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Tips to Build Comradery With Your New Clinical Team

Group of nurses walking in the hall.

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It’s hard to build trust as the new nurse joining an established team. Whether you are a new hire or an experienced professional switching into another specialty, you’ll have to do just that. Building trust between all team members in a department is essential to enhance job satisfaction and patient safety (as cited in Moore, 2016).

These straightforward tips can help you build comradery with your new team.

Begin each shift with a positive attitude and try to learn something personal about each one of your new team members.

Just as you seek to connect with your patients on something non-clinical during your shift, seek to get to know your fellow clinical team members. How long have they worked on the unit? Do they have kids or pets? What’s a hobby they have? Find commonalities in their story and yours.

Try this: “Hi, I wanted to introduce myself formally. I’m ___ and I just started on this unit. Tell me a little about yourself. I want to get to know the people on my new team.”

Communicate well with others.

iCare [Introduce, Connect, Anticipate, Reinforce, Extend] is used to elevate routine conversations to extraordinary and meaningful ones. We use this best-practice communication framework with patients, but also with fellow team members.

When sharing clinical information, such as in shift report, use SBAR and make sure you highlight pending items for follow-up. What we say and how we say it matter. It’s important to remember that few conversations are neutral. During most interactions, a positive or negative feeling is assigned to the communicator. Well-structured communication helps build trust and teamwork and leads to more positive feelings after interactions.

Follow-through on Commitments

Part of our “Own It” service standard category is following-through on what we promise. If you told a teammate you’d assist them or tackle a pending task before they came back in, seek to honor that promise. Of course, there may be times when you are prevented from following through on help you’ve offered… just make sure you communicate this sooner, rather than later.

Be honest about what you don’t know and ask to be taught new skills

Be vulnerable and open when something is new to you. Ask for your team to teach you and then thank them for their time. It seems like a simple tip but acknowledging where you need to grow shows you really care.

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