Facilitating Group Process and Managing Challenging Roles

Have you ever heard about or experienced the disconnect between emergency department (ED) nurses and the nurses on the medical-surgical floor (MMSU) or intensive care unit? This is something that is alive and well at Mercy Health Tiffin. And this is the reason a group call ED/MMSU collaboration group was made to try to improve the animosity between these departments. The purpose of this discussion is to explain how we work together as a group in terms of the four stages of group formation, the roles we play, and, how as a leader, I can improve the groups processes.

Group Formation

The ED/MMSU collaboration group was developed to improve the relations between the nurses of these two departments. A major area of arguments is boarding patients in the ED until a bed is available, or the nurse is available, on MMSU. “ED crowding is a nationwide problem, with 90% of hospitals in the United States reporting it as a major problem” (Pulliam, Liao, Geissler, & Richards, 2013). The nurses at this facility transport their patients between the departments. This can cause a delay in patient care if a room is not available or the nurse is not ready to take the patient.

In terms of which of the four stages of formation the group is in currently, I would have to say norming. This group has been in place for at least a year, so we have moved past the forming and storming portions. In norming, the group can work together, ask for help, and provide feedback without much argument (Mind tools, 2012). We recently set into motion a new idea to work together as departments. If someone is being sent home on low census, they are to see if the other department needs help. If there is help needed, then the nurse or tech will be expected to go there, help, and then go home. This has been in place for roughly two weeks, and we have already seen improvement. When this idea was being brainstormed, there was not much push back from either side, because we all know that something must change in order to improve.

Typical Group Role

In this group, I am typically the information seeker, or the one who looks for facts about the groups work (Marquis & Huston, 2017, pp 457). I would also like to think that I am the energizer of the group, or the one that pushes the group into action (Marquis & Huston, 2017, pp 458). The managers from the departments involved are typically in charge of the meetings and jump start them with the topics of that day. For myself, I like to know more about how a specific change is going to improve the departments and will the other staff members be open to it.

Facilitating Group Process and Managing Challenging Roles

As a leader, I would like to think that I would facilitate mutual support between the members of the group. Knowing that someone has your back and will support you can make you feel more confident (Haynes & Strickler, 2014). I myself am usually a shy person but when I know that I am working with people that are going to listen and take me seriously, I feel more apt to share my ideas with them. Thankfully with this ED/MMSU group, we all work well together, and I cannot really say that there are any challenging people to worry about.


In conclusion, the ED/MMSU collaboration group looks for new and innovative ways to improve the ED and floor nurse relationship. As the group has been established for about a year, we are well into the stage of working well together without causing too much grief for one another. This was an interesting discussion piece because I had never really given much thought to my particular role in this group. I look forward to the next time we meet so that I can try to be more active in our meetings.


Haynes, J., & Strickler, J. (2014). TeamSTEPPS makes strides for better communication. Nursing,44(1), 62–63. doi:10.1097/01.NURSE.0000438725.66087.89.

Marquis, B. L., & Huston, C. J. (2017). Leadership roles and management functions in nursing: Theory and application (9th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.

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

Pulliam, B., Liao, M., Geissler, T., & Richards, J. (2013). Comparison Between Emergency Department and Inpatient Nurses’ Perceptions of Boarding of Admitted Patients. West Journal of Emergency Medicine, 14(2):90-95. doi: 10.5811/westjem.2012.12.12830


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