How to Apply Effective
Conflict Resolution

How do we apply practical conflict resolution in our workplace?

According to Wikipedia Conflict Resolution is a range of processes aimed at alleviating or eliminating sources of conflict. The conflict resolution processes generally include negotiation, resolution, mediation and diplomacy.

As a unique individual we have our own ideas and ways to resolve a particular subject matter. As a caregiver, everyday we are being exposed to diverse kinds of people with various culture and belief system from patients, managers, co-workers or at times even ourselves.

Hospitals are very stressful place for patients and their support persons. Not to mention the health care team that do their jobs to give quality service for everyone. People look up to you with trust as a professional may you be a caregiver, LPN or an RN.

I remember when I was just starting to work as an RN in the hospital. It was one busy morning shift in the medical cardiology unit. I came in with a doctor’s order to discharge a patient. The family was in early and very excited to take their father home. I realized that the patient is not on home oxygen and his oxygen level drops in room air so I needed to page the doctor for an ABG test to see if the patient will qualify for home oxygen.

Of course I have four other patients to attend to. The ABG result showed that the patient really need home oxygen so I explained to the family that we needed to wait for Medigas to come and give instructions before they can go. I noticed that the family was getting more impatient because of their parking in front of the hospital. It’s almost lunch break and I missed my coffee break already. I was giving medications and assessing my other patients while I multi task to finish my discharge instructions for my patient.

A family member just stepped out of the room, fuming with anger approached the nursing station and asked for the charge nurse. She said that they’ve been waiting for some time and they need to go as soon as possible. The charge nurse called my attention, at that very moment I was expecting that my charge nurse will back me up. Instead, and to my dismay she told me (in front of the family), “What have you been doing? We need to get this done so that they can go home and the next admission is coming pretty soon.” I felt my face parched, my knees wobble a bit and for a moment I gasped for air.

I gathered my self for few seconds and then made it clear to the family that there are things that are not under my control. I was in the middle of explaining when Medigas came and the patient was discharged shortly after that. Finally, I was able to take my lunch. I went out for fresh breath of air and ate my lunch. I spotted my charge nurse approaching and she sat beside me.

It’s a bit awkward at first but then I decide to start the conversation. I made her aware that I didn’t appreciate what she did. My charge nurse looked at me and she said, I know and I am sorry, I was just so stressed out with moving and admitting patients very early in the morning. She added that, “Sherrylyn, at times you need to have an attitude so that people won’t push you around.” After that we became close co-workers.

I learned a lot from that experience, it made me a stronger person and empowered health care professional. As a matter of fact I usually refer that experience to others regarding resolving a conflict.

7 Successful Nurse Qualities

1. ASK for help – you can’t do everything all at once.
(if you’re unsure -just Ask!)

2. Delegate – delegate to your nursing assistants, co-workers or
even to your manager.

3. Team Work – value,and maximize team work,
(you’re NOT alone in this world!)

4. Prioritize – time management and proper prioritizing
comes hand in hand.

5. Critical Thinking – think ahead, ask yourself “Why am I doing this?”
Will this help my patient? “What’s next after this?”

6. Respect – each one of us have something to contribute

7. Relax – don’t be chicken little, being hysterical is a big No No!
because the sky is definitely not falling anyways.

Before You Flare Up,
Keep the following in Mind!

- Don’t try to find out who “started it” Instead work together
to find a solution.

- Attack problems, not people. There should be no winners and
no losers, just a solution.

- Listen to the other person and try to understand his or her concerns without judging. Listen with your heart and then think.

- Tell the other person about your concerns. Start your sentences with “I”, not “You.”

- Especially avoid, “You always,” followed by a recap of past disputes. Focus on the future.

- When you state the problem, follow up with a positive constructive suggestion on how to solve it.

- Know your objective. What do you want the other person to do? How do you want him or her to change behaviour? What are your needs?
Be specific. Be ready to listen and to work on meeting needs.

- Be respectful. Avoid name-calling and inflammatory words. Use language that will lead to a solution of the problem rather than escalate the level of anger.


Bear in mind that the bottom line is *always*
"It's not about YOU, it's about your JOB."

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Conflict Resolution

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Nice work! It’s about time someone from our profession speaks out and do something about the dilemmas and concerns for IEN's here in Canada.
(Haninaduds, Canada)

Valuable knowledge & forums. Very good for students
and even professionals.
(Renee, USA)

Hi... I really like ur site very much. Its the first of it's kind
that I have seen, dedicated solely to nurses and nursing profession. I am from Nepal, a small country in South East Asia. I am a
student nurse awaiting results
of final year of 4 years(BSN). Some of the experiences
that you shared seemed like our own and really touched my heart. I am happy that if I need some guidance, I can contact you, and am sure I'll get positive response. Your site is a blessing to all nurses (and others as well).
Keep up your good work!
(Elisha, Nepal)

These are great nursing prayers.
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Thank you so much for your time and guidance in addressing my concerns. I hope to keep in touch with you until I finally have the chance to work in Canada.
God bless you :)
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of your awesome site!!!
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