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Conflict Between Medical Professionals

A Conflict of Values

Everyone knows that all spheres of human activity are connected to both positive and negative experiences. People working together may have different opinions on a certain issue that is considered to be important within the field; as a result, such a situation may become a reason for a conflict. There are different approaches used to classify the conflicts but one of the things that I believe to be the most important is the influence that the conflict can produce on its participants. In this paper, I would like to discuss the conflict that can be regarded as extremely dangerous as it can produce a negative influence even on those people who bear no relation to the situation. Speaking about conflicts, it is necessary to give special consideration to ones that occur in the fields connected to people’s business. Nursing belongs to the number of the most important spheres of human activity; conflicts that happen between medical professionals are especially dangerous as they may affect the quality of patient care.

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I have observed a lot of conflicts between health care providers during my practical training in one of the hospitals. Nevertheless, I would like to discuss one of these conflicts that happened between a chief executive of our hospital and one of the nurses whose responsibilities were primarily connected to taking care of the patients in critical condition. I believe that there were a few causes of the conflict. Apart from the fact that the hospital chief executive was dissatisfied with the quality of the nurse’s work, there was a kind of personal animosity between them (but none of my co-workers knew the reason for this situation). Speaking about the type of conflict that I am discussing, the situation was not a conflict between two people having equal rights within an organization. Instead, it was an example of a value conflict between the leader and the follower, and such detail makes the situation complicated (Dunn, Callahan, Farnsworth, & Watkins, 2017).

As far as I know, the conflict between these two people has started about a year ago when they voiced different opinions on the importance of new equipment for the hospital. After that, their abrasive relationships seemed to be almost imperceptible. Nevertheless, people were speaking about certain enmity between them. During that particular conflict that I am talking about, the nurse and the hospital chief executive were discussing the matters related to ethical issues that occur during the work with the patients who are in critical condition. Taking care of one of the patients who had serious health issues that could be connected to his vicious habits, the nurse told him that he had to blame himself for everything that had happened to his health. The hospital chief executive was nearby, and she managed to hear this short conversation.

As I noticed, she was very angry; she entered the room and started shouting at the nurse, and the latter was trying to defend her point of view. As it was clear from the conflict, the hospital chief executive believed such a way to speak to the patients to be inappropriate for the professional health specialist. She also added that such behavior was an obvious sign of tactlessness and unwillingness to understand the needs of the patient. As for the nurse, she was trying to say that she knew the details of that particular situation, and the patient was in such terrible condition because of his inability to give up smoking. According to the nurse, she said that it was the fault of the patient to attract his attention to the severity of a problem and motivate him to become more conscious when it comes to health. After a few minutes of a bitter dispute, the participants of the conflict had to leave the room to continue work. Despite all their arguments, the conflict was not resolved.

Conflict at Work and Its Stages

There are many opinions on the development of conflicts. According to one point of view, there are four stages of the conflict. The first stage or latent conflict was before the particular situation that I discuss. The conflict between these people was latent when they misunderstood each other about one year ago. That case was not connected to work but it also contributed to the situation that happened later. The second stage or perceived conflict took place when they noticed that their attitudes to life and work were extremely different. After that, there was the third stage or felt conflict when the hospital chief executive entered the room where the patient was. In the end, I was observing a manifested conflict when the hospital chief executive started inappropriately expressing her thoughts. Due to that, it can be stated that this conflict had a certain history, and this is why it was so severe. As for the issues connected to the delegation, I believe that this very conflict had nothing to do with such a situation.

Conflict Resolution

There are a few strategies that can be used to improve the situation and put an end to the conflict. Speaking about specific approaches to resolving the conflicts within the field of nursing, Sexton and Orchard (2016) mention a necessity of special training for health professionals that would allow them to be more effective at problem-solving. I suppose that this method can be extremely important in the discussed situation as it is obvious that both professionals lack knowledge allowing them to avoid conflicts. To continue, Gilin Oore, Leiter, and LeBlanc (2015) claim that conflict skills that are so important can be shaped with the help of group work with the members of the staff.

I believe that this strategy can be important; being urged to fulfill certain tasks together, two sides of the conflict will have to reach a compromise. According to Markhgeim, Novikova, Tichinin, and Tonkov (2015), managing the conflicts within organizations is a process that involves defining the causes of the conflict, teaching the members of the team to choose and apply the best solutions, and teach them how to develop appropriate personality traits to successfully manage conflicts at work. This approach seems to be the best as it involves both measures to prevent and stop the conflict. In the end, I can try to collaborate with a chief nurse to develop an informed decision; such an experienced specialist will help me to see the situation in its true colors. Working together, we will be able to develop an appropriate strategy for decreasing conflicts in the hospital.

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In the end, even though I am not a participant in this conflict, it has become an important experience for me. To be more precise, it illustrates the worst way to resolve the conflict; the participants did nothing to prevent it although they both knew that it was going to continue. Conflicts never end if you are a part of human society but this situation encouraged me to have a fresh look at the conflicts at work, and I can implement this knowledge in the future.


Dunn, R., Callahan, J. L., Farnsworth, J. K., & Watkins Jr, C. E. (2017). A proposed framework for addressing supervisee-supervisor value conflict. The Clinical Supervisor, 1(1), 1-20.

Gilin Oore, D., Leiter, M. P., & LeBlanc, D. E. (2015). Individual and organizational factors promoting successful responses to workplace conflict. Canadian Psychology/Psychologie canadienne, 56(3), 301.

Markhgeim, M. V., Novikova, A. E., Tichinin, S. V., & Tonkov, E. E. (2015). Modeling of the process of organizational conflicts management. International Business Management, 9(6), 1169-1172.

Sexton, M., & Orchard, C. (2016). Understanding healthcare professionals’ self-efficacy to resolve interprofessional conflict. Journal of interprofessional care, 30(3), 316-323.

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