In this post, we’re going to talk about primary nursing vs team nursing, as models of care delivery. What we mean by that is how nurses are deployed within a hospital or any other type of health care facility. Due to the nursing shortages, nurses are in demand, and these are just some of the ways nurses are used. Let’s start with primary nursing.
- Primary Nursing vs Team Nursing
- Primary Nursing
- Team Nursing
- Most Hospital Units Use Team Nursing
- Primary Nursing vs Team Nursing Video
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Primary Nursing vs Team Nursing
A primary nurse is the same nurse that will be taking care of one patient from admission to discharge; you often see this in intensive care units or specialties like hospice, home health, and neonatal intensive care. If the nurses are working they’re going to have these specific patients or this patient every time they work.
Often, when you have primary nursing set up, it might be eight-hour shifts, Monday through Friday. The benefits of this model are that the patient builds a rapport with their nurse.
The nurse gets to know the patient and their family really well. Also, if there are any changes in condition, the nurse is more likely to pick up on those because they’re familiar with the patient and the nursing care plans. That’s the primary nursing care model.
Now, let’s talk about nursing teams. Most of the time teams are utilized in hospitals. This means there’s a team of qualified nurses providing care to the patient. It’s not one nurse doing everything for that patient. The current registered nurse is assigned to take care of the patient. They may care for the same patient each shift they work, but will not exclusively follow that patient from intake to discharge.
You also have a charge nurse, and you have a group of nurses who a charge nurse leads. Each of those nurses may have three or four patients assigned to them.
If another nurse needs something, all the other nurses chip in to help when they can. The CNA also provides some of the care to your patients. It really is a team effort. There is more delegation with team nursing, and the benefit of this is that you have more nursing assistants and nurses caring for the patient.
CNA’s will often do things like bathing, walking, feeding all those ADLs while you focus on medication administration, and doing your assessments. You’re working as a team to provide the care to the patient.
If one nurse needs to step out, there’s always somebody else there who can pick up the slack. There’s also more continuity of care because you’re not just relying on one nurse to be with the patient all the time.
With team nursing, you’re not always going to have that same nurse every day. You might have a different nurse every day or every other day. So there’s less continuity there, but more people are involved in the patient’s care.
Those are two examples of nursing care delivery models you might see in a hospital.
- You have primary nursing, which is one nurse caring for the patient from admission to discharge.
- Then you have team nursing, where there’s a team of people providing care to the patient.
Pros of Team Nursing
Following are some benefits of team nursing.
- It promotes nurse retention: If you have a unit where it’s fast-paced and nurses are getting burnt out, by having this team nursing model, you can share the load between different nurses. You may also be able to do complex nursing tasks easily.
- It provides more continuity of care: Like I said before, if you have one nurse who is primary for the direct patient care, and they go on vacation or get sick, there’s a huge gap in care. But if you have a team of nurses, the other nurses can pick up the slack or individual responsibility and provide that continuity of care to patients.
- It allows more delegation: As a registered nurse, you might not be able to do everything for your daily patient care. You might need to delegate some care to the CNA or another team member.
- It decreases the risk of errors: If you have one nurse in intensive nursing care who’s doing everything for the patient, they’re more likely to make mistakes. But if you have a team of nurses, and each nurse is responsible for their own specific task, then the likelihood of errors decreases and every nurse can provide high-quality, holistic patient care.
- It promotes job satisfaction: If you’re working as part of a team, you may be more satisfied with your job because you feel like you’re part of something bigger. You’re working together with other people to provide care for the patient. And so that can really promote job satisfaction.
These aspects of nursing care can help you a lot in your nursing career.
Cons of Team Nursing
There are also some drawbacks when it comes to team nursing.
- It can lead to a lot of confusion: If you have a team of nurses, and each nurse is responsible for their own specific task, it can be really confusing for the patient. They might not know who to go to for what. That can be really confusing and frustrating for both the patient and the family. That’s why nursing management is very important.
- It can be hard to build relationships with the patients: If you’re working as part of a team and don’t always have the same nurse, it can be hard to build those relationships. You might not see the patient as often, and so, it can be hard to build that rapport.
- It can be hard to coordinate care: As a team of nurses, with each nurse responsible for their own specific task, it can be hard to coordinate all of the care. You might have one nurse responsible for the medication, one nurse responsible for the treatments, and one nurse responsible for the charting. It can be hard to coordinate all of that care.
- It can lead to a lot of competition: As nursing team, each nurse is trying to prove that they’re the best, which can lead to a lot of competition. And that can be really stressful for everyone involved, especially the head nurse.
- It can be hard to hold people accountable: As a nursing team, if one nurse makes a mistake, it can be hard to hold that nurse accountable. Because there are many different people involved, it may be difficult to pinpoint exactly where the mistake came in.
Those are some of the pros and cons of team nursing. As you can see, there are some advantages and some disadvantages. It’s essential to weigh all of these factors when deciding whether team nursing is for you.
Most Hospital Units Use Team Nursing
The team nursing model of care delivery is used most often in hospitals because primary nursing is very expensive to have one nurse for one patient. It is not really a sustainable cost model for a hospital to run. This is why you see your team nursing on most hospital units. It is a more efficient way to care for patients.
Primary Nursing vs Team Nursing Video
So, what’s the verdict? Is team nursing better than primary nursing, or vice versa?
The answer depends on your specific situation. If you’re working in a hospital, the chances are that team nursing is the better option. It’s more efficient, and it’s more cost-effective. But if you’re working in a small clinic or have a lot of time to spend with each patient, primary nursing might be the better option for personal care.
Weigh the pros and cons of each option, and make the best decision for yourself. Good luck.
What Are the Characteristics of Primary Nursing?
The primary nurse provides direct care to the patient and is responsible for the patient’s overall coordination and management of care. They develop, implement, and evaluate the plan of care in consultation with other health care team members, ensuring that it meets the patient’s needs. They also provide leadership and direction to other team members, as well as education and support to the patient and family.
How Does a Team Nurse Work?
A team nurse is a registered nurse who coordinates and provides care for a specific group of patients within a healthcare facility. The role of a team nurse varies depending on the size and needs of the facility. Generally, it includes daily assessment of patients, development, and implementation of care plans, communication with physicians and other members of the healthcare team, and coordination of services. In more extensive facilities, a team nurses may also be responsible for supervising other nursing staff members.
What Skills Are Required for Team Nursing?
There are a variety of skills required for team nursing, and the specific skills needed will depend on the team structures and functions within a particular healthcare setting.
However, some essential skills that all team nurses should have include:
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
- Strong organizational and time management abilities
- Ability to work effectively under pressure
Additionally, team nurses need to be able to collaborate effectively with other members of the healthcare team, as well as have a good understanding of patient care plans and how to implement them.
How Can You Provide Effective Care With Team Nursing?
Effective team nursing requires knowledgeable nurses with effective communication skills, organization, and teamwork. With good communication, all team nurses can coordinate their activities and work together efficiently.
Good teamwork and collective knowledge allow team members to divide up tasks and responsibilities so that everyone knows what they need to do and can help each other out when needed.
Lastly, effective care with team nursing also requires planning and preparation. By planning out each shift and ensuring that everyone has the supplies and information they need, you can help ensure that your team is providing the best possible care for your patients.