In a modern healthcare environment, conflicts present an inevitable part of work since attitudes vary, and misconceptions occur. This course allowed preparing to conflict identification and resolution based on effective communication strategies and understanding critical issues pertinent to a specific misunderstanding case. Ethical conflicts may appear between nurses and patients as well as between colleagues, which requires an APRN leader to consider a range of approaches to find the best solution possible.
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In order to successfully address workplace conflicts, the following essentials of advanced nursing practice should be met: Scientific Underpinnings for Practice (I), Organizational and Systems Leadership for Quality Improvement and Systems Thinking (II), and Interprofessional Collaboration for Improving Patient and Population Health Outcomes (VI). The purpose of this paper is to assess my personal achievements, reflecting on the course discussions, readings, and learning outcomes.
Healthcare is a complex system with a lot of stakeholders, each of which has individual personality, preferences, work and life attitudes, roles, and experience. According to Kourkouta and Papathanasiou (2014), a conflict can be defined as a consequence of perceived variation in actions, beliefs, behaviors, and so on and a dynamic process, preferably leading to positive or negative changes. For example, I faced a conflicting situation, when the staff was given a new evidence-based intervention to be adopted at the workplace, and the majority of nurses were resistant to it since they regarded it as a time-consuming and superfluous innovation (Choe, Kang, & Park, 2015). The case was aggravated by the fact that those nurses who willingly implemented the intervention were criticized by others.
Communication is a vital instrument of addressing conflicts and teaching nurses to handle them in everyday practice. It should be stressed that the effective interaction is likely to minimize the negative and unwanted outcomes, while increasing productivity of difficult situations. The ignorance of conflicts and inability to overcome them leads to job dissatisfaction, high burnout rates, absenteeism, and turnover. Among the key types of conflicts, one may note interpersonal that occurs between two people, intragroup that is characteristic of a group, and intergroup – between several teams (Bambi, Guazzini, De Felippis, Lucchini, & Rasero, 2017).
For example, my experience of the interpersonal conflict between nurses refers to the case when the need for emotional assistance was postponed in favor of physical help. In fact, this situation analysis allowed me to suggest that the proper prioritization of tasks is the possible way to resolve such cases.
During this course, I had the opportunity to explore complexes existing in conflict resolution, one of which is resistance to technology implementation. For instance, it became clear that older nurses may be unwilling to do to due to their established daily routines, feeling of uncertainty, and a lack of knowledge on using electronic health records and other innovations (Gomes, Hash, Orsolini, Watkins, & Mazzoccoli, 2016).
I have learned that transformational leadership can be applied to overcome this resistance, while younger colleagues may help them in mastering computer skills. The described conflict between the nurses and management could have been avoided in case the staff was educated initially, and the culture of openness to new interventions was promoted.
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The disruptive conflict is often a result of bullying between a physician and nurse or between nurses. One of the most common issues occurs when a more experienced nurse treats his or her colleague who graduated from the university and entered the team recently. The improper treatment leads to burnout and unhealthy relationships between them, which also negatively affects patients who tend to wait for their services longer. A lack of attention to each other makes nurses miss the opportunity to work in collaboration and create a motivating environment. Accordingly, negotiations based on empathic listening skills, unconditional positive regard approach, as well as nonmaleficence and fidelity principles are likely to clarify the reasons of a conflict and direct to the ways to resolve it (Cheng, 2015).
For instance, in my practice, I used the tool of negotiation to comprehend the causes behind the reluctance to adopt new care protocols, discovering that nurses had insufficient resources and time constraints. In my point of view, my future career would require communicating with various stakeholders, including the staff, patients, their families, funding organizations, and so on.
Practicum Project Team Mentorship Reflection
The collaboration with my DNP Practicum Project team mentor will help me in preparing to translate theory into practice by formulating strategic goals and selecting proper ways to achieve them. I believe that it will be useful to take this opportunity to be consulted by the experienced professional who can share various situations and their solutions so that I can learn on specific examples to reach my academic goals.
In sum, it seems that I have successfully acquired the understanding of the conflict nature and resolution in the nursing area. I feel that I am prepared to work as a transformational leader in case of the need to find a compromise in a difficult situation, being ethically and legally competent. It is possible to conclude that I acquired relevant strategies, and my reflection shows significant progress towards my professional goals.
Bambi, S., Guazzini, A., De Felippis, C., Lucchini, A., & Rasero, L. (2017). Preventing workplace incivility, lateral violence and bullying between nurses. A narrative literature review. Acta Biomedica, 88(5), 39-47.
Cheng, F. K. (2015). Mediation skills for conflict resolution in nursing education. Nurse Education in Practice, 15(4), 310-313.
Choe, K., Kang, Y., & Park, Y. (2015). Moral distress in critical care nurses: A phenomenological study. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 71(7), 1684-1693.
Gomes, M., Hash, P., Orsolini, L., Watkins, A., & Mazzoccoli, A. (2016). Connecting professional practice and technology at the bedside: Nurses’ beliefs about using an electronic health record and their ability to incorporate professional and patient-centered nursing activities in patient care. Computers, Informatics, Nursing, 34(12), 578-586.
Kourkouta, L., & Papathanasiou, I. V. (2014). Communication in nursing practice. Materia Socio-Medica, 26(1), 65-67.