What is It and How Does it Work?

As we all go on in life and continue to live as we always have, something that most likely never comes to the mind of an everyday person is the possibility of a pandemic. 

Unfortunately, that is just what we got when COVID-19 began to take the world by storm, leaving disarray in its path. In an instant, the way we live and work had begun to change for the foreseeable future, and due to how dangerous the virus could be to some people, healthcare and nursing were changing as well. Something that came back to light in this dark time was the team nursing model.

What is the Team Nursing Model?

However, what exactly is the team nursing model, and how does it help the world in such a dire time of need? Luckily, you are in just the right place to learn the basics of team nursing and delegation. Here at Nursa, we dedicate ourselves to furnishing you with the most correct and sufficient information. Essentially, the team nursing model is just what it’s made out to be in the name, an outline for a team, the guidelines for a sufficient way to work together. Introduced in 1957 by Eleanor Lambersen, this guideline would forever live on decades in the future in times of need.

Teamwork is always critical, right? We all learned it in school, in team assignments, or perhaps in activities to do with the entire class, and as we grew up, teamwork would always be important. The team nursing model was designed to improve overall patient care, maximize efficiency, and increase communication between fellow staff. Although coined decades ago, this nursing technique had fallen out of popularity since 1970; however, when COVID-19 came around, many challenges rose worldwide, bringing in the need for something new. In this time of need, the team nursing model was perfect; with staffing shortages, among other difficult challenges, everyone needed proper teamwork and communication, exactly what this model could offer.

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How Does Team Nursing Work?

However, as we continue, we must discover how exactly team nursing works efficiently? The most basic thing to remember when taking part in a team nursing model is that you must change your “I” mindset to a “We” mindset; no longer are you working and completing tasks as a person, you are assigned and completing work as a team. However, when you work on a team, there’s always a leader, right? Of course, there is! Working in team nursing, there is no difference; a team leader oversees everyone else. This team leader is primarily a registered nurse (RN) in charge of coordinating the team itself; this RN should have excellent skills in all areas necessary to be a team leader and coordinator. 

While this extraordinary RN leads the team, what are the other team members, and what exactly do they do?

Below the team leader, although more seen as an assistant to the leader, is the primary nurse of the team. This nurse could be another RN or a licensed practical nurse (LPN); this is because in team nursing, typically, RNs and LPNs will not have as many differences as one may think; they may even have some of the same critical teamwork skills. Additionally, usually attributed to the RN, some LPNs can be IV certified and, in the grand scheme of things, may work longer and more than some RNs. The fact that in many facilities, LPNs will act more like RNs makes them a critical part of any team and a fantastic assistant. 

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Finally, every great team needs its general members aside from the leader and assistant; in the team nursing model, team members you may see can include medical/surgical nurses, perioperative nurses, pediatric nurses, pharmacists, respiratory therapists, certified nursing assistants (CNAs), personal care assistants, and more.

What’s the Difference Between an LPN and an RN?

However, while some RNs and LPNs operate quite similarly in most team settings, they are still different professions and have their limitations; however, what exactly is this difference? As mentioned briefly, LPNs are typically an assistant to higher-ups in a facility, the same as with a team nursing model. LPNs often work under the supervision of doctors and RNs to perform various patient care tasks, a step below being a true team leader. If you wish to learn a bit more about the difference between these two professions, feel free to take a look at this blog done by Regis College.

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