Surgery is a team sport. Every member of the OR team serves a vital function and contributes valuable skills to the common goal of caring for patients. To deliver the best possible patient care, surgical teams must be high performing. Not only are high performing surgical teams more efficient, but they also have lower patient mortality rates. Given that the efficacy of a surgical team is directly tied to patient safety and operational efficiency, you can see why NexGen Surgical is deeply committed to supporting teamwork.
Teamwork Saves Lives
Good teams function as a whole and every member is willing to help out where needed and step up when necessary. In the OR, this can save lives. In fact, a key part of our teamwork training encourages “stop the line” communication in which every member of the team is empowered to speak up if they see something that appears out of the ordinary. This simple act of speaking up can save a patient’s life, but you would be surprised by how often surgical team members feel reluctant to speak up when surgical cultures become toxic. By fostering cultures of engagement among OR staff, our surgeons directly influence an enhanced commitment to patient safety.
Working Toward Common Goals
Good teams with great leadership have members that understand the goals, work in a collaborative manner, hold each other accountable and share a relationship of trust. Our surgeons are empowered to lead by clearly establishing expectations for the OR team. Sometimes this involves using task reminders or checklists for routine or repetitive procedures. It may also involve formal briefings and debriefings for every operation. Ultimately, a surgical team relies upon effective communication to achieve common goals. By trusting each other and holding each other accountable in ways that are respectful and helpful, surgical teams can be more efficient and effective.
Encouraging Stakeholder Input and Adaptation
The best teams are able to evolve, grow and adapt based on stakeholder input. For example, if patients are routinely complaining about the same issues, good surgical teams are able to use the criticism constructively to remedy the problem. Surgeons should encourage stakeholder input, whether it is from patients or other department leaders, and guide their surgical teams toward adaptation. Turning a blind eye to problems only exacerbates issues while actively listening to stakeholder feedback will result in healthy growth for every surgical team member.
Promoting Team Camaraderie
The job of a surgeon leader is to create an environment that promotes team camaraderie. Enjoying your time spent at work and with your colleagues is important, even if it is in the operating room. Some of the most productive and efficient surgical teams are those with members that make each other laugh. Spending time together outside of work, celebrating birthdays and other milestones and sharing a genuine friendship can go a long way in building a productive work culture and preventing burnout. We strive to recruit surgeons with high emotional intelligence for this reason to help promote positive work environments.
How to Improve Surgical Team Morale
At NexGen Surgical, we see surgeons as being key players in the overall morale of surgical teams. Surgeon leaders are able to encourage, guide and correct as necessary in ways that move the entire team toward achieving its goals. NexGen surgeons are experienced, high-performing leaders who have excellent interpersonal communication skills. If you like the idea of leading surgical teams without the burden of administrative duties, consider joining NexGen. Contact us today to set up a time to discuss your background, experience and lifestyle goals by calling 844.592.0802.