Two surgical teams from different hospitals have a similar composition—nurses, perfusionists, an anesthesiologist, and a surgeon (team leader). Two nurses who are members of different teams provided the following accounts of their teamwork:
Nurse A: “We all have to share the knowledge. For example, in the last case, we needed to reinsert a guidewire and I grabbed the wrong wire and did not recognize it at first. And my circulating nurse said, ‘Sue, you grabbed the wrong wire.’ This shows how much different roles don’t matter. We all have to know about everything. You have to work as a team.”
Nurse B: “There is a painful process of finding out what didn’t work and saying ‘We won’t do that again.’ We are reactive. The nurses have to run for stuff unexpectedly…. If you observe something that might be a problem you are obligated to speak up, but you choose your time. I will work around [the surgeon]. I will go to his PA [physician’s assistant] if there is a problem…. If I see a [surgical] case on the list [for tomorrow] I think, ‘Oh! Do we really have to do it! Just get me a fresh blade so I can slash my wrists right now.”
Question: Apply your knowledge of teams and team processes to explain possible causes for team members’ experiences. What interventions can you recommend to address concerns expressed by Nurse B?"
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