New developments in electronic documentation and nursing have improved
efficiency and quality of patient care. But one unintended consequence is that
nurses spend more time working alone and have limited opportunities to
meaningfully connect with their peers. As a result, many nurses don’t feel like
part of a team. This isolation has a negative impact on their morale, resilience,
teamwork, and sense of professional purpose.
Sykehuset Østfold is a 633-bed public hospital in the southeastern region
of Norway that serves a patient population of 300,000. It has roughly
Leaders at Sykehuset Østfold created weekly forums where all nurses on a unit
can come together to share stories and reflect on their clinical experiences as a
group. During each weekly 30-minute session, a volunteer shares a personal
story about a clinical or professional experience.
Reflection time is now integrated into the weekly routines of nurses at Sykehuset
Østfold. All nurses, regardless of shift time, attend at least one 30 minute
reflection period per month. The reflection periods have played a key role in
boosting teamwork, empathy, and connection to purpose.