NR 447 Week 3 Conflict Resolution Paper

NR 447 Week 3 Conflict Resolution Paper

“In a state-wide survey of South Carolina nurses on the issue of horizontal violence, more than 85% of respondents reported being victims, with experienced nurses often listed as perpetrators (Dulaney & Zager, 2010).  Wilson and colleagues (2011) also found 85% of nurses had experienced horizontal/lateral violence” (Lachman, V., P. 39).  Nursing can be a very stressful field, especially for new nurses.  They come in with high hopes of making a difference in their patients lives.  They want to learn and perfect the skills they have been practicing in nursing school.  But when they get to the real world many of them are met with the harsh reality that nursing is a cut throat profession with their fellow nurses not wanting to take them under their wings.  This can also be true for nurses who decide to change units or move on to a different organization.  They are met with new teammates who do not want to take the time or may not have the time to help them acclimate them to their new positions.

NR 447 Week 3 Conflict Resolution Paper

In my unit this is sadly what me and other nurses are being met with.  Veteran nurses who are creating an environment that is filled with an uncomfortable feeling.  When you walk onto the unit you can tell that they do not get along.  So, someone new to the unit will feel the tension and may not know who they can go to or trust.  This is an issue that many nurses face and we are trying to resolve to why “nurses eat their young”.  

A reoccurring conflict that I have witnessed in my unit is talking about each other behind the other ones back about how the other nurse does not do their job like they are supposed to.  As a unit, we need to work as a team, so the patients can receive the best treatment.  The nurses do not want to help each other out with minor things as monitoring vitals so a nurse can take a break or attend to another matter.  Everyone feels overwhelmed, but no one wants to help a fellow nurse out who can in return help them out when they need it.

This is not an adequate environment for delivering quality patient care. In order to ensure that the patients are well cared for and feel safe in the facility the staff must work together and show comradery within the group.  If patients see that the staff have issues between them, they may not feel safe and would not want treatment there.  They can see when a staff works well together and are working as a team to make sure the receive the best care as they deserve.  A patient does not want to hear nurses arguing about who is responsible for a patient or how they are not the problem because it’s not their patient.  They want to see that everyone has their best interest in mind.  

NR 447 Week 3 Conflict Resolution Paper

One incident that I have witnessed is when two nurses began to argue in front of the patients because one of them felt that they had a heavier patient load than the other.  She began to argue with the nurse behind the nurse’s station where patients could hear and see them.  She told the other nurse that she needs to take on more patients, even though she was still kind of new, because she is not doing her work for her.  She made her feel like she wasn’t doing her job and she was not working as hard as the other nurses which was not true.  The nurse continued with saying to her that she was not going to carry her and that she is responsible for her patient load and to get herself together.  She was belittling her saying she is a nurse and to act like one.  The nurse was just trying to justify her actions by reminding her that she was new, and she still moves slower than everyone else because she is still trying to familiarize her self with the computer system and patient flow.  The patients watched and were upset at the veteran nurse for talking to the new nurse like that.  The patients know what is going between the staff and can hear and see the disdain some nurses have for one another.

I felt bad for her since I myself am new, still on orientation, have half the patient load and am nervous about this happening to me soon.  This unit haves a reputation of nurses “eating their young”.  They really don’t like orienting incoming nurses, yet they want more nurses for the unit because they feel over worked.  This attitude has led to nurses resigning from the hospital or requesting for transfer to another unit.  “Incivility, bullying, and horizontal/lateral violence are examples of workplace mistreatment that injure individual nurses and the ethical climate of the organization.  When these behaviors are allowed, nurse job satisfaction and even retention are affected” (Lachman, V., P. 41).  This is a cycle that will continue if nurses don’t come together and try to function as a unit and have an environment cohesive to learning.  

NR 447 Week 3 Conflict Resolution Paper

This issue is unresolved and will remain that way until there is a mandatory meeting with the nurses about their behavior and treatment of new staff.  Nurses are not working as a team and the patients can feel the tension between them.  They need to be confronted on this issue in a non-threatening way.  It needs to be addressed in a group setting where ideas and plans can be put on the table, so they can work as a team, some type of team building meeting.  They must understand that they need better communication between them to promote patient-focused care.  “Civility starts with commitment.  When an organization becomes a civil place to work, patients’ needs are met and everyone benefits” (Felblinger, D., P. 20). 

