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Teams and Team Processes: Group Dynamics

Teams are often depicted as a group of people sharing leadership of and working together on a specific project, whereas a group (but not a team) consists of individuals who work independently and are led by a strong, focused individual (Erofeev, Glazer, & Ivanitskaya, 2009).In the health care organization, it is important to have a group of people working together as a well a team.Each person individually need to fully understand what his or her role is in a group or team, if not there will be conflicts.

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Teams and Team Processes: Group Dynamics What is a group? A group consists of two or more people who interact with each other and share a common purpose (Erofeev, Glazer, & Ivanitskaya, 2009). A team is a type of group (Erofeev, Glazer, & Ivanitskaya, 2009). Teams are an essential part of any organization, especially within the healthcare organization. Each individual on a team plays a vital role in ensuring that all needs are met, task are completed daily and patients are being cared for properly. Teamwork and collaboration between all health professionals results in high quality clinical care, and increased job satisfaction for staff (Begley, 2009).

When team members do not agree on the same goal, conflicts will arise. It is important for healthcare managers to control and management all conflicts within the organization. The key to successful conflict management is for each side to first stop trying to “make each other wrong,” and then to find solutions that approximate each side’s goals (Haraway & Haraway III, 2005). In the case study presented, Nurse B voices concerns about working with fellow staff members of the surgical team.

The atmosphere and moral for the team is steadily declining. In addition the job satisfaction and passion to go to work has also been impacted. In order for a team to be effective and provide quality care, the atmosphere of the team needs to be welcomed and appreciated. Better outcomes will be achieved when team members perceive supportive team atmosphere and an empowering team contact with clear and jointly developed goals, an appropriate mix of skills and expertise, and rewards linked to team performance (Proenca, 2007).

After further review of the case study, conflict management among team members needs to be addressed. Resolving conflict can often be like a constant balancing act among the opposing needs and interests; conflict can be unpleasant and stressful (Haraway & Haraway III, 2005). Conflict manage is essential for the success of healthcare organizations. Learning, as an organization, to constructively manage and succeed in conflict situations is a foundational construct of leadership and management (Ledlow, 2009).

There are six different conflict styles: (1) accommodating, (2) avoiding, (3) collaborating, (4) competing, (5) compromising and (6) problem solving. After reading the case study, the surgical team is displaying conflict style of avoiding “potential disruption outweighs the benefits of resolution, gathering information supersedes immediate decision making, others can resolve the conflict more effectively and issues seem a result of other issues,” (Ledlow, 2009).

Instead of going to the Physician Assistant, Nurse B should feel comfortable speaking to the surgeon with her questions and concerns. In addition to displaying avoiding conflict style, Nurse B surgical team is also experiencing role conflict. Role conflict arises when a focal person’s ideas of his or her requirements are incongruent with expectations from roles set members (Erofeev, Glazer, & Ivanitskaya, 2009). It is vital for each person to know what his or her role is. There are four types of role conflicts: (1) intrarole, (2) intrasender, (3) interole and (4) inersender.

The general distinction between these four types of conflict is whether the focal person is perceiving the incongruence with his or her own standards or values (intra-) or whether the focal person recognizes the conflict arising due incompatibilities among others and/or policies (inter-) (Erofeev, Glazer, & Ivanitskaya, 2009). In order for Nurse B surgical team to be successful, each staff member must realize they are a group of people who collectively make up one team. The four steps to transform a group into team are: (1) forming, (2) storming, (3) norming and (4) performing.

In forming, the team has initial contact with other staff members to see who will be a part of the team. There will be different views on how procedures should be. In step two, storming, the group will have conflict with role, status and power of each member. The next step, normimg group member will begin to create and agree upon the rules of the group. Finally in step four, performing, the team knows and understands what each of their roles are and begins to work together as a team to achieve the same goal. Once the group comes together collectively, Nurse B surgical team will have group cohesion.

Group cohesion refers to a shared vision, unity of goals and objectives, pride in group membership, and collective group identity (Erofeev, Glazer, & Ivanitskaya, 2009). After the team has been established, each team member must continue to strive toward the same goal. Intervention technique is a good recommendation for Nurse B surgical team. Intervention helps to improve situations. An intervention can be a training session on conflict resolution, changes made to team structure, and the development of guidelines outlining team members’ roles.

Intervention helps to provide training to team members on what procedures are still current and the procedures not being used. Goal setting training leads to greater effectiveness at the individual level and improved team efficiency (Erofeev, Glazer, & Ivanitskaya, 2009). In summary, Nurse B surgical team will be successful once he or she identifies his or her conflicts and begin working as a team; thus improving the efficiency and quality of the department.

In a team, individuals’ actions are interdependent and coordinated, each member has a specified role, and members share common task goals or objectives (Erofeev, Glazer, & Ivanitskaya, 2009). Conflict management and role conflict can hinder the success of a team. Role conflict arises when a focal person’s ideas of his or her requirements are incongruent with expectations from role set members (Erofeev, Glazer, & Ivanitskaya, 2009). Trust and communication is important to the success of a team.

A key component to healthy group dynamics is communication or role expectation; trust is developed when team members experience seemingly predictable situations, exchange information about oneself with others, reciprocate, and open up (Erofeev, Glazer, & Ivanitskaya, 2009). It essential for healthcare managers to ensure that each person understands what his or her roles are. Healthcare administrators must take steps to design better teams, train team members to work together, manage team performance, structure the work performed by the team and provide support to team members (Erofeev, Glazer, & Ivanitskaya, 2009).

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