Generally teamwork can be defined as a group of people working under supervision together to accomplish specified goals. In nursing the main goal is to improve the patient’s health and promote recovery. Supervision, according to Harries (1987), means “to be in charge of a group of workers or students and be responsible for making sure that they do their work properly” [Longman (1995, p. 1449)]. Working with a group of people has the potential for being a supportive and enriching experience.
It increases the nurse’s knowledge, acquired by sharing experiences, skills, ideas and techniques obtained by watching, observing and learning from other members of the team when performing a task. Nurses are required to work as part of multi-disciplinary teams (MDT). The care and management of individuals, relies heavily on the participation in team based efforts and requires individuals who share a common goal, in order to create a well managed health care system. The concept of team work within health care was created to “provide quality holistic healthcare to every patient”.
Each team member must have a clear role and contribute effectively in order to maintain a well balanced and supported environment. It gives the patient high standard of care: It creates an opportunity for every member of the team to provide information about the patient’s need which can be orally or written, this will allow the care team to have an insight and understanding of how to offer the best possible care for the patient. Teamwork makes the duties easier and faster: If every member of staff collaborates and works together, less time is required to carry out the job and it is easy.
In this case, the workload is well distributed and this relieves stress, saves useful time that can be used to observe patient needs, deterioration and improvement. There is less chance of inaccuracy because each member is focussed and co-ordinated on his or her work thereby enhancing effectiveness, whereas if it was one person doing the job the person is running from one point to the other in order to meet up with patient’s need thereby creating room for mistakes and disorganisation [Potter and Perry (1995)].
In conclusion teamwork is very important in nursing and can also be enjoyable if all members are actively and sincerely partakers to ensure that the work is rational to every member and also meet targets. [Potter and Perry (1995)] Working under supervision builds the nurse’s character, confidence and self-esteem knowing that the supervisor cares about the work done. This will stimulate the nurse to be of good conduct. In the same way, patients feel safeguarded and confident knowing that there is a competent person in charge.
According to Fowler (1995) Supervision involves a learning, supportive and monitoring process. The learning process exposes the nurse to liaise with other professional bodies such as the doctors, radiotherapists, porters, cleaners, healthcare assistants, and paramedics and so on, as well as the patients and family members. The monitoring process could be formal or informal to assure that the desired standard is achieved. The supportive process includes discussion of difficulties, challenges, dilemmas and solution of how to deal with them so that positive goals are achieved [Hinchliff S. 2008)]. These processes are essential and vital for the health and safety of the patient. The nurse can then learn how to deal with challenging situations which promotes the delivering of high standard of care to the client. In contrast, when there is no supervision there is no opportunity to update knowledge, develop and improve skills. The nurse might be implementing the wrong skill or technique in attending to a patient. This might have a dangerous effect on the patient and the overall team.