Our unit has expanded from fifteen rooms to thirty rooms…from one nurse’s station to four. We’re walking around more, we’ve got more to deal with, and we’re quite literally stretched out on our unit. It seemed like morale was getting low, I mean, of course it would, right? There are days when you don’t even know when someone on another station is working because there’s no time for you to meet up. It was starting to become more and more frustrating, especially for a unit whose nurses have always been close.
So what’s a unit to do?
Have a cup of tea and drink it too – Together that is! Our amazing managers instituted “tea time” on our unit. It’s something we do at least once a week on the day shift, but it’s become almost a nightly routine for night shift.Â It happens mid-shift, so around 2:00am/pm and out come the pots of hot water, the coffee, the tea bags, the cookies and snacks. Someone goes around the unit and announces tea time, and for at least an hour, staff can come around when they get a chance and congregate in our work room, enjoy their tea and more importantly, the company of their peers.
This simple task has actually made a world of difference in our staff’s morale and spirits. Tea time is something everyone looks forward to for that small break in the day when we can take a deep breath, enjoy our time together, and regroup before getting back to the craziness of the shift.Â Nurses – do you do something similar to tea time? Do you think it might help on your unit?