by Holly Hayes
The American Nurse, the official publication of the American Nurses Association, published the article The Art of Engagement: Nurses, ANA work to address conflict. Here is an excerpt:
Engage in conflict? Many nurses would rather head for the hills, or at least down the hall. But at Gundersen Lutheran Health System, nurses are being asked to face conflict head on to create a better workplace and ensure safer patient care.
“In general, nurses would rather avoid conflict,” said Rebecca Inglis, MSN, RN, patient education clinical practice nurse at Gundersen, located in La Crosse, WI. “So we’ve become very adept at creating and doing work-arounds.”
Conflict can stem from a disagreement over a patient’s treatment plan, worker scheduling, or having differing values, for example.
According to Inglis and other nurses familiar with the phenomenon, poor communication is often at the heart of conflict. And that, Inglis said, “puts patients at risk, teamwork at risk, and joy at risk.”