Workplace conflict is inevitable, especially for nurses. Nursing jobs are difficult and working in the medical field can be extremely stressful. The hours are long, the shifts can be strenuous and you need to be ready for an emergency at the drop of a hat. It’s only a matter of time before someone has a bad day and tensions begin to rise.
Conflict will happen, and sometimes it’s even necessary. If there is a problem, it’s better to get it out in the open before tension starts to build or a problem occurs. However, as a nurse it’s important to remain calm and always have control of whatever situation you are in. Not only is the reputation of your hospital on the line when you slip up, but so is the health and wellbeing of your patients.
Use these six steps to effectively deal with work conflict as a nurse.
1 Avoid Conflict Around Patients
Patients are having a hard enough time in a hospital that they do not need the added stress and negativity of witnessing conflict between nurses. It puts them in a difficult situation and gives them a negative impression of your medical facility as a whole.
If you notice two nurses starting to quarrel near a patient, remind them that a patient is in the room and tell them that they can have the conversation somewhere else or at a different time.
2 Don’t Ignore the Conversation
You spend too much time at work to ignore the issue. This is why it’s important to have a conversation with your co-worker face-to-face to explain each side of the situation. A moderator is a good idea to get an outsider’s perspective of the situation and to keep things from getting personal.
3 Focus on Actions Not Personality
When you have your conversation, it’s important to stay focused on actions and moments as isolated incidents and not generalizations about your co-worker’s personality. Personal attacks or generalizations will only exacerbate the workplace conflict.
4 Listen Carefully
Don’t get too caught up in your side of the discussion that you neglect to hear why your co-worker has an issue. Even if you feel wronged, listening to your co-worker will only help you to properly address their concerns.
5 Clearly Establish the Areas of Conflict
By pointing out and agreeing upon the areas of conflict, you clearly establish what needs to be remediated.
6 Create a Plan for Remediation
It may be as simple as having a conversation that gets both parties on the same page, but for more serious issues, it’s important to create a plan that will effectively remediate workplace conflict and stick to it. You may have to request another shift or find a different clinic entirely.
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