Team working part 9: dealing with frustration

24 February 2022
Volume 31 · Issue 4


John Fowler, Educational Consultant, explores ways to enhance teamwork

I trained as a State Registered Nurse (SRN), which shows how many years ago that was! But I still remember my first day on duty as a student nurse on a surgical ward. I was put under the guidance of a wonderful nursing auxiliary, Margaret, who taught me so much about caring for people who were ill and also about teamwork. After the patients had been served their evening meal, Margaret said that I could take one of the leftover sausage rolls and eat it in the equipment room, so I took a plate, put a sausage roll on it and walked down the ward to the treatment room with it in my hand. Twenty minutes later Margaret relayed a message from the ward sister for me: eating patients' food and eating on the ward is not allowed! Margaret then explained the complexities of hierarchy, rules and teamwork—you were not ‘allowed’ to do this (and a number of other things), but you could do it, provided the ward sister did not see you doing it. Such was my initiation into the complexities of hierarchy and teamwork.

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