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Leadership Theories and Nursing Resolutions, Coursework Example

Pages: 1

Words: 1039

Coursework

Introduction

Conflicts between nurses are commonplace across many departments and organizations. The stressors of the daily routine, patient needs, managerial expectations, and other factors play a role in contributing to different types of conflict in the nursing work environment. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the dimensions of conflict resolution and how these factors impact nursing productivity and quality of care. Therefore, it is important to identify the challenges associated with nursing conflicts and to provide specific examples that will demonstrate the importance of resolving these conflicts in an effective manner so that patient care is not compromised and relationships in the workplace setting are not strained in any way.

Analysis

Nurses who experience conflicts in the workplace often face unique challenges that are difficult to manage without the intervention of leaders to mediate these situations and to address challenges within the dynamics of these relationships (Hohne, 2006). Therefore, it is essential to develop strategies that will facilitate mediation and positive outcomes. In one recent example, two nurses engaged in a heated argument at the nurse’s station at the shift change in regards to the notes provided in a patient’s medical record. At the time of the exchange, the nurse whose shift was ending had experienced a difficult encounter with a patient’s family member earlier in the day, which led to her poor mood and demeanor. In this instance, the patient’s family member unnecessarily interrogated the nurse regarding a procedure which was routine and for which no problems were identified. However, the stress of this situation earlier in the day led to the nurse’s foul mood and lack of concentration for the remainder of her shift. As a result, she made a minor and correctable yet important error in another patient’s chart. When the shift change occurred and the evening nurse was obtaining the shift change report, she recognized a questionable comment in a patient’s chart, and addressed the comment directly with the day shift nurse. In response to what she perceived as an interrogation, the nurse quickly became defensive and argumentative with the evening nurse. The exchange became heated and loud rather quickly, so the nurse manager, who was standing about ten feet from the nurses, stepped in to intervene. She was able to stop the argument rather quickly and when she asked what was going on, she was able to recognize that there appeared to be somewhat of a misunderstanding regarding the information provided in the chart. The day shift nurse had inadvertently written a comment that was incorrect in the patient’s chart, but instead of explaining it to the other nurse, her defensiveness took over and a small issue became a rather large one. Therefore, the nurse manager called both nurses into her nearby office and asked them to explain the situation from their points of view. The nurse manager determined that the day nurse had made a minor error in the chart but that it had or would not impact the patient’s care. Nonetheless, actions of the evening nurse were appropriate because her concerns were legitimate. The nurse manager was able to resolve the conflict without much difficulty, the nurses apologized, and both were given a verbal warning not to argue in public under any circumstances in front of patients, their families, and other nurses in the future.

This particular example demonstrates that nurses face critical challenges throughout their daily roles and responsibilities that may often lead to stressful situations. Nurse leaders must take responsibility for using their knowledge and expertise in these situations in order to prevent further harm from taking place that could impact quality of care and nurse-to-nurse relationships. This is best achieved through an understanding of how nurses respond to conflict as a result of their own experiences and cultural identities, which may have a significant influence on their professional careers (Shapiro et.al, 2006). Under these conditions, it is possible for nurses to experience situations where they are beyond their comfort zones and subsequently participate in unnecessary conflicts that could otherwise be prevented (Shapiro et.al, 2006). In this capacity, nurse leaders must be effective in their ability to mediate conflicts and to develop solutions that will be mutually beneficial for all parties (Toomey, 2009). These contributions will encourage nurses to be more effective communicators and to recognize their weaknesses so that they are able to minimize conflicts and reduce the potential for serious tension and conflicts within nursing environments (Toomey, 2009). Nurse leaders, in turn, must demonstrate effective leadership styles and work collaboratively with their colleagues in order to establish environments that are conducive to high quality care and treatment at all times (Cummings et.al, 2010). The contributions made by nurse leaders will have a positive and meaningful impact on other nurses and the patient care experience as a whole (Cummings et.al, 2010).

Conclusion

The development of effective tools to mediate and minimize conflicts is a critical component of nursing leadership in the modern era. With the stressors of nursing roles and responsibilities, along with the challenges of daily living, it is more important than ever to establish work environments that support nursing growth and role development while reducing the potential for conflicts. However, when these situations occur, it is the responsibility of knowledgeable and experienced nurse leaders to make decisions that will have a positive impact on these nurses and that will provide positive outcomes for their patients without disrupting the quality of care that is offered. Nurse leaders must utilize work styles that will have a positive impact on their fellow nurses and that will encourage them to discuss concerns as best as possible to avoid conflicts and to reduce any potential impact on patient care and related outcomes.

References

Cummings, G.G., MacGregor, T., Davey, M., Lee, H., Wong, C.A., Lo, E., Muise, M., and Stafford, E. (2010). Leadership styles and outcome patterns for the nursing workforce and work environment: a systematic review. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 47(3), 363-385.

Hohne, K. (2006). The principles of leadership. Journal of Trauma Nursing, 13(3), 122-125.

Shapiro, M.L., Miller, J., and White, K. (2006). Community transformation through culturally competent nursing leadership: application of theory of cultural care diversity and universality and tri-dimensional leader effectiveness model. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 17(2), 113-118.

Toomey, A.M. (2009). Guide to nursing management and leadership. Mosby Elsevier.

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