Nowadays, conflict is an inevitable part in the social life and it has become the most common issue in organizational settings where people work together (Gultekin, Bayhan, Metin, & Ergeneli, 2011). In addition, it will cause inevitable conflicts in workplace when people’s ideas, decisions or actions are different (Better Health Channel, 2018). In hospital setting, to ensure the delivery of comprehensive patient care, it requires the teamwork approach between the multidisciplinary team to communicate and collaborate together as working as a team can improve patient care (Babiker et al.
, 2014). Furthermore, nurse will always face workplace interpersonal conflict which includes task, information, emotional and relationship conflicts and it will cause the low quality of patient care, increase the rates of medical errors, and higher costs of care (Jerng et al., 2017). To resolve conflicts in healthcare setting, the implantation of the conflict management is important to improve quality of care to patients (Johansen, 2012). In the following, I’m going to use three articles to discuss the effectiveness of conflict management in nursing practice and how does it inspired me in future nursing practice.
First of all, there are several kinds of conflicts in healthcare setting such as intrapersonal conflict, interpersonal conflict, intragroup conflict and intergroup conflict (Baddar, Salem, & Villagracia, 2016). The concepts of conflict management consist of five coping styles including competing, avoiding, accommodating, compromising and collaborating (Leksell, Gardulf, Nilsson, & Lepp, 2015).
Firstly, competing strategy brings a win-lose outcome as it doesn’t allow time to take into account of different perspectives and it is used by people who are authoritative or uncooperative and they are planning to win in the conflict.
It’s rarely a good method for solving the problem in groups. Secondly, avoiding brings lose-lose outcome and it gives a chance for individuals to avoid conflict and confrontation. Thirdly, accommodating brings lose-win outcome that one person sacrifices itself to achieve others’ wishes or request. It’s an effective strategy when individual figures out they’re wrong in argument as it can come as a form of conciliation. Fourthly, compromising brings a fair resolution to all parties as individuals are cooperative and willing to sacrifice what they want. Also, it’s useful strategy when both parties need to submit the same amount of investment to solve the problem. Fifthly, collaborating brings a win-win outcome as both parties aim to involve all parties to find a solution together cooperatively, accept mutual respect and establish effective communication among colleagues to find solutions without compromising their own satisfactions (Evans, 2013).
First, the research conducted by Baddar, Salem, & Villagracia (2016), it stated that conflicts can lead to positive and negative outcomes for nurses, other healthcare workers, patients. In addition, conflicts can seriously affect productivity, quality of patient care, teamwork if they manage conflicts ineffectively. To resolve the conflicts between nurses, doctors and patients, implantation of conflict resolution strategies is effective to resolve the conflict. In addition, to deal with patients, nurses will mostly use accommodating strategy instead of competing to deal with doctors. It shows that nurses choose accommodating strategy as they have high concerns for patients and they’re willing to sacrifice their own needs and achieve patient’s needs. In addition, most nurses have chosen competing strategy to deal with doctor as they don’t want to control by doctor’s dominance anymore. However, it brings about poor communication between staffs and it cannot sustain a harmony working environment. Next, it will seriously affect nurse-doctor relationship in order to affect the delivery of quality of care to patients. However, young nurses will prefer using accommodating strategy as they may have low self-con?dence, decreased commitment to their profession or they think doctors are stronger and more professional than them through conflict. In this manner, nurses will sacri?ce their needs to allow doctors win over the con?ict.
Second, a research conducted by Rubio & Picardo (2017), it has mentioned that leadership styles and conflict management styles are two important concepts in resolving the conflicts and they interact with each other. The most appropriate leadership style of nurse managers are democratic, followed by laissez-faire and authoritative. Most nurse managers with leadership style of democratic will tend to use mixed conflict management styles includes collaborating and accommodating in order to resolve conflicts. In addition, it showed that nurse managers had teamed up with individuals with different views to accomplish the two goals. It can bring a win-win outcome in working environment. Furthermore, the leadership style of authoritative should be avoided in workplace as it may pose certain dangers in organization as members’ views are not accepted by others and it will affect the delivery of patient care.
Third, the journal article wrote by Abd-Elrhaman & Ghoneimy (2018), it has mentioned that conflicts are often caused by differences in opinions, errors in communication, heavy workload and the work environment of physician dominance. In addition, conflict management and communication skills are essential to maintain quality of patient care and patient safety. In this study, it has proved that the effect of conflict management educational program for staff nurses and quality of patient care has a positive highly significant correlation. Furthermore, after the conflict management training program, nurses will tend to use collaborating and avoiding strategy rather than avoiding and competing. It has proved that the conflict management program was effective and nurses learned how to deal with different situations and manage conflict in workplace. Furthermore, it has also proved that nurses learned to work together toward a common goal rather than arguing with colleagues. While preprogram, nurses were trying to avoid any problems leading to conflict and to win with low concern for the other party. Additionally, it is important for hospital leaders and health care providers to work together to develop strategies to manage conflict and improve collaborative relationship among healthcare professionals to affect the quality of patient care.
After integrating all key issues from these articles, it highlighted that conflict is inevitable in the healthcare environment. Conflicts may happen between nurse and patient or nurse and other healthcare workers. To resolve the conflicts effectively, collaborating style is the most suitable conflict resolution strategy. As it can enhance win-win outcomes in the working environment by integrating all parties’ ideas to find a solution together cooperatively and they accept mutual respect. Also, collaborating strategy can create harmony working environment and establish good relationships among staffs and patients. It can facilitate good communication in order to indirectly benefit the delivery of patient care and safety. Alternatively, the challenges found in these articles are different leadership styles and personalities will affect the resolution of conflicts. Also, it is impossible for nurse to choose their managers and colleagues. As some staffs’ personalities are not cooperative and authoritative, they will not give a way to resolve the conflicts with other group members. In addition, nurse managers with different leadership styles will also affect the resolution of conflict as authoritative leadership style will not resolve the conflict effectively as it does not consider group members’ ideas and it cannot establish good relationship and communication among colleagues. Moreover, it will further affect the delivery of patient care and patient safety.
