What does perioperative nursing have in common with extreme adventure racing? It’s this: To excel, everyone must work as a team.
More than 140 nurses, pharmacists and perioperative support staff were inspired to pull together at Perioperative Perspective: Latest Trends and Practices, a day-long conference at the John H. Ammon Medical Education Center at Christiana Care Health System.
Helping someone gives us a sense of accomplishment. Extend a hand rather than point a finger.
The greatest teammates produce the greatest results, said keynote speaker Robyn Benincasa, world champion adventure racer and author of “How Winning Works: 8 Essential Leadership Lessons from the Toughest Teams on Earth.”
“We weren’t the best athletes,” Benincasa said. “We won because we were better teammates than anybody else in the race.”
Being a good teammate means accepting help as well as offering it, she said. Benincasa demonstrated that by inviting attendees to arm wrestle. Pairs that worked together could easily move one another’s arms to each side, while pairs that struggled against each other could not.
“In accepting help, we are giving a gift to the person who is helping us,” she said. “Helping someone gives us a sense of accomplishment. Extend a hand rather than point a finger.”
Team players also share an attitude of mutual respect. They focus on strengths and abilities rather than job titles. They value unique qualities.
“Team builders see challenges rather than roadblocks and embrace adversity as a chance to learn.”
Benincasa’s talk resonated with Jessica Donnelly, BA, RN, a perioperative nurse at Wilmington Hospital and chair of the Perioperative Professional Nurse Council.
“This conference gives us a fresh perspective on the importance of being a team player,” she said. “It takes a team to provide high-quality care for patients.”
Tena Barnes Carraher, founder of The DAISY Foundation to recognize extraordinary accomplishments in nursing, spoke on gratitude and the power of meaningful recognition. More than 1,800 hospitals and health systems, including Christiana Care, now participate in The DAISY Award program.
“Meaningful recognition is a key component in having a healthy work environment,” she said. “When a nurse receives a DAISY Award, everyone in the unit gets excited about that accomplishment.”
In breakout sessions, attendees could choose from four clinical topics: flexible endoscopes, diversity and inclusion, fecal microbiotic transplants and tumor ablation.
In the closing session, Craig Clapper, PE, CMQ/OE, a founder of the consulting firm Healthcare Performance Improvement, asked nurses to break into small groups to discuss their own experiences with patient safety challenges and solutions.
In the workplace, he said, sharing stories in team meetings provides an opportunity to raise everyone’s awareness of the importance of safety.
“We have a head to think — and a heart to care,” said Clapper.