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Professional Conflict Resolution Skills in Nurses


It is quite hard to imagine a team that consists of members who have no conflicts and whose opinions on important questions are always the same. Nevertheless, there are a lot of ways to resolve the conflicts that occur between the co-workers and mitigate their negative impact on the working performance of the group. There is no doubt that conflicts are a part of the life of teams working in a wide range of fields. Despite the fact, speaking about conflicts at work, it is necessary to pay close attention to those people working in the sphere of healthcare as their inability to come to an agreement with each other may sometimes have negative consequences for the patients who need care and attention (Arnold & Boggs, 2015, p. 455).

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There are a lot of things that may become a reason for conflict between people working in a certain organization. For instance, I have been told about one conflict between nurse and clinic administrator that was related to the fact that they had different opinions on the appropriate and inappropriate behavior of a nurse. To be more precise, the conflict was caused by the administrator’s reaction to a conversation between the nurse and her patient. She was angry because she thought that the patient was careless about his condition and it resulted in deterioration of his state of health. Because of that situation, the nurse read him a lecture, and the administrator heard it. She thought that the nurse was too rude with the patient, and it resulted in a conflict between them.

As for the conflicts, they are usually connected to certain differences in values that can be quite difficult to overcome. Nevertheless, certain rules helping to resolve the conflicts between healthcare providers have been formulated (“CR trainers manual – 12 skills,” 2017). These twelve rules proposed in the manual may be also applied in order to resolve the discussed situation. First, it is necessary to consider the importance of a win-win approach and encourage nurses and administrators to find a solution that would minimize the negative impact of the situation on both sides. Then, I would advise them to use a creative response and regard the conflict as an opportunity to share opinions and come to an important conclusion.

Also, it would be essential for them to remember empathy and listen to each other attentively. What is more, I would tell them to be assertive but not aggressive during the discussion. Then, they would have to unite their effort in order to help each other to make a reasonable conclusion. I would also advise them to manage their emotions and express them in an appropriate manner. Furthermore, they would need to have a desire to resolve the conflict and help each other to get rid of unwillingness to do that. Then, it is important for them to map the conflict in order to understand its goals and reasons. The thing that could also be important is to encourage them to analyze the desired outcomes together and develop the solution that would help to achieve the goal. Another step that would be essential for them is to have a discussion and explain their points of view. I would also advise them to reflect upon each other’s opinions during the discussion and try to see the picture from the perspective of the opponent.


In the end, it is necessary to say that these twelve principles developed by the authors of the manual seem to be extremely important even if applied separately. Speaking about the particular conflict that is described, I am sure that these rules would help to prevent unnecessary arguments.


Arnold, E. C., & Boggs, K. U. (2015). Interpersonal relationships: Professional communication skills for nurses. St. Louis, MA: Elsevier Health Sciences.

CR trainers manual – 12 skills. (2017). Web.

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