Health Care Profession Conflict Resolution

Nurses encounter conflict daily, and it occurs not only in every workplace but in everyday interaction and even relationship and may due to differences in opinions. Some conflict can be dealt with easier than some and its usually due to the understanding of the person involve roles and responsibilities. Within the health care profession conflicts should not be avoided and should be dealt with in a timely manner nonetheless as healthcare professional we must stay in accordance, so the situation does not escalate out of control, when conflicts arise it can occur between doctors, nurses, supportive staff, patients, and even among other unit, floor, facilities. I worked in the nursing home, the most recent conflicts in our facility are shortages of staff and when this happen it leads to increased workloads and double shifts for the staff. One situation I can related to, is the ongoing bickering between day shift and night shift. Such as, pressure dressing changes per the facility, policy and physicians order, dressings changes must be done in a timely manner and a daily basis to prevent infections and quality patient care. But, as per day shift staff, their shifts are always busy with rounds, consultations, discharging, sending patients to MRI, to dialysis and PT, which make the nurses sometime unable to complete all these tasks. Thus, the task should be done by the night shift nurses which the urgency matters are less. But according to night shift nurses, they also have their share of tasks such as dealing with patients who are more confused at night and highly need more attention. These are common conflicts that occur in many facilities not only the nursing profession sometimes generated negative reaction and feeling toward each other, It can also be stressful for the staff and likely the patient will suffer in other words, patient quality of care will be compromise when these handoffs of tasks occur, due to overwork.

Continuous disputes in the work place can affect the staff can be physically and mentally drain due to continuous disputes in the This can have an impact on the staff’s attitude regarding the work environment an increase turnover and callout rates.

The three different types of conflict for healthcare professions are individual, interpersonal, and intergroup/ organization. Effective resolution of conflict requires an understanding of the cause of the conflict. However, some conflicts may have more than one cause. Individual conflict occurs when there is a misunderstanding among staff regarding one or more of their role expectations. There are some common and problematic type of conflict that experienced in the workplace that involved interpersonal conflicts”. Interpersonal conflicts sometimes occur due to team differences in opinions, personalities or even different personalities. Intergroups occurs between when groups or teams which may lack the understanding of the purpose of teams, and there is no leadership within a team to provide the best possible patient care, healthcare professions need to learn how to deal with conflicts and come to a resolution effective collaboration and communication should be used to tackle the issue at hand. There are many ongoing conflicts in my facility. Some of the occurring issues occurs between nurses, CNA, day shift and night shift. Individual conflict can increase the level of stress for other members of the team where there is a miscommunication of roles and is seen a lot in the work place.

The stages of conflicts are divided into four stages. According to Finkelman (2016), Latent conflict stage is the first stage in the development of conflict; in this people sometime not aware that they are in conflict. In this stage, the conflict has not actually occurred, it’s an anticipation of conflicts, the conditions are present that are about to set the stage for conflict to happen.

Next is the perceived conflict Stage this is when the everyone involved in the conflict is fully aware that there is conflict. Such as the nurses on the night shift that noticed the dressing changes task is being handed off frequently instead of the day shift completing the task. Within the observation stage the nurse is aware and has become more cautious of the situation even though they haven’t said anything. Felt conflict begins to occur when individuals begin to have feelings about the conflict such as anger or anxiety, if the conflict progresses to this stage the original conflict must be resolved, and the personal feelings and emotions should be resolved as well. Development of emotions regarding the conflict, such as anger and stress, this is the third stage, this stage can often lead to avoidance. At this point the nurse overwhelm and frustrated with all the dressing change that has been push over to the night shift.

The last stage is Manifest, in this stage the conflict is observable to other members of the team. staff realize there is an issue, but the issues has been ignored. “This conflict can either be constructive or destructive.” Verbal exchanges constantly occur between staff about the issue at my facility, this behavior can be got positive response or a negative response. The negative response aspects are avoidance and negative comments. A positive response is that the problem maybe solves and unity among team members. This is when management must get involve and find a solution to the problem. Within this stage the goal is personnel growth from a conflict.

Nurses have been socialized to avoid conflict. I have seen many nurses who have ended up quitting their jobs instead of trying to resolve conflicts that happened between them and another coworker. Even though avoidance seems like a way out of a complicated situation, it will not solve the conflict. Avoidance should not be used as a conflict management strategy because it will produce unsuccessful results and will only postponed the problem. Second stage helps to focus on the current situation it also discusses behavior that is at present, third stage is telling someone how you feel keep the conversation open rather than focusing it only on the other person. With these strategies it can help promote open discussion and allow other perspectives to be explored. Both shift of nurses can come together in a meeting and voice their opinions and wishes. Staff involved should be able to identify what the conflict and deal with it accordingly.

Management has the responsibility to create safe environments that protects patients and nurses from inappropriate assignment activities or tasks that will cause conflicts to staff or harm to the patients ( ANA). With unsafe task a negative outcome can be the resulted such as poor patient outcomes If the pressure ulcer dressing is not change accordingly, and staff delayed infection can occur. With open communication and by identifying the goals and objectives from both parties involved the nurse manager can find a solution and what’s best to resolve the conflicts before it escalate. New avenues can be explored, and unexpected solutions can occur. Whatever solution the nurse manager implemented will determines how successful each shift will be. During discussion with the nurse leader the dressing changes should be brought up in the meetings to see what can be done. The nurse leader should conduct the meeting without been biased, listening to all views equally without been judgmental. Managers are expected to follow up. When the following meeting occurs, the focus should be on previous conflicts and whether it has been resolved completely.


Whenever handling a conflict each person should identify how each can come to an agreement and collaborated to come to a solution so the tension in the perceive stage can be avoided can help prevent the conflict from getting out of control. With effective communication conflicts can be identified and addressed appropriately that is the only way to resolve conflict. A conflict cannot be resolve without knowledge of what the conflict is. Avoiding a conflict is not ideal for a therapeutic relationship and if left unsolved can eventually cause a negative response. These patients in this scenario can be affected due to differences of opinions and delay in treatments. As a nurse I have work both shifts, each shift has its own challenges. Whatever the agreement is will be determined how the conflict will be resolved. Avoidance was a technique used in this scenario, but avoidance didn’t help the situation, with collaboration staff can see what the conflict is and arrive at a solution. Teamwork helps prevent overworking of staff and promotes positive patient outcomes. Avoiding conflict can be difficult because some conflict is unavoidable.

03 December 2019
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