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Tina Lahr

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Main Discussion Post

Nurses work in a group setting on a daily basis while on the job. Each nurse may have a specific patient assignment for the day, but when working on a unit or as part of a team, the nurses work together to care for all patients. Home hospice nurses are part of an interdisciplinary group (IDG) that include a medical director and depending upon the size of the hospice, various numbers of doctors, nurses, aides, social workers, chaplains, and volunteers. It is imperative that the IDG work together to ensure the comfort, safety, and support of all patients and their loved ones and caregivers. Communication in this group setting is vital as all team members work autonomously and only meet once per week for a meeting.

The hospice IDG leadership consists of a business manager, clinical manager, and medical director. It is the leaders’ responsibility to shape the IDG into a functioning, cohesive team. In order to accomplish a well-formed team, Bruce Tuckman suggested that there are four stages of group development which include forming, storming, norming, and performing (Marquis & Houston, 2017). During the forming stage; everyone is on their best behavior as the team is meeting the new hire and the roles and responsibilities of the group are clarified and updated if needed (Mind Tools, 2012). There is a gradual move to the storming stage at which time members of the group may push boundaries, form different styles of working and challenge tasks or responsibilities assigned to them (Mind Tools, 2012). As differences resolve mutual respect begins, the leaders’ authority is valued, progress is made towards team goals, and members are able to provide constructive feedback amongst each other in the norming stage (Mind Tools, 2012). The fourth phase is performing, and it is during this stage that delegation of tasks and further team development by leaders is prevalent, and team members can be subtracted or added without much time for adjustment (Mind Tools, 2012).

Each member of a group holds a particular role which may involve tasks, building, and maintenance, or self-servicing and it is the responsibility of the leaders to manage the diversity in the group to ensure productivity (Marquis & Houston, 2017). On-call hospice nurses rely heavily on the communication from leadership and other IDG members as there is no requirement to attend the weekly IDG meetings. The on-call nurse takes on numerous task roles and building and maintenance roles depending on issues that arise during the shift. Kaufman (2012) discusses conflict avoidance as a contributor to a non-working relationship between members as it causes working around one another rather than working with one another. To resolve issues such as conflict avoidance, leaders need to provide a strong groundwork and create a culture in which each team member understands their responsibilities and one which promotes open communication with respectful debates (Kaufman, 2012).


Kaufman, B. (2012). Anatomy of dysfunctional working relationships. Business Strategy Series, 13(2), 102-106. doi:10.1108/17515631211220887

Marquis, B. L., & Houston, C. J. (2017). Leadership roles and management functions in nursing (9th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer.

Mind Tools. (2012). Forming, storming, norming, and performing : Helping new teams perform effectively, quickly. Retrieved from https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_86….