Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Andrea R. Jennings-Sanders
Teamwork in healthcare is recognized as a significant factor in achieving patient safety and impacting patient outcomes. Despite the general focus on teamwork in healthcare, there has been little research on teamwork among nurses and nursing assistants working on patient care units. The purpose of this doctoral project was to identify, compare, and analyze perceptions of teamwork in a group of nurses and nursing assistants in a community hospital setting where the TeamSTEPPS program has been implemented. The framework of this project was the concept of shared mental model and Imogene King's conceptual system and middle-range theory of goal attainment. Teamwork perceptions were measured using the TeamSTEPPS Teamwork Perceptions Questionnaire (T-TPQ), which is composed of five constructs: (a) team structure, (b) leadership, (c) situation monitoring, (d) mutual support, and (e) communication. Sixty-three nurses and 42 nursing assistants participated in the study. There was a significant difference between nursing assistants and staff nurses with respect to the Total T-TPQ mean score (4.03 and 4.26, respectively; p < 0.03), leadership (4.11 and 4.44, respectively; p < 0.01), and communication (4.13 and 4.35, respectively; p < 0.04). Nurses had a higher level of agreement than nursing assistants for Total T-TPQ, leadership, and communication. The results underscore the need to close the gap between nursing assistants' and nurses' perceptions of teamwork. Hospital and nursing leaders should make significant efforts to improve teamwork to build cohesive and highly functional nursing teams that can improve patient safety and thus create lasting social change.