Conflict Management and Quality Improvement in Nursing

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Conflict was something that had previously been considered as a destructive force, and instances of conflict were ignored for fear of destroying relationships. However, conflict has recently been viewed as an opportunity which can be approached with a collaborative effort towards the restructuring of trust relationships (Ward-Collins, 2013). By understanding the conflict resolution process, restructured trust relationships between care professionals will ensure that there is a better quality of service delivered to the beneficiaries.

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Conflict management is a key skill in the provision of services for professionals who are working together (Donald, 2008). In the consideration of such skills, collaboration and negotiation are skills geared towards achieving the goal of conflict management. It is important to note that every conflict involves a power difference. While power issues may be hidden at some point, other situations clearly show the power difference between parties who are working together (Lindekke & Sieckhert, 2005). The purpose of power is to get someone else to do what we want, and the effect can be positive or negative. Therefore, power cannot be said to be good or bad, but the intentions of the person wielding it can have positive or negative effects (Anastakis, 2003).

Conflict management is an important part of the quality of care improvement since research has shown that nurse managers cannot manage what they cannot resolve (Berwick, Godfrey, & Roessner, 1991). In the case of acute care, different approaches can be used. In the case of an emergency, the competitive approach presents the best option because of the ability to accommodate quick decisive action required for such a situation. Such a decision may be key in ensuring that there is no scapegoating that could affect the reputation of the organization involved. The nurse leader therefore has to apply a conflict management style to achieve organizational goals.

In the consideration of quality improvement efforts, we consider the No Pass Zones. This describes a situation where no nurse or hospital employee should walk past a call light without resolving the situation in the particular room (Grdina, 2014). Te specific patient for this approach will be the ostomy patients, who are at different stages of healing and treatment. The different patients are going through different procedures depending on their particular procedures. As such, the intervention for quality improvement is the observance of call lights. Patients who have undergone ostomies are likely to encounter challenges such as dehydration (Messeris, et al., 2012), pain and other health challenges due to the operation of their colon.

The management of stoma complication requires that the nurse practitioner or hospital employee not to go past the call made by the patient. This is because a complication may have arisen with them and they need immediate assistance. The alternative was that