13 Team Building Ideas for Healthcare Professionals

By: | Updated: January 30, 2023

Here is our list of the best team building ideas for healthcare professionals.

Team building ideas for healthcare professionals are exercises, activities, and games that build morale and keep healthcare employees positive and engaged. Examples include daily positive affirmations, Secret Number, and Mystery Diagnosis. The purpose of these activities is to build healthcare teams that are motivated to best serve patients.

These exercises are examples of small group team building activities, team building exercises, and team building events.


This list includes:

  • team building activities for caregivers
  • communication activities for healthcare workers
  • team building exercises for nurses
  • team building ideas for doctors
  • healthcare team building games

Let’s get started!

List of team building ideas for healthcare professionals

It is not uncommon for healthcare professionals to feel stress and fatigue when under constant pressure. As a result, healthcare leaders must engage in fun and meaningful team building exercises and activities with their teams. Here is our list of the top ideas to improve bonds between teams of healthcare workers.

1. Thanks and Gratitude Circle

If you want to boost communication activities for healthcare workers in your facility, then start by fostering a culture of recognition and gratitude on your team. Building and maintaining a positive work culture can lay the foundation for a strong and successful team of healthcare professionals.

There are different ways you can show gratitude toward your team and make a fun game out of it. Communication is key in any workplace, so we recommend conducting your gratitude activity by getting your entire team together at the end of each day.

You should begin by having all team members sit together in a circle. Then, you can go around the circle and have each employee express gratitude for one teammate. A great way to think about this exercise is to have each participant start with the words, “Today, I want to thank blank.” For example, you could say: “Today, I want to thank Amanda for going above and beyond in treating her patients and helping other members of the team who were struggling with their patients.”

This communication exercise is a meaningful way for all teammates to build camaraderie by sharing words of thanks and gratitude toward other team members. Communication exercises for recognition and appreciation are also a great way to end each day.

Check out this list of gratitude exercises.

2. Daily Positive Affirmations

One of the most beneficial team building activities for caregivers is to practice positive affirmations at work.

Positive affirmations are phrases that can help you build yourself up and overcome negative thoughts.

Here are a few examples:

  • I am making a difference.
  • I will show kindness and empathy to every patient.
  • I will care for myself as I care for my patients.
  • I help others in their most vulnerable moments.
  • I am energized and ready for the day.
  • I will make today a great day.
  • I am strong.
  • I am proud of myself and the work I do.

Affirmations like these are ideal for all employees to stay motivated and positive. Caregivers must remain positive as they work with patients dealing with difficult and sometimes life-threatening diseases and disorders.

Positive affirmations can be a great help in allowing employees to free their minds and stay positive, even during a tough day at work. Plus, the whole team can collectively build their positivity and confidence by having employees recite positive affirmations together.

For inspiration, here is a list of motivational quotes.

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3. Coffee Chats and Tea Time

As a doctor, it can be challenging to make time to socialize with your team regularly. As a result, one of the best team building ideas for doctors is to set aside time each week to socialize with their team over a cup of coffee or tea.

Gathering in the break room with your team can provide the perfect opportunity to get to know each other and take a much-needed break in the middle of a busy day. To make your coffee chat and tea time a success, you should remember to stock up your break room with various coffees and teas.

In addition, you should make a goal for yourself to chat with a new coworker new each week. It can be tempting to talk to your well-known coworkers and friends, but by chatting with a new colleague each week, you will meet different teammates while building new relationships in your workplace.

Here is a list of virtual coffee break ideas.

4. Line Leader

When it comes to communication activities for healthcare workers, the exercise that may help your team most is a nonverbal communication game.

Nonverbal games are an effective way to build communication skills. Instead of relying solely on spoken words, healthcare professionals can learn to look at nonverbal cues and body language to decipher patients’ and colleagues’ needs and wants.

Line leader is a nonverbal communication game in which the group must form a line in a specific order without talking to each other. Instead, teammates must ​​rely on silent cues and body language to get in the correct order while working together. The moderator is the only player allowed to speak in this game.

For example, the game’s moderator can ask the team to get in a line starting from January birthdays through December birthdays. In this case, the first player in the line should be the team member with the first January birthday, while the last player in line should be the member with the last December birthday.

Since players may not speak to each other, they must determine the correct order by using body language and signs. The game Line Leader is an ideal activity that can help healthcare professionals better understand the nonverbal communication cues they may receive from patients or colleagues.

