Continence advisor Joanne Mangnall on the importance of good team work.
Our team has experienced a number of staff changes in the past year. Three new members of staff have joined us since we took over the responsibility of prescribing all continence related products from GP’s. We also have a district nurse seconded to our service for 18 months to cover elements of my workload while I undertake some project work. With all these staff changes taking place how do I know we are working effectively as a team?
Team work has been described as ‘a group of people working towards a common goal’. As a clinical service one of our main goals is to treat all of our patients effectively, efficiently and with compassion and dignity.
Patient feedback via the patient opinion website and the results of patient satisfaction surveys tell me those using our service are happy with the way they are being treated and the service they have received. This suggests the team is effective in meeting the patient’s needs and expectations. Budget reports tell me the team is working effectively to ensure appropriate use of financial resources.
When I review clinical records I see they have been completed accurately and give a clear account of assessments undertaken, treatments instigated and management options recommended.
However team work is much more than this. In the past fortnight I have had to take time out of work at short notice due to serious illness in my family. Each member of the team has supported me in a different way and ensured my work has been covered, ensuring the service continues to run with the minimum of disruption. This has been done without fuss and drama.
The ease in which work has been reallocated demonstrates a clear understanding of each others role and how work should be prioritised. If I reflect on other pressures we have faced as a team such as adverse weather etc it is clear we are able to adapt our working practices to ensure service delivery is maintained. However, as with many things in life it’s often only when you are affectedly personally do you appreciate what a good team you work with.
Joanne Mangnall is a continence advisor