I could really use your input...

  1. Hello,

    I am a third semester student in Los Angeles. I have been given the assignment of educating my clinical group on conflict & conflict resolution in terms of nursing practice and its role in leadership and management. Since this is the nursing management forum, I was hoping that a couple of you wouldn't mind giving me some feedback:

    How do you deal with conflict between 2 staff members?

    How do you deal with conflict between staff & patients?

    Which techniques work better for you than others?

    To what extent do you feel conflict between staff members influences patient care?

    Is there any advice that you would give to future nurses regarding conflict and resolution? Is there anything that you wish someone would've told you before you became a nurse?

    Any advice, comments, etc. are greatly appreciated and much valued. Thanks so much!!

  2. Visit calililly profile page

    About calililly

    Joined: Feb '02; Posts: 24
    Pharmacy Technician & 2nd semester nursing student


  3. by   caliotter3
    This is an example of what happened to me. Another nurse went to the boss and complained about me. She had never said a word to me and I had no idea what this was about. The boss called me in and read me the riot act. She said it was up to me to get it straightened out with the other nurse and said if she had to get involved again that I would not like the consequences. She was not clear about what it was that I had supposedly done or not done. Today, as then, I can't tell you the details. I don't remember the interaction with the other nurse. I do remember asking a third party about it. That nurse gave me some input. In retrospect, she seemed to know a great deal about it (in cahoots, friend of complainer). What it boiled down to was that I was a new employee and a new nurse and this was one of the ways that the clique was showing me that they could control me.

    Had I been the boss I would not have handled it that way. (In revious occupation was a first line supvr for almost 30 yrs.) Would have talked to both individuals by themselves to get both sides of story, then had a meeting of both. Tell two people "We are going to resolve this today" and take it from there. Both people would get some kind of mental or written notation about getting along with co-workers. Furthermore would have addressed issue with the person who had an issue with a co-worker who never bothered to tell that person and try to iron it out on her own. Would make it clear to her that "tattle-tale" tactics don't cut it with me.

    If this is an on-going serious problem, try to keep two apart from each other. Also get the supervisor (if there is one) of both involved. She was bypassed in this case.

    Staff and patients--Talk to both separately and try to resolve issue with as little confrontation as possible. If necessary, bring in staff member and have a little session together. If staff member clearly at fault, inform pt that approp action will be taken. If pt at fault, or partly at fault, turn on my diplomacy button. Separately, afterward, if necessary, speak to staff member from the standpoint of "what needs to be done to keep this from happening again". Also inform pt of steps to take for them to formally complain above my head if they are dissatisfied and wish to do so.

    If necessary, make it clear to both staff members that all involved will get approp discip action. If one person only at fault, same. Emphasize getting along and desire to solve probs at lowest level. Do not tolerate person going to boss without trying to resolve issue first. Do not appear to take sides.

    In some instances I have seen where the pts get in the middle, get involved, pass msgs, etc., take part in the conflict, and instigate things. Entire subject very detrimental to pt care. Pts can also get very good at manipulating staff and playing many ends against the middle. Boundaries get violated and sometimes care does not get done or is done poorly b/c of all this turmoil.

    Would tell new nurses to make sure that they do their share to the best of their ability and try to help their buddies. When problems arise, try to solve on own first. Then go to boss. Don't argue back bite back stab gossip etc at all and esp in ear shot of pts.

    Wish someone would have reminded me how catty and petty women can be in the workplace. (Worked with men for 20 yrs, spoiled). Hope this helps.