This is an interpersonal conflict that is in the manifest stage because it is destructive behavior that has been going on in the unit for years.  The retention rate is low because nurses become so fed up with the mistreatment that they want to leave right away.  You can feel the tension as soon as you step into the unit.  Its not the most welcoming of places.  The staff argue in front of the patients as well as talk about staff in front of them.  This is a dialysis unit, so these patients are in the facility 3-4 days a week, so they are very aware of the issues.  They see nurses come and go so some do not interact with the new nurses until they have been there for a couple of months first.  It’s a trust issue, they don’t know who will stay.

NR 447 Week 3 Conflict Resolution Paper

Stages of conflict

Latent conflict

This is when someone knows that there is going to be an issue arising or “problems” are coming.  They know that something is going to happen maybe from past experiences or because they can see what problems can occur from the situation.  The nurses on my unit always see a problem or an issue with another nurse at the start of the shift or during shift change.  There is always nurses that do not want to work with another nurse because they don’t like them or the way they work.

Perceived conflict

This stage occurs when someone has recognized that there is a conflict.  There is a problem between people/units that has evolved but not acted on as of yet.  This unit has passed this stage.  The problem has occurred and there is an ongoing problem within the unit from the staff.  Everyone knows what’s happening and no action has been taken so far.  It gets pushed under the rug hoping that it will resolve on its own.

NR 447 Week 3 Conflict Resolution Paper

Felt conflict

This stage of conflict occurs when the person(s) is angry, stressed, and has anxiety over the issue at hand.  The issue has not been spoken on directly, but the tension is felt and its being avoided and there is no one trying to resolve the issue.  The nurses are stressed, and the environment is very uncomfortable.  People are angry with one another and as hard as they try with no success, they try to avoid the person they dislike.  This just leads to a chaotic work environment with people yelling and berating one another.  

Manifest conflict

This is the stage where conflict is either met with a resolution or collaboration of coming together to meet everyone needs or they are unable to come to a mutual agreement where everyone can benefit.  In my unit nurses ignore each other and they feel like its not their problem when another nurse is in trouble.  They avoid each other, argue in front of patients, and talk about one another behind their backs.  It’s a destructive behavior that in my eyes, can be destructive as it may affect patient care. 

I would team up with the nurse leader to implement a combination of accommodation and collaboration to help resolve this conflict.  I would ask the nurse leader to lower the patient load for the precepting nurse, so they do not feel overwhelmed and will be more patient with the new nurse.  I would also recommend that we do monthly team building exercises and monthly meetings to work out issues.  We would have open floor conversations to have ideas of how we can become a better team.  Hopefully we would be able to get to a potential problem before it becomes real.  Also, I would implement staff appreciation to help boost morale rewarding those for helping their fellow teammates.  Working on the team’s morale would help improve patient care because the focus would be on the patient helping each other care for their patients.  The nurses wouldn’t feel overwhelmed because they know their fellow nurse is here to help however they can.

NR 447 Week 3 Conflict Resolution Paper

Combining the accommodation and collaboration strategies would be more effective than using either one alone.  To keep the staff happy, it must be known what each person’s conflicts are or what issues they are encountering.  What can we do to resolve or lessen the problem? Are you able to perform your job duties safely?  Do you feel like you have a good support team?  The collaboration strategy will help connect all the ideas to try meet everyone’s needs to some extent.  When we come together to reach a common goal (how can we achieve the best patient care through teamwork) everyone wins because in the end it’s the patient care that ultimately matters.

Conflict is unavoidable, we are not always going to get along or think the same as our teammates. “Conflict can never be eliminated in organizations; however, conflict can be managed” (Finkelman, A., P. 324) But we must understand or try to sympathize how the other person feels.  Conflict does not always have to start arguments, it can be away to address new ideas and workout issues in an open discussion.  I think we need to apply teambuilding strategies in our unit and also come up with a policy to introducing new nurses to the unit.  We don’t want to scare of our new nurses, we need them to help with the patient load.  So, there should be a mentor program incorporated to help new staff to get adjusted to this busy unit.  We can’t just throw them on the floor and expect them to get acclimated on their own. 

NR 447 Week 3 Conflict Resolution Paper

References

Felbinger, D. M. (2009).  Bullying incivility, and disruptive behaviors in the healthcare setting: 

Identification, impact, and intervention.  Frontier’s of health service management, 25 (4), 13-23.  Retrieved from https:Chamberlainuniversity.idm.oclc.org .

Finkelman, A. (2016). Leadership and management for nurses: Core Competencies for quality 

care (3rd ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson. Chamberlain College of Nursing. (2018). 

Lachman, V. D. (2015).  Ethical issues in the Disruptive Behaviors of Incivility.  Bullying, and 

Horizontal /Lateral Violence.  Urologic Nursing, 35 (1), 39-42.  Retrieved from https://Chamberlainuniversity.idm.oclc.org. 

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