Check out more communication games.

5. Secret Number

A nonverbal communication game your team can play together is Secret Number. To play this game, you should break your group into two teams of three to ten players. These teams will ultimately compete against each other, and it is best if your teams are large.

You should begin the game by designating one player as the moderator. The game’s moderator should communicate instructions or guidelines to other players. The moderator should then give each team a piece of paper and a pencil.

Before the game officially begins, each team should devise a secret code to use throughout the activity. This secret code will come in handy when players get stumped, as they will not be allowed to speak with each other or write anything down.

You can use the following steps to ensure a smooth game:

  1. The moderator gives each team leader a “secret number.”
  2. Each leader should communicate this number to each member of their team one by one. However, the leader should not speak or spell out the number with their hands.
  3. As each team member reads the leader’s nonverbal clues, the player should write down their guess of the secret number.
  4. Once the team leader has communicated with each participant, they should signal to the moderator that their team is finished.
  5. The winner of the game is the team that finishes the fastest and can guess the correct number.

To keep the game exciting, you should switch team leaders for each turn so different players can have the opportunity to lead. Secret Number is a great way to get teams accustomed to nonverbal cues as they engage in friendly competition.

6. Care Packages

Among the different types of healthcare professionals in the workforce, nurses typically feel higher levels of stress and burnout. As a result, one of the most ideal team building exercises for nurses to combat burnout is to have the team leader send out care packages.

By sending care packages to your team, you are sending the message that you care about employee wellbeing.

Here are a few items you can include in your care packages for self-care:

  • Herbal teas
  • Bath bomb
  • Face masks
  • Candles
  • Meditation subscription
  • Positive affirmation cards
  • Snacks

Assembling care packages is a great exercise to decrease burnout, boost morale, and increase employee satisfaction. A well-rested team of nurses is most likely to provide the utmost level of care to patients.

Here is a list of care package ideas for employees.

7. Question of the Day

One of the most classic healthcare team building games is icebreakers. This team building activity works well for new teams that are just meeting each other or teams that want to get to know each other better.

A great icebreaker to begin each shift with is Question of the Day. As part of this icebreaker exercise, designate one person on your team to come up with the day’s question. From there, the employee tasked with creating the question should kick off the icebreaker exercise by stating the question and their own answer. Question of the Day is a great icebreaker to help coworkers learn more about each other.

A few suggestions for Question of the Day prompts include:

  • What is one important skill that all nurses should have?
  • If you had an extra hour in your day, what would you do during that time?
  • If you were not a nurse, what kind of job do you think you would have?

Icebreakers can help teams build unity by learning more about each other. Plus, when a team feels more united, they are more likely to excel in their roles and keep hospital operations running smoothly.

Here is a random question geneator.

8. Workshops

Workshops provide an excellent opportunity to learn new things while spending time with coworkers. We recommend organizing monthly workshops that employees can attend throughout the work day or on their breaks.

Although the workshop may take place during the workday, it is important to know that these sessions do not have to be directly related to job training or building on-the-job skills. Instead, these workshops should focus on building camaraderie while promoting employees’ well-being.

Here are a few suggestions for the types of workshops that you can get your team excited about:

  • Yoga and meditation
  • Healthy habits
  • Journaling
  • Resume writing
  • Networking

Each workshop will provide employees with the opportunity to decompress while learning new skills that can help them in their daily job.

Check out more corporate workshop ideas.

9. Board Games

If you are looking for healthcare team building games to engage your group, start with board games. Board games are a fun and competitive way to get your team to interact.

Some suggestions:

  • Monopoly
  • Sorry!
  • Trouble
  • The Game of Life
  • Taboo
  • Operation

It can be a good idea to keep a handful of board games in your facility’s break room. Having easy access to a few board games allows your team to choose different options to play with teammates during their lunch break or at other team building events.

Here are the best team building board games.

10. Escape Room

If you are looking for a team building activity that promotes problem-solving and resolution skills, then consider completing an escape room challenge. Escape rooms are activities in which teams are locked in a room full of puzzles and tasks that they must complete to escape.

To successfully complete an escape room, team members must communicate effectively to solve the many puzzles and challenges. You can find a variety of themes to meet the needs and interests of your whole team.

