Written by: Palma Iacovitti, Nurse Manager, 3 South Transplant
What could be better than working with a group of people that you can actually feel comfortable with? Relaxed enough that you would invest a couple of hours painting your very own oil-based picture with, look like a total klutz while bowling, playing volley ball on the beach, getting soaked by water and sun at a pool party and belting out some laughs at a comedy show? You can’t find that too often. You’re probably saying to yourself, seriously, with people from work?
I am the nurse manager for Transplant Surgical Services at the Florida campus. As many may know, nursing can be a stressful profession. I am pretty confident that we all recognize what causes stress or even burn out on the job. Our unit is demanding like many other units: assessments, admissions, discharges, endless charting, phone calls, call lights, passing meds, report, the list is long and feels endless at times. Stress is high on our department and we had to seek innovative ways in which we could decompress and gel as a team. Some people felt that they couldn’t even say they were stressed because they were uncomfortable expressing it. It’s important that staff feel safe to say that they are having a bad day. I thought it was time to get to know one another again. It had been a long time since we had done something together as a group. We had hired a lot of new staff since we last had a team function. So, low and behold, champions were born! I didn’t have to look too far.
An RN (Pamela Delano) and a PCT (Lindsey Duke) partnered together to plan “team events” on a regular basis. It has been amazing! This has had a positive effect on the unit by strengthening trust and teamwork among the staff, improved communication, unit-based initiatives are going great, staff are getting more comfortable with each other and receptive to one another, and the BEST part….drum roll please….this will all improve patient safety, which is a top priority for Mayo Clinic. I believe when relationships between staff are good, there is less stress on the unit. This ultimately benefits patients. I am really proud of our Transplant Team. They are a remarkable group of men and women. I have no doubt that more team events are imminent! Can’t wait!!