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Conflict Management (Nursing)

by Christy Davidson

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    00:00 Welcome back everyone. Nursing and healthcare professionals encounter challenges and difficult situations daily. Even in an effort to work together for the common goal of improved patient outcomes, sometimes people have different perspectives where they disagree. One skill necessary to minimize possible issues is conflict management. Conflict is a clash or struggle that occurs when a real or perceived threat or difference exist in the desires, thoughts, attitudes, feelings, or behaviors of 2 or more parties. Before we begin, it's really important to note that conflict is not always a negative thing. Sometimes conflict can be constructive or beneficial because during conflict you're exposed to and possibly open to different perspectives, it can improve decision quality, it can stimulate creativity, encourage interest, provide a forearm to release tension, and it can also foster change. Now, conversely, conflict can have a destructive effect as well.

    01:03 When people are not open to different perspectives, conflict can constrict communication, decrease cohesiveness, it can actually explode into fighting sometimes, it can hinder performance. Now, bullying and disruptive behavior are the escalation of conflict into what we call dysfunctional behavior. It's usually ongoing, escalates over time, and it's cumulative in the effect on patients, staff, and the organization. Now there are various and sometimes overlapping terms for disruptive behaviors in healthcare. You might see terms such as abuse, bad behavior or bullying, covert abuse, horizontal or lateral violence, incivility, interactive workplace violence or trauma, nonverbal or verbal abuse, over abuse, psychological violence, toxic behavior, vertical violence. Now disruptive behavior in the workplace is shown to have a significant negative effect on individuals and on patient care and safety and it can undermine the organization itself. It's imperative that management of conflict occurs as soon as the conflict is recognized. Before we discuss effective ways of dealing with conflict, let's discuss ways that don't work. Avoiding and withdrawing. Avoiding emerges when a person recognizes that conflict exists but they want to withdraw from it or they want to suppress it. Competition. Competition occurs when one person seeks to satisfy his or her own interest regardless of the impact on the other parties in the conflict. Accommodating others.

    02:44 Accommodating results when 1 party seeks to appease the opponent. That party is really willing to be self-sacrificing. Now let's talk about methods that do work. Clearly, collaboration and open communication are effective, compromise and negotiation, and finally mediation. Mediation is where maybe both parties might not quite see eye to eye but it does take a 3rd person coming in to get the perspectives of both parties and help them reach a resolution. So let's look at this example. Pat is a nurse manager for the operating room of a small local hospital. Jane, the day shift charge nurse and Nancy the off going night shift charge nurse disagree over staffing and assignments for the day. Pat speaks with each nurse individually to gain an understanding of the issue.

    03:31 Which method of conflict resolution is Pat demonstrating? Is it competition, collaboration and open communication, accommodating others, compromise and negotiation, mediation or avoiding and withdrawing? If you selected mediation, you are correct. Pat spoke with both nurses individually to get their sides of the story and help them come to a resolution of the conflict. So remember, conflict resolution is an essential element of a healthy work environment because a breakdown in communication and collaboration can lead to increased patient errors. So in picking of what we've covered today, I'd like you to consider this question. What are the constructive or potential benefits of conflict? It improves decision quality, stimulates creativity, it encourages interest, provides a forum to release tension, and it definitely fosters change. I hope you've enjoyed today's video on conflict management. Thanks so much for watching.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture Conflict Management (Nursing) by Christy Davidson is from the course Leadership and Management (Nursing).


    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Conflict
    2. Encounter
    3. Contention
    4. Dissension
    1. Stimulation of creativity
    2. Awareness of oppositional forces
    3. Boosts in performance
    4. Release of tension
    5. Improved decision quality
    1. Disruptive behavior
    2. Oppositional antagonism
    3. Contentious hostility
    4. Conflictual discord
    1. Management of conflict
    2. Resolution of the root issue
    3. Termination of the responsible parties
    4. Immediate discipline to prevent worsening antagonism
    1. Frustration, conceptualization, taking action, resolution
    2. Anger, disagreement, formulation of plan, implementation
    3. Discord, compromise, performance, evaluation
    4. Antagonism, concession, decision, assessment
    1. Communicate about the situation with the unit manager.
    2. Avoid the nurse as much as possible.
    3. Try to be a better nurse than the seasoned nurse.
    4. Apologize and accommodate the seasoned nurse.

    Author of lecture Conflict Management (Nursing)

     Christy Davidson

    Christy Davidson


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