Pamela Power, DNP, MSN, BSN, ACNS-BC, was the director of a large women’s health program when she heard an overhead page calling a code blue in labor and delivery.

Teams of nurses, physicians, and other clinicians from many hospital departments — including the emergency department, operating room, neonatal, blood bank, and more — descended on the unit to do whatever was needed to help.

While the case outcome was not positive, Power said how staff responded during and then after the emergency showed the value of building resilient nursing teams.

“Nurses on the unit needed to center themselves and provide care to the patients who remained on the unit. Others had to get back to work, center themselves, and care for everybody in the building,” said Power, now associate chief nursing officer (ACNO) at Tipton Health, during a recent Tipton Health Nursing Leadership webinar.

The webinar, titled “It Takes a Team: Strengthen Your Teams to Build Nurse Resiliency,” discussed individual, team, and organizational resilience and what nurse leaders can do to help build it.

Three Types of Resilience

“Your organization is only as resilient as your least resilient individual.” Power said. “But your most resilient individual is only as resilient as your organization will let them be. We must cultivate a culture that enhances resilience.”

That means nurse leaders must work to develop three types of resilience: individual, team, and organizational resilience, Power said.

· Individual Resilience — The American Psychological Association defines individual resilience as successfully adapting to challenging life experiences through mental, emotional, and behavioral flexibility and adjusting to external and internal demands.

· Team Resilience — It is the capacity of a team to withstand and overcome stressors in a manner that enables it to sustain performance. “In other words, you can take the hit and stand back up as a team. It helps teams handle and bounce back from challenges that can endanger their cohesiveness,” Power said.

· Organizational Resilience. “An entire organization can anticipate, prepare for, respond, and adapt to incremental change, which we know happens all the time, as well as sudden disruptions,” said Power.

Power said resilient organizations have several traits.

·        They anticipate problems and plan proactively to deal with them.

·        They create a culture that allows nurses to deal with problems. Nurses feel empowered to deal with problems.

·        They focus on making sure outcomes outlast any problems or disruptions.

You can watch a recording of the entire webinar here to learn more about resilience and what nurse leaders can do to build resilience among nurses, teams, and their organizations.