Conflict can be very dangerous among nurses especially when it is not controlled. In the study, “Burnout among nurses in intensive care units, internal medicine wards and emergency departments in Greek hospitals,” Adali and Priami (2002:2) sought to identify the factors that contribute to burnout among nurses. The study used a survey of 233 nurses and compared the levels of burnout syndrome among the selected nurses. Among other findings, the study noted that “ambiguity and role conflict” are one of many factors that contribute to the development of burnout among nurses.
Furthermore, Adali and Priami (2002:2) find that, … nurses of emergency departments showed significantly higher levels of emotional exhaust ion in comparison to nurses working in intensive care and internal medicine units. Role conflict is a dire situation. Kleinman (2008:1) writes that role conflict occurs when there are, …challenges to nurses’ value systems in which moral and ethical beliefs are compromised, …patient care workloads that exceed nurses’ capabilities
…multiplex role systems in which the nurse must manage two or more competing roles, for example, the nurse concerned with the patient’s best interests but also as an employee who must follow hospital policy …interdependent relationships in which the nurse must take into consideration multiple perceptions and expectations of others, managers, physicians, case managers, patients, families, and fellow staff members. Role conflict can be averted. According to Kleinman (2008:1) role conflict among nurses can be prevented via “open communication and joint problem solving between staff and managers.
” However, in the unfortunate event that role conflict occurs, Kleinman (2008:1) writes that nurses are often dissatisfied with their jobs, become frequently absent, show less commitment at work, become psychologically strained, are personally detached from patients, show less professionalism, easily stressed and burnout frequently. Due to these negative effects, it is often wise to prevent role conflict in order to ensure smooth running of nursing care in hospitals. Kleinman (2008:1) refers to the effects of role conflict as “negative employee and organizational outcomes.
” Work-Family conflict Work-Family conflict is a situation where the demands, responsibilities and expectations of nurses in their homes are incompatible with those placed on them at work. It can also occur the other way round, on the home front or at work. According to Medical News Today (2006) a national survey of registered nurses in the United States, finds that 50% report Work-Family conflict because their work in the hospitals interferes with their lives at home.
Due to the work pressure they face in the hospitals, some of them are unable to spend enough time with their families. Grzywacz (2006) in Medical News Today (2006) says that, Work-family conflict has significant implications for nurses in terms of personal health, their ability to provide quality care and for the nursing profession itself In addition to this, Grzywacz et al (2006) took a step further in quantifying work-family conflict among nurses. Their study found that 50% of nurses reported chronic work interference with their family instead of the other way round.
41% of nurses reported work interference with family only at few given times (less than 1 to 3 days per month). On the other hand the study indicates a less interference of family with work. Only 11% of nurses report chronic interference of family with work while 52% of nurses report family interference with work only at intervals (less than 1 to 3 days per month). Interpersonal conflict among nurses Interpersonal conflict among nurses is a feature that cannot be ignored.
Nurses are individuals that come from various backgrounds- culture, race, ethnicity, nationality, creed, etc. Therefore, conflict is inevitable but can be averted with proper management strategies. Due to increasing incidences of conflict and hostility among nurses in Canada, Siu et al (2008:250) embarked on the study, “Nursing Professional Practice Environments: Setting the Stage for Constructive Conflict Resolution and Work Effectiveness” to examine conflict management approaches among nurses based on Deutsch’s theory of constructive conflict management.
The research method which Siu et al (2008:254) used for the study was a non experimental predictive design with a sample of 678 registered nursing working in metropolitan Ontario. Siu et al (2008:257) find that in an environment where nurses undertake “positive professional practice” and evaluate themselves (personally) from time to time, it can be predicted that these nurses will constructively manage conflict and be more effective in managing conflict. Conclusion
Conflict in nursing and among nurses cannot be avoided but it can be controlled using well planned strategies. As a multifaceted subject, conflict manifests in various ways. Thus hospital management teams need to identify the type of conflict which poses a threat and deal with it appropriately. Above all, nursing is a caring profession, so conflict in the work place must be curtailed to the barest minimum. If this is not done then hospitals will no longer be peaceful enough to support the speedy recovery of ailing patients. References
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Retrieved 11th January 2009 from http://www. medwelljournals.com/fulltext/rjbs/2009/236-243. pdf College of Nurses of Ontario (2009) “Conflict in the workplace” Retrieved 11th January 2009 from http://www. cno. org/prac/yau/2004/09_conflict. htm Dalton, L. M. (2004) “Time as a source of conflict: Student nurse experiences of clinical practice in a rural setting. ” Remote and Rural Health 4 Online (256) The International Electronic Journal of Rural and Remote Health Research, Education, Practice and Policy Retrieved 6th January 2009 from http://www. rrh. org. au/publishedarticles/article_print_256. pdf Grzywacz, Joseph G. ; Frone, Michael R. ; Brewer, Carol S. and Kovner, Christine T. (2006)
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