Firstly, using of conflict resolution strategy can establish good interpersonal relationships among staff nurses in order to increase the productivity and efficiency of work in the delivery of patient care (Ibrahim, Mohamed, & EL-Gazar, 2018). For example, if nurses use compromising strategy to resolve conflict, it will make nurses feel fair as all parties are cooperative and they sacrifice what they want together. Moreover, nobody will be treated unfair and everybody will be the same. Nurses will not jealous their colleagues and they can work together cooperatively. Furthermore, if they have good interpersonal relationships among staff nurses, it can improve patient safety and increase patient satisfaction during the delivery of patient care (Burgener, 2017).
Secondly, apart from establishing good interpersonal relationship among staff nurses, it can also create a harmony and collaborative working environment in order to facilitate the delivery of patient care (Overton, & Lowry, 2013). For example, the use of collaborative strategy to resolve conflict among healthcare professionals can bring a win-win outcome as this strategy involves all parties to find a solution together cooperatively and all individuals can communicate effectively as they aim to find the solution without compromising their own satisfactions (Evans, 2013). Moreover, if the individuals feel a sense of trust and respect, they will want to work with colleagues collaborative and build up teamwork in order to facilitate the delivery of patient-centred care.
Thirdly, conflict resolution strategies is effective for delivering the good quality of patient care. As many conflicts are caused by poor communication among colleagues. However, using of conflict resolution strategies can establish good interpersonal relationship between nurses and other healthcare professionals. Also, it can facilitate communication, trust relationship and team performance. Furthermore, good communication can effectively reduce team conflicts and facilitate a high quality of care to patients (Cullati, 2019).
In nurse-patient relationship, as a nurse, I will use the collaborating strategy to resolve conflict with patients as collaborating brings a win-win outcome and it aims to involve all parties to express their opinions in order to find the solution together and it accepts mutual respect to each other (Evans, 2013). For example, nurse can keep asking to understand the patient’s health care needs without arguing, criticizing, defending or judging in order to understand the feelings behind the patient’s behaviour and show respect towards patients (College of Nurses of Ontario, 2018). Furthermore, nurse and patients may develop a sense of trust and respect and it can establish therapeutic relationship between nurse and patients. In addition, good therapeutic relationship can enhance health professionals to navigate their care to patients in order to increase their quality of life (Kornhaber, Walsh, Duff, & Walker, 2016). Furthermore, it can effectively prevent and manage the risk of conflict between nurse and patients.
In nurse-nurse relationship, as a nurse, I will use compromising strategy to resolve conflict among nurses since it brings an acceptable and fair resolutions to all parties as the individuals are cooperative and they are willing to sacrifice what they want (Evans, 2013). Also, it is a useful strategy when both parties need to submit the same amount of investment to solve the problem. Moreover, I think it will be more suitable strategy for nurses in the working environment. Furthermore, poor relationships with colleagues of the healthcare team will affect the delivery of care to patients negatively. In order to resolve conflict among colleagues, nurse can communicate with colleagues to resolve conflict directly instead of avoiding or postponing its resolution and nurse can focus on the behaviours that contribute to the conflict instead of the colleagues personally (College of Nurses of Ontario, 2018).
In nurse-doctor relationship, I will also use collaborating strategy to resolve the conflict as it can allow nurses and doctors to express their opinions to come up the best care plan for patients cooperatively and it accepts mutual respect between nurse and doctor. Furthermore, many conflicts are caused by poor communication among colleagues. So, nurse can collaborate and communicate among healthcare team members, especially between nurses and physicians in order to reduce the misunderstanding and misconception between nurse and other healthcare workers (College of Nurses of Ontario, 2018).
As a student and staff in school and hospital, I always create conflicts with my classmates or colleagues but I don’t have effective solutions to resolve it. After learning the conflict management skills, it made me understand that nobody can escape from conflicts in workplace. Moreover, we should use conflict resolution methods and improve ourselves in order to resolve the conflicts with colleagues, patients or others in workplace. In addition, I found that conflict resolution strategies are very useful in resolving the conflict and I will use collaborating style in dealing problem and conflict with colleagues or classmates as it can bring win-win outcome and can establish good relationship with people. It may effectively increase work productivity and expand my social network. In addition, to improve myself, I will use open body language to show a calm, respectful and attentive attitude and without judging or criticizing during communication. In addition, I will use collaborative personality and competitive personality when working with others to create harmony working environment with people.
To conclude, collaborating strategy in conflict resolution strategies will be the best style in resolving the conflicts in healthcare setting as it can bring a win-win outcome to all parties by involving and integrating all parties’ ideas together cooperatively and they also accept mutual respect. Apart from conflict resolution strategy, communication is also essential for preventing conflicts in order to indirectly enhance the quality of patient care and patient safety. Furthermore, effective conflict resolution strategy and good communication can establish good relationships among colleagues, create harmony and collaborative working environment and deliver the good quality of patient care. Lastly, I hope I can learn from those conflict resolution strategies and communication skills to resolve conflicts in workplace and to provide good quality of care to patient in future nursing practice.
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