Conflict management in Health care

Conflicts are the order of the day in teamwork activities. People cannot work independently all the time at one point; they interact with others and work as a group for the production of effective services or goods. Different individuals have differences in values, attributes basis, rules, meanings, perceptions etc people‘s diversities make interactions between individuals complex thus providing an opportunity for conflicts (Jameson, 1999).

Since civilization, many researches and scholars have concentrated on studying conflicts in the society and how conflicts could be managed (Hill, 2001) formal studies in the role of conflict in society began in the eighteenth century. Scholars found we that conflict could not be separated from social culture and that it could be used to bring unity among groups of people (James, 1994)

As the person in change of an emergency team in a hospital where one of the nurses administers the wrong dose of medication to a patient which provokes a second nurse want to write-up the first nurse immediately, I have to take immediate measures in a bid to prevent the conflict from getting worse and also to assist the patient who requires immediate help. Hospitals are humanistic institutions and some of the principle s governing doctors, clinical officers, nurses and any other hospital staff team work conduct and behaviour are geared to the best interests of the patients (Bar-Simon ,Tov Y, 2003)

In this particular situation, as the leader of the nurses, I would mange the conflict openly and quickly by directly approaching the two nurses. In this case, I would not spend much time interrogating the two nurses on the reasons as to why they are conflicting. I will employ the bargaining process of solving conflicts. First, I will stop the second nurse from wanting to critique and report the first nurse who administers the wrong medication to the patient. Thus, I will collaborate with the nurses in a bid to assist the patient. I will then mediate between the two nurses and counsel them on the importance assisting each other in teamwork (Green &Taber, 1980)

As the leader, I will mediate between the two nurses so as to know the type of wrong medication, which was administered to the patient. I will also learn about the right medication, which was recommended for the patient. Since I am not a specialist in recommending medication, for patients I will call upon a doctor who will examine the patient’s progress and detect whether the drug administered has the potential to affect the patient’s health (Payne, 1982)

If the medication is harmful to the patient, I will order the nurses to administer neutralizers to the patient, if the doctor or clinical officer. Gives the prescription. I will also see to it that the two nurses collaborate in assisting the patient and that they use their differences in opinions and views as a tool is encouraging good communication and understanding between them. This is all in the normal conflicts of life in interpersonal relationship. This is because conflicts can be a source of creativity as well as destruction if the conflict is not proacted upon instead of being reacted to (Lister, 1984)

In conclusion, I will use the eminent conflict as a means to prevent any further conflict between the two nurses by enforcing collaboration between the two in assisting the patient and ensuring that although a mistake has being committed; it can be corrected by applying teamwork and teamwork principals.


Bar-Siman –Tov Y. From Conflict Resolution to reconciliation. Oxford University Press NY 2004 Greene J, Burleson O. Handbook of Communication and Social Interaction Skills. Net Library Inc. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Mahwah NJ:45-48, 2003

Green SG, Taber TD. The effects of three social decision schemes on decision group process. Organizational Behaviour and Human Performance 25: 97-106, 1980

Hill. Eighteenth – century anticipations of the sociology of conflict: The case of Adam Ferguson Journal of the History of Ideas 2001 April 62 (2): 281-299

Jameson J. Towards a comprehensive model for the assessment and management of intraorganisational conflict: Developing the Framework. International Journal of Conflict Management 10 (3): 268-95, 1999

Lister L. Role expectations of social workers and other health professionals. Health and Social Work 1984; 5:41-9

Payne M. Working in Teams. Macmillan. London 1982