When it comes to your nursing job, are you a lone ranger? Do you ever hear yourself saying any of these statements:
“I can do it better myself.”
“I like MY way of doing things.”
“It’ll get done faster if I just go and do it myself.”
The truth is, going it alone can lead to overwork and burnout for you, and can create unnecessary stress and tension in your workplace. It can breed competition, fear, dishonesty, tunnel vision and inefficiency.
Does that sound familiar to you?
I know as nurses we tend to think we have to do it all ourselves and asking for help is a sign of weakness or that no one will help but by thinking this way you limit yourself and set yourself up for having a miserable day. I know, I’ve been there.
Back in my early years of nursing, in the big city hospital I got my first nursing job at, everyone went around doing there own thing, trying to get it all done before the next shift came on.
Where I worked, if you left something for the next shift to do, you heard about it the next day, “Why didn’t you do this and why didn’t you do that?” It was a mentality of “every woman for herself” or ” I have too much to do and I can’t help you” or “Why can’t you get it done, everyone else can gets there work done on time, why can’t you?”
That was the culture I remember in my early years, as a new nurse. Instead of working together and collaborating on how to improve our unit, and a long list of other things that weren’t right, we kept to ourselves and stayed quiet.
I’m happy to say I’ve had much better experiences since leaving hospital nursing. I’ve been working oncology home care now for about 15 years and I work with a great bunch of nurses, doctors, therapists, office staff and more. This group knows the win win collaboration brings to everyone involved. Without collaboration in home care my patients would dearly suffer and that’s not what any of us wants.
I’m also happy to see the online nursing community coming together in a BIG way to collaborate on improving the nursing profession by empowering nurses globally. I love it!
Lori Brown, RN, M.N., J.D. recently held a free nursing telesummit, “5 Days To Nursing Empowerment” This is a prefect example of collaboration. Lori interviewed 9 extraordinary nurses whom I admire, asking them how they got into nursing, what motivates them and their best advice for nurses, helping nurses create a successful mindset, find support, network and much much more.
If you haven’t listened to the recordings then head over there now – CLICK HERE – before they are no longer free. It’s uplifting, inspiring and very motivating, empowering nurses and challenging us to come together for change.
How to Be a Good Collaborator
1. Trust. Assume the best about people, and trust them with your head full of ideas. Have faith and remember that your collaborators want to do their best and feel good about their work at the end of the day. And trust the collaborative process, even when people do things differently than you would, and you can’t quite see how it will all come together, trust that it will and you’ll be amazed at the results.
2. Be trustworthy. Mahatma Ghandi said that we need to BE the change we want to see in the world. So if you want to trust people, be someone they can trust. Act with integrity, do what you say you’re going to do, and be open and honest in your communication.
3. Choose wisely. For each task that challenges you, there is someone who loves it and does it well. Build a team of experts. As an entrepreneur we know this works extremely well but it also can be done in a workplace setting. One example that comes to mind and I’ve done this at the agency I work for, is working with the IT department. They’re a great resource but you can also collaborate with them for changes in the charting process especially if you have an Informatics Nurse on staff.
Successful collaboration is a balancing act of personality types, work habits, communication styles and skills.I choose NOT to be the lone ranger, to many talented people out there I can collaborate with. In my opinion, being the long ranger is lonely and way too much trouble.
So before you limit your chance for success, why not open the door to other people’s skills and experience. Collaboration is a win-win solution with many benefits (that’s a topic for another post)
Strive to improve your performance, grow, learn and be successful in nursing and collaboration is that opportunity you don’t want to pass up. Now get out there and find someone to collaborate with!