Team building for a tough job

Working in an operating theatre is a tough job that requires a dedicated and communicative team. Terri Pinkis, CNS, from Wollongong Hospital recently received the Excellence in Perioperative Nursing Award for her initiatives to promote support and teamwork in the neurosurgery unit.

The award is from the NSW Operating Theatre Association which holds an annual excellence awards program to recognise the achievements and professional credibility of perioperative nurses.

‘Team morale is vital in a highly stressful environment so I try to provide initiatives that are fun and easy and that help us all to bond and work hard as a team,’ said Terri, who is also the chairperson of the NSW Operating Theatre Association in the South Coast and Southern Highlands area.

A few years ago she attended a workshop about minimising errors at work and was intrigued by the team morale-boosting activities suggested. She decided to implement them at Wollongong.

‘This adds a new dimension to our work and really encourages the notion of a team,’ said Terri.

Some of the Terri’s initiatives in the neurosurgery unit include dolphin-patterned hats and the use of a magnetic board to indicate staff members’ moods.

‘These are only small things but they provide a bond and this is what you need in perioperative nursing,’ she said.

‘The doctors are very supportive and even the registrars who come through every six months are quick to adopt it and love the idea.’