As a travel nurse, there are several ways to make a good first impression. One of the best ways is by being a team player. Nursing is not a job where you can keep to yourself and go it alone. Working in a collaborative environment will make things run smoother and make your workday more enjoyable. Good teamwork also improves patient care and eases stress.
Working well as part of a team helps set the tone and shows your work ethic right from the start. It also helps your coworkers trust you, which is important at any new job. Consider the suggestions below to be a team player.
- Be flexible. Flexibility is needed if you are going to be a team player. You may need to take on an extra patient if a coworker is busy, or switch gears and stop what you’re doing to help a colleague in an emergency.
- Get to know your co-workers. It helps to get to know your coworkers, so you’ll understand their strengths and weaknesses. Everyone has areas of their job where they excel. But there may also be tasks that are a little more challenging for some. If you know your coworker has trouble starting intravenous lines, offer to help if you are around when he needs it.
- Maintain good communication. Being a team player without effective communication is difficult. Talk honestly with your coworkers to find out what they need. But good communication also goes both ways. Don’t expect your colleagues to know what you need if you don’t ask. If you need help, be clear when asking for assistance.
- Lead by example. There may be instances where you can take a difficult patient or perform unpopular duties. Doing something your coworkers dread shows the team your willingness to put team members first.
- Be a problem solver. In some cases, helping does not involve performing a task or taking on extra work. Pitching in may mean coming up with a solution or solving a problem for your teammate. Don’t be afraid to speak up if you think you have the answer to a problem.
- Keep the entire team in mind. Your team usually does not just include other nurses. Travel nurses often work with an array of workers from other disciplines. Being a team player doesn’t mean you take on responsibilities outside your scope of practice. But it may mean lending a hand when you can. It may be helpful to hold a frigidity patient’s arm when the lab tech is drawing blood or help the respiratory therapist position a patient for therapy.
- Say thank you. Everyone likes to know they are appreciated. If you see a coworker going above and beyond, give some positive reinforcement. Also, when help is offered to you even if you don’t accept it, never forget your manners. A simple thank you can go a long way in letting your teammates feel valued.