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Resolving Conflict

Resolving Conflict

Sample Answer 

Resolving Conflict

Frustration among employees is a common occurrence especially when new changes are implemented. This is especially so when new technology is introduced, and nurses have to comply with the new changes (Morris Venkatesh, 2010). Most hospitals are fast adopting the use of hand-held devices (tablets) rather than using patient charts. Tablets are easier to use as they are mobile, contain all the information as regards to a patient, and can hold more than one patient’s information as opposed to having multiple patient charts. Additionally, tablets allow for easy differential diagnoses to be done as a physician can access online information fast. Further, a nurse can quickly go through a patient’s information to check the history of medication given, what treatment is prescribed, among others, which makes it easy, especially during shift handover. Further, the information contained in the tablet is synchronized with the hospital’s main information system and is fast updated with a click of a button (Baig et al., 2015).

Conflict Scenario

While the introduction of tablets was deemed an excellent idea, there was some staff who were getting frustrated by the new change. Some nurses (especially the non-millennial) found navigating through the different tabs during rounds difficult. For example, when the doctor in charge would ask a nurse to open the patient’s e-file on the tablet, moving through the different tabs almost always resulted in fumbling, impatience from the physician, and often time’s confused looks from the patient. Additionally, when a nurse had to do some manual work, such as turning the patient at the request of a physician, often time a nurse would place the tablet on the patient’s bed or table and then forget to pick it up when the physician moved to the next patient during rounds. Additionally, emergency situations would result in tablets left in uncommon places as nurses and staff rushed to attend to patients (such as road accident patients) who were rushed into the E.R. What followed after the rushed situation calmed down was looking for the tablets, a process that was both annoying and time-wasting.

In one particular incident, a nurse (T.R.) was part of the surgical preparation team for a patient going into the theater for a heart bypass. T.R. prepared the patient and had him in his gown. The patient was wheeled into the theater, and as the team waited for him to go under the anesthetic, the attending surgeon asked for the patient’s background history. At this point, the surgical nurse (L.D) reached out to take the tablet that was supposed to be on the stand near the door. However, the tablet was nowhere to be found. After searching for it for close to 3 minutes (at which time the surgeon was getting really angry), she decided to scrub out and went to ask T.R. A back and forth of words ensued where L.D called T.R ‘a careless incompetent rookie’ and T.R reiterating “I am sure the tablet is on the stand you bat-eyed dinosaur, but you wouldn’t know it now would you?” I had to step in and calm the situation, and after a short talk and a recollection exercise, T.R. suggested that perhaps she had placed it on the patient’s trolley as he was wheeled to the theater. Upon checking the trolley, the tablet was found just as she had said.

The Four Stages of Conflict and Application

According to Finkelman (2016), the first stage of conflict is the Latent conflict stage, which is an uneasy peace that exists between the antagonists. The parties to a disagreement are aware of the differences that make them unique though they are insufficient to result in a full-blown disagreement. The second stage is the Perceived conflict stage, where one party is conscious of the fact that the other party will most likely undermine their goals or frustrate them. The third state is the Felt conflict stage, where one party feels the disagreement is on a personal level. In this case study, T.R. felt that L.D. undermined her competence because she was not as experienced as L.D. was in the nursing field. L.D., on the other hand, felt that T.R. was rubbing it in that she was old and needed to give way for younger professionals to take over. The fourth stage is the Manifestation of the conflict, where parties to the conflict engage in behavior that is abnormal and irrational. This can be expressed as withdrawal, sabotage, indifference, overt aggression, or even unusual compliance by parties to the regulations and rules stipulated by an organization. In this case, T.R. and L.D. exchanged words that could have probably escalated into a physical fight had I not stepped in.

Strategy to Resolve the Conflict and Rationale

The case scenario has three issues that need to be addressed. The first is the perceptions of nurses regarding each other as regards the levels of tech-savviness. The second is the efficient use of the tablet. The third issue is the proper handling of tablets. Mobile devices offer a wide array of benefits, but they also seem to be the cause of nurses’ frustration and a source of interpersonal conflict.

To resolve the first issue, the nurses will need to learn to respect each other, and that will require arranging a team-building session. Working as a team facilitates better communication, better patient care, and even better patient outcomes. A culture of respect needs to be fostered as this will result in the nurses becoming more engaged, committed to service, and more collaborative (Leiter et al., 2010). Havens et al. (2010) add that with respect, nurses will display higher resilience, become more innovative, and perform better. A team-building activity session should be organized where nurses will get to interact with each other, talk about the issues they face, and learn new ways of conflict resolution as well as ways of respecting each other. The team building session will aim at helping nurses understand the importance of each one of them in improving service delivery. When nurses find value in themselves, they will find value in others as well (Fapohunda 2013).