Fun escape room themes include:

  • Mystery
  • Science or high-tech
  • Fantasy
  • Horror or suspense
  • Holiday

Although teammates may have differing perspectives and ideas, all players need to work together to escape the room within the given time frame. Escape rooms contain different puzzles and clues that teams must work together to solve, making this activity an optimal choice for a team of healthcare professionals looking to boost teamwork and trust.

Check out this list of DIY escape room ideas.

11. Team Outing

Engaging with your team outside the workplace can provide a much-needed change of scenery while providing an opportunity to get to know each other and socialize more. Fun activities and team outings can help boost employee happiness and morale.

A few examples:

  • Happy Hour
  • Boat ride
  • Fancy dinner
  • Karaoke night
  • Paint and sip class
  • Science museum
  • Art museum

When it comes to team building ideas for doctors, you cannot go wrong with visiting a science museum. In fact, a group of doctors may be especially excited to enjoy a trip to the local science museum and spend an afternoon learning and exploring.

Here are more team offsite ideas.

12. Mystery Diagnosis

Role-playing is one of the best team building exercises for nurses that can help improve their patient care skills. To conduct a role-playing exercise with your team, you will need to choose one team member who will act as the doctor.

Here are a few steps to keep in mind when participating in this role-playing game with your team:

  • You can start by having the team “doctor” leave the room. Once this player leaves, the rest of the team should come up with an illness or injury. The players should discuss symptoms and scenarios they can later share with the team’s doctor.
  • When the doctor comes back into the room, they will diagnose the patient based on the information the remaining players share.
  • To make the game challenging, you should give the doctor a timeframe of about 90 seconds to fully diagnose the patient.
  • If the team doctor can provide the correct diagnosis in the given timeframe, then the doctor can be declared the winner. The other players win the game if the doctor fails to provide the correct diagnosis.

You can encourage your staff to act out rare and obscure diseases or illnesses to make the game even more fun. For example, some players may pretend to fall asleep while doing everyday activities. The doctor of the game would then need to understand why patients are exhibiting such strange behavior, and ultimately provide a diagnosis.

Role-playing can be helpful for nurses to build upon their analysis, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. This role-playing exercise is also a great way for a team of nurses to improve their relationships with each other as a team.

For more roleplay fun, check out this list of improv exercises.

13. Bake-Off

Having a team bake-off is a fun way for your team to show off their baking skills while building collaboration skills.

To host a team bake-off, you should split your group into teams of three. Next, have each team choose a pastry or dessert to bake together. You can provide a two-hour time limit for each team to bake their dessert.

Once the teams have finished baking, you should have a team of judges taste each creation to determine a winner. A team bake-off is a great team building exercise as you can get teammates in the kitchen with each other working together on a tasty dessert.

Here is a guide to office cook-offs.


Team building exercises are a great way to get your team of healthcare professionals more comfortable with each other. These activities also have the power to motivate teams to work more efficiently and in sync with one another, especially when serving patients.

Overall, team building is essential for healthcare professionals and it is a great skill for all teams to master. By engaging in team building exercises, you are taking the right steps toward improving relationships between team members with each other, which can lead to happier employees and satisfied patients.

Next, check out employee wellness program ideas.

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FAQ: Team building ideas for healthcare professionals

Here are answers to questions about team building ideas for healthcare professionals.

What are team building ideas for healthcare professionals?

Team building ideas for professionals are activities that build camaraderie among healthcare teams while keeping employees motivated and happy. Healthcare professionals need to build their team’s morale and collaboration skills with each other both in and out of the workplace. As a result, team building exercises and activities come in handy when you are looking to form a stronger and more united team.

What are some good team building ideas for healthcare professionals?

There are many team building ideas to engage healthcare teams. Here are a few examples of team building exercises and activities for healthcare professionals:

  • Icebreaker
  • Coffee break
  • Team outing
  • Escape rooms

Team building activities can motivate employees to work effectively as a team, which can also help employees when they are caring for patients or working hard to solve a problem.

How do you encourage teamwork on healthcare teams?

It is important to encourage your team to work efficiently and collaboratively. A creative way to encourage teams to work together is by organizing team building activities for caregivers and other healthcare professionals.

Team building activities are sure to get your entire team working together as they have fun.

Author avatar


People & Culture Director at teambuilding.com.
Grace is the Director of People & Culture at teambuilding.com. She studied Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, Information Science at East China Normal University and earned an MBA at Washington State University.


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