The conflicts that arise within our lives must be dealt with unless we want to see havoc caused in our workplaces and in our lives in general. This paper will describe situations and strategies in which conflict can be resolved. Hopefully, through this we can see proper resolution and problem solving take a sharp upturn and conflicts will be solved more effectively.
The most recent conflict, we have experienced in my department is our Emergency Department new policy with reporting off to the floor. Precisely as a nurse on the floor when I have new admission the ER nurse will call the floor asking for the receiving nurse and give her a report after the transporter will bring the patient into the room. Then they change it to where a phone report only you receive an SBAR with the patient for the nurse and give a telephone report. As of March 2018, another new process has begun. The ER nurse will not call report or send an SBAR as a receiving nurse you will do your own research on the computer about the patient. The ED will send the patient when they see in the system the room is ready. The main idea behind this is that the ER nurse is busy to call report or print an SBAR since we have the same system we can print the SBAR when the patient gets upstairs on the floor. All of us knew that the key to providing patient centered care and safety stay for the patient is communication and collaboration between team members According to Finkelman (2016). To collaborate effectively, each individual need to recognize the perspective of others who are envious. The issue with our ER’s latest policy is the receiving nurse is all the time busy with her seven patients to do any research or look upon the about the patient before he gets on the floor. It is really embarrassing when you ask the patient about his medical problem and history and he answers Did the other nurse did not tell you? I already told her everything, do I need to repeat myself? This shows to the patient that the nurses did not have communication with each other, which isn’t comforting.
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The issue at hand is currently detrimental to all parties involved. This is because there is a direct tie between the fact that patients often have to repeat themselves when asking questions and their general sense of lack of safety. This stems from the fact that oftentimes nurses are very busy and are switching between floors without giving a report from ER. This leads to patients having to repeat themselves to the new nurses that they are handed off to on the new floor and since there is a lack of communication that means that these patients have a feeling that they are not being heard as they just told another nurse what was wrong and then have to re-describe it because the new nurse has no information about the patient from the old nurse.
This also stems into what exists that is wrong with the patient. Because there are no reports coming from some ER nurses, the new nurse has to completely reassess this patient and has to talk to them about treatment methods all over again. The presence of a report would lead to this not being a problem as the diagnoses would already be there and then there wouldn’t be a problem with it but since there is no report this problem persists. Finally, without the report the treatment method is disputed or changed which also leads to a sense of discomfort in the patient and chaos that does not need to happen.
The type of conflict that my Unit is currently experiencing is an intergroup/organizational conflict. According to Finkelman (2012), an intergroup or organizational conflict is one that occurs between groups such as units, departments, agencies, organizations. ER send in the patient without a report falls into this category.
There are four main stages of conflict resolution: latent, perceived, felt, and manifest stages (Finkelman, 2016). The stages of conflict resolution start with the latent stage which begins with a lack of communication. This is described as the time in which there is a rising tension within the area and causes stressed out workers and increases the danger of a workplace for the patient. This is also first shown in the bedside report when we entered with a sense of foreboding, the tension of the situation was very heavily felt by all of us there. This lack of communication stems from all sectors and working facets of the workplace and this tension can lead to more miscommunication and therefore lead to dangerous situations caused by the staff at the expense of the patients.
The second stage, perceived, is based on the idea that a conflict has been recognized and therefore can now be addressed. This is true in many forms within the workplace. The perception of the conflict extends past the idea of the conflict first appearing as it causes enough to notice for people to recognize the problem. In the bedside report, the fact that it no report giving and no communication between team member lead to the recognition that this conflict truly does exist and therefore must be addressed for the sake of patient service. These problems can be solved if the ER use the same computer charting systems as the other floors which can eliminate the lack of communication.
The third stage that can be analyzed as the felt stage. This is the stage in which there is a problem that is obviously present and is currently causing anxiety and stress amongst the works and often puts others against each other as the conflict rises within the workplace. This stems from the consistent act of something happening, such as the bedside report problem not happening once or twice but dozens of times and on a consistent basis. The problem with this stage is that often times conflicts may have more than one cause (Finkelman, 2012, p.361). Electronic devices being used can also help in these situations because they can help establish the source of the problem and unify the staff against a single issue.
Finally, the manifestation stage of conflict ends the stages of the conflict. Whether or not it is helpful or not is based on what the staff gets from the resolution of the conflict. Whether or not a solution is found, or the problem expands is up to the people who are resolving the conflict. This is important for the welfare of the patient and perhaps the most important overall point as it not only means the health of the patients that are in the hospital right now but also the health of future patients and the overall structure of the staff and what it means for the overall way in which the hospital works and its effectiveness.
One of the most popular and easiest ways in which to solve problems within the workplace is through teamwork and conflict resolution through that means. This is one of the ways in which there can be a conflict that has a resolution that does not lead to division in the workplace as it leads to group problem solving and allows for compromise. This is predicated on the idea of team leaders taking initiative. There must be protocols and other forms of conflict control in place in order to make sure that there is the fair and equitable use of ideas and problem solving within the workplace and in the environment that we create. To be open to change a certain space, the team leaders must be willing to have open and direct communication with their team (Brown, Lewis, Ellis, Stewart, Freeman, & Kaspersky, 2010). These can all be used in conjunction with team building to lower the chances of conflict arising in the first place.
The delegation is not the issue involved with the report. There are areas within the reports in which nurses could be clearer in delegation and how that affects the people on his or her floor as well as the structure of the reports, however, there does not seem to be a problem in the actual delegation and those that do exists are minimal at best. There are often times in which nurses properly delegate the tasks that are important and need to be done on time to their techs and other nurses. However, despite this, there are still a few instances in which the nurse could have been clearer however this does not seem to be the main issue that is present, and it is often not a consistent issue and the source of the conflict within the workplace.
The importance of team collaboration can be seen in the fact that it is proven to be the best way at conflict resolution as well as conflict prevention. This starts with collaborating with those who are above you and making sure that there is a structure in which there is a possibility for healthy collaboration which leads to a productive workplace and a healthy place for the patients. Next, we need to address our peers in order to make sure there is a workplace in which collaboration is possible and serves the patients best. Finally, we must look at ourselves in order to make sure we are looking for collaboration whenever the conflict starts and stop the conflict and resolve it in a way that makes sure that there is a positive system within our environment in the workplace for ourselves our peer and our patients.
In conclusion, while there are problems with all systems and sometimes people need to work with themselves and work with the people around them, there is an overall acceptance of the idea that for things to be resolved people need to work together. Not only Is it seen in the bedside report but also in other reports that we see all over. It is important for compromise to exist in the workplace and for there to be systems in place in order for there to not only be conflict resolution but also conflict prevention in the future. This has taught me the ways in which we can seek a resolution to a conflict in a safe and productive way for everyone, especially for the patients, but also ways to prevent problems like these from arising and if they do arise to make productive solutions to them and find solutions that can be applied in the future.
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