Why Nursing Should Be More Like Football

Alexandra Wilson Pecci, February 19, 2013

When I hear the word "huddle," I think of sports, of a bunch of guys in helmets, crowding around a leader, strategizing as a team before they execute a play.

They prepare together before getting into position, and once the ball is in play, every player is ready for action, ready to work as a unit to accomplish a single objective. How would that on-field action look without the preceding huddle?

Like chaos.

It's reasonable to think about nursing as a team sport, too, which is why I'm intrigued by the idea of "safety huddles" performed at the beginning of each shift by the award-winning nursing team at the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ.

Like the huddles that football teams perform before running a play, safety huddles allow the nurses at RJUH to strategize as a team before executing patient care.

Doing so has paid off, according to data from the ANA's National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI), a database of nursing performance measures.

Alexandra Wilson Pecci

Alexandra Wilson Pecci is an editor for HealthLeaders Media.

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