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Crit Care Nurs Clin North Am. 2010 Jun;22(2):253-60. doi: 10.1016/j.ccell.2010.03.007.

Neonatal intensive care unit and emergency department nurses' descriptions of working together: building team relationships to improve safety.

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College of Nursing, Texas Woman's University, Houston, TX, USA.


Teamwork is considered a critical factor in delivering high-quality, safe patient care although research on the evidence base of the effectiveness of teamwork and communication across disciplines is scarce. Health care providers have limited educational preparation for the communication and complex care coordination across disciplines required by today's complex patients. Complex work environments are affected by little understood human factors including the intricacies of human communication and behavior. To understand how nurses view teamwork, this secondary qualitative analysis examined nurses' perceptions of working in high-performance areas with interdisciplinary teams. Results from 4 focus groups of 18 nurses from a neonatal intensive care unit and emergency department trauma resuscitation teams, revealed 3 themes with descriptive meanings to help understand the complexities of teamwork. These findings illustrate the rewards and challenges for teams working together in the current health care environment. Continuing to investigate teamwork can add to our understanding of what nurses and health professionals need to know about teamwork to help develop evidence-based team training in prelicensure education and in practice settings.

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