Sh Blog 800x460px Getting On With Colleagues

Getting on with your co-workers

By Daniel Allard

​You can't choose who you work with. However, if you're going to succeed in your nursing job, it's important to be able to get along with everyone in your team. Here are a few tips to help you build good working relationships. In an office, conflicts between employees can create a bad atmosphere and have a negative impact on the performance of the business. When it comes nursing jobs, good team working is not only desirable; it's absolutely vital to make sure patients get the best care possible. So, what do you do if you find that there's tension between you and one or more of your colleagues?

Open your mind

The first step to good working relationships is seeing the other person's point of view. Try not to have pre-conceptions or fixed ideas. A different approach taken by colleagues isn't necessarily wrong. Give their way of doing things a go: you may find it's just as effective and efficient as yours. 


If you don't get on too well with a co-worker, the natural reaction is to clam up and shut them out. That's not a good idea for nurses working in a busy, challenging environment. Good communication is vital, so you need to build bridges and find ways to engage positively with everyone in your team. 

Be supportive

Teamwork is at the heart of all nursing jobs. Try to be super-supportive of your colleagues without being patronising or controlling. Some days can be more challenging than others. Be aware of the pressure points and ready to lend a hand when the going gets tough. Your co-workers should appreciate your support and you'll win their respect for being prepared to lend a helping hand. 

Credit where credit's due

Everyone likes to have their efforts acknowledged. A simple 'thank you' or 'well done' can go a long way and make your colleagues feel valued. 


"Wear a smile and have friends; wear a scowl and have wrinkles." The writer George Eliot nailed it with this smart piece of advice. A simple smile is worth its weight in gold; it can completely change the way a co-worker perceives you and ease any tension that may exist between you and them. 

Don't gossip

If you're struggling to get on with a nursing colleague, talking about them behind their back won't help. In fact, it could make the issue worse. If they hear you've been gossiping about them, it will alienate them even more. You're also in danger of forcing other colleagues to take sides, which could put them in a difficult position and spread negativity throughout the team. 


Don't avoid socialising. It's great for team building. Getting together with co-workers in a social setting can help you get to know them better. If you find them difficult to get on with at work, you may see a different side of them that changes the way you feel about them.

We have written a selection of pieces around starting and navigating your nursing career.