Chapter 8

Gaining Confidence

Final Thoughts

Team work can be challenging at times. Every member of your team will have a different levels of experience, ways of working, and social-cultural backgrounds. In this environment, conflicts will always arise. But it’s how we resolve conflict that matters.

Learning about your colleagues, and reflecting on your own skills, characteristics, and views will help you develop strategies for mitigating conflict. It’s also important to practice being open to ideas and listening to those around you.

Communication breakdowns and miscommunications happen – but it’s how you correct these issues that matters. We need to be adaptable and flexible so that we can change the plan when we need to, and problem solve without blaming others. Listening to others and being open to possible solutions is key.

Sometimes we experience challenging interpersonal conflicts with people we work with. This may be caused by a misunderstanding – either you’re misinterpreting the persons actions, or they’re not aware how their actions are affecting you. Or it could be caused by discrimination. In either case, reach out for support. A trusted colleague, HR representative or mentor may be able to help you evaluate the situation and figure out how to handle it.

Not all leaders can see when their team members are struggling, because everyone has the same level of intuition. Your colleagues may not recognize when you need help or support, so make sure to ask for it. You can also learn a lot by reaching out. There are people around you with a lot of experience, and connecting with them will help you build better relationships and improve your ability to collaborate.

Navigating the complex network of supports available to patients is extremely important. In Canada, these supports are constantly changing. Developing a professional network by reaching out to colleagues across units and organizations will help you navigate the system to arrange better care for your patient. You may not know about every resource that exists – and that’s okay. What’s important is that you’re comfortable doing some research, reaching out and asking questions to find out what’s out there.

Honing your skills and abilities as part of a health care team is an ongoing process. It may be overwhelming in the beginning, especially as you adjust to working in a new country and culture. But remember that the people around you are also learning – no matter how much experience they may have, there’s always something new to learn.

Questions for Herminia

Confidence comes when a healthcare professional is competent in skills. Each skill requires both the knowledge and the practice experience to become competent and confident.

Competence and confidence helps a practitioner to speak up or advocate for a patient and safety. It takes time to develop competence and confidence. This nurse gained competence and confidence as she transitioned to the new Canadian health care system.

As the confidence and competence of the nurse increase over time, it also increases work readiness of the nurse in the current practice setting.