Nurses are assuming a significant position in this system and its complex transitions. Therefore, as expected, nurses regularly experience conflicts during the course of their work, whether it is during their day-to-day practice or due to larger organizational conflicts. Interpersonal conflicts occur between individuals in the work environment. If two stakeholders are on an equivalent power level, interpersonal disagreements may simply cause irritation and annoyance. However, if one of the stakeholders has some actual or perceived authority over the other, this situation can potentially lead to what is called as conflict (Caplan G., 1964).
This work is a critical reflection of a conflict event in work place that I had experienced. Before going into analysis of that particular event, the process of a conflict and its results needed to be known, since the idea of this reflective article is to explore how a conflict can be managed in practice and why. The incidence that I am going to state involves workplace interpersonal conflict, and this took place in our ward. A female senior nurse found an elderly female patient very upset, complaining about a male physician who had treated the patient in a rude manner. The patient asked for more medicine for her pain, but did not get it, and was told to accept the pain and stop nagging. The patient started to cry, but the physician let the room ignoring that she was hurt with his comments and her pain was real. The nurse confronted the physician about his conduct, and the physician began by trivializing the incident and continued by indicating his disagreement with the underlying organizational policy, and ended with a personal attack on the behaviour of the nurse to a physician.
The stake holders in this scenario are the nurse, the physician, and the patient. It is obvious from the above scenario that there has been incompatible preference ordering between the nurse, the physician, and the patient. This is a situation where the patient has perceived that the physician has frustrated her concern. This is a destructive conflict, since this issue has been amplified, broadly defined with the addition of tangential items, and emotionally charged. When it comes to the nurse and she tries to manage the conflict, it becomes constructive when she confronts the physician to solve the issue between the patient and the physician. Here the same issue is focused and kept at a manageable size. Only peripheral issues that relate to the main point are discussed, and the process of choice is action, rather than a reaction. In contrast to destructive conflict, here when the nurse plans to resolve it, there is no competition and demonstration of power that is constructive. Her discussion with the physician about this issue is characterized by solutions that respond to the needs of all stakeholders in this conflict in an attempt to finding an acceptable solution that may be a compromise or a new one