The second issue will be resolved through the re-training of the nursing staff (Morath, 2011). The non-millennial staff was finding it difficult to accept and even use the tablets. Re-training will be necessary to emphasize the need to learn how to use the tablets. The training will also emphasize the benefits of using tablets, such as saving time, accuracy, and enhancing patient care. Once the nurses realize the worth of the tablets, they will be in a better position to appreciate their purpose and use them for enhanced efficiency.

The third issue of proper handling of the tablets can be resolved by having a common station at the nurses’ desk where all tablets will be stored. Whenever a nurse reports on duty, such a nurse will get their tablets at the nurses’ station. Additionally, the nurses will be provided with waist strap bags in which they will carry their tablets while making rounds. This means the tablets will be worn by the nurses, which will eliminate the incidences of misplacing them.

In conclusion, this incident has highlighted the need for training staff before implementing new changes. Whenever the staff is adequately prepared for a change, any resistance to the change can be addressed before it goes out of hand. Additionally, fostering teamwork is very critical in ensuring that staff members are not hostile to each other. Lastly, open communication channels should be present in healthcare settings. It allows staff to discuss any challenges they are facing and also brainstorm with colleagues on how to work efficiently while ensuring patients get the best care.


Baig, M. M., GholamHosseini, H., & Lindén, M. (2015, August). Tablet-based patient monitoring and decision support systems in hospital care. In 2015 37th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC) (pp. 1215-1218). IEEE.

Fapohunda, T. M. (2013). Towards effective team building in the workplace. International Journal of Education and Research1(4), 1-12.

Finkelman, A. (2016). Leadership and management for nurses (3rd ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.

Havens, D. S., Vasey, J., Gittell, J. H., & LIN, W. T. (2010). Relational coordination among nurses and other providers: impact on the quality of patient care. Journal of nursing management18(8), 926-937.

Leiter, M. P., Price, S. L., & Spence Laschinger, H. K. (2010). Generational differences in distress, attitudes and incivility among nurses. Journal of Nursing management18(8), 970-980.

Morath, J. (2011). Nurses create a culture of patient safety: It takes more than projects. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing16(3).

Morris, M. G., & Venkatesh, V. (2010). Job characteristics and job satisfaction: Understanding the role of enterprise resource planning system implementation. Mis Quarterly, 143-161.


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Resolving Conflict


The purpose of this assignment is to learn how to identify and effectively manage conflicts that arise in care delivery settings resulting in better management of patient care, including appropriate delegation. You will gain insight into conflict management strategies and develop a plan to collaborate with a potential nurse leader about the conflict and its impact in a practice setting.

Course Outcomes

Completion of this assignment enables the student to meet the following course outcomes.

CO1: Apply leadership concepts, skills, and decision making in the provision of high-quality nursing care, healthcare team management, and the oversight and accountability for care delivery in a variety of settings. (PO2)

CO3: Participate in the development and implementation of imaginative and creative strategies to enable systems to change. (PO7)

CO6: Develop a personal awareness of complex organizational systems, and integrate values and beliefs with organizational mission. (PO7)

CO7: Apply leadership concepts in the development and initiation of effective plans for the microsystems and system-wide practice improvements that will improve the quality of healthcare delivery. (PO2 and PO3)

This assignment is worth 200 points.

Resolving Conflict

Resolving Conflict


  • Read Finkelman (2016), Chapter 13: Improving Teamwork: Collaboration, Coordination, and Conflict Resolution, section on Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, pp. 324-333. Watch tutorial below.
  • Write a 5-7 page paper (not including the title or References pages). Follow APA format. Consult your APA manual, and consider using the APA resources provided by Chamberlain. Cite the course textbook and two scholarly sources.
    Cite the course textbook and two scholarly sources. Scholarly references must be published within the last 5 years, from the Chamberlain library only and must provide the permalink.
  • Review the information provided in our library of how to search for journal articles
    Review the information provided in our library of how to locate and copy a journal permalink
  • You are required to complete this assignment using the productivity tools required by Chamberlain University, which is Microsoft Office Word 2013 (or later version), or Windows and Office 2011 (or later version) for MAC. You must save the file in the “.docx” format. Do NOT save as Word Pad. A later version of the productivity tool includes Office 365, which is available to Chamberlain students for FREE by downloading from the student portal at  Click on the envelope at the top of the page.
  • Observe nurses in a care delivery setting. Identify a recurring conflict with the potential to negatively impact patient care. This should be from your practice setting or prelicensure experiences.
  • Provide details of what happened, including who was involved, what was said, where it occurred, and what was the outcome that led you to decide the conflict was unresolved.
  • REVIEW AND DISCUSS the four stages of conflict as found in Finkelman. IDENTIFY AND EXPLAIN how the stages of conflict relate to the example in your workplace.Do not use direct quotes.
  • Describe how you would collaborate with a nurse leader to reach consensus on the best strategy to deal with the conflict. Besides the textbook, the paper needs to summarize conflict resolutions from two scholarly articles.
  • Describe the rationale for selecting the best strategy.
    Provide a summary or conclusion about this experience or assignment and how you may deal with conflict more effectively in the future.

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