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Communication and your nurse team

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I feel that communication is the number one priority on every nursing unit.  It is the major thing that can make or break patient safety on the unit and throughout the organization.

Lately I have been having some “communication” issues on my unit. I have CNAs who are mad at nurses and do not talk to them, I have nurses who are mad at other nurses and will not talk to them, and I have staff members who are mad at me and will not talk to me.  It has become a little out of control.

I pull the two parties in my office and tell them that I don’t care of they are friends, but they have to communicate with one another while they are on the unit.  This will usually last for a day or two, and then we are back to nobody talking to anybody else.  It is extremely frustrating.

I have talked about it in staff meetings and huddles.  I have sent emails out about it.  But it still continues.  Unfortunately, I think I have allowed it to happen.  Upon reflecting I think I should be a little more strict about this since it truly is a patient safety issue, and that is what I intend to do.  There really is not excuse for not communicating.

I have worked hard to build a strong team and one of the keys to that is communication, when that starts to break down, the entire team will break down.

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Rob Cameron

Rob Cameron is currently a staff nurse in a level II trauma center. He has primarily been an ED nurse for most of his career, but he has also been a nurse manager for Surgical Trauma and Telemetry unit. He has worked in Med/Surg, Critical Care, Hospice, Rehab, an extremely busy cardiology clinic and pretty much anywhere he's been needed. Prior to his career in nursing, Rob worked in healthcare finance and management. Rob feels this experience has given him a perspective on nursing that many never see. He loves nursing because of all the options he has within the field. He is currently a grad student working on an MSN in nursing leadership, and teaches clinicals at a local university. Away from work, Rob spends all of his time with his wife and daughter. He enjoys cycling and Crossfit. He is a die hard NASCAR fan. Sundays you can find Rob watching the race with his daughter.
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