a huge impact, like having a drawer with my name on it or a place to put my lunchbox, or being invited to a team night out. All these are also part of the ward culture, which is often dictated by the leaders on the ward by what they will and will not allow their team members to do and therefore boundaries also play a part.
Inclusion isn’t limited to charge nurses. It is something that everyone on a ward is capable of implementing. Graduating from student nurse to registered staff nurse, even in a familiar ward or area can be very stressful. I found it anxiety inducing. It’s a steep learning curve and a large change in responsibility. An inclusive culture and a little consideration for your fellow co–workers can make a huge difference in easing the transition and prevents bullying.
For example, simply asking a colleague how they are doing, or if they need a hand. A simple “good morning” can set the tone for the day. It’s part of being a team and can make a stressful job a lot less overwhelming.
I always try to welcome students and bank staff members who are an extra pair of hands that are unfamiliar with the ward and its routines. I’ve also been fortunate to have found charge nurses to be helpful and willing to muck in and ‘get their hands dirty’ by helping with what needs done, especially as I was learning the ropes; this helped foster a well-integrated team.
I studied and worked in business before nursing. In some ways I think this has helped me to be more aware of workplace dynamics and the importance of creating a pleasant work environment. I have been able to bring people management, conflict resolution and life experience to my role which are also valuable skills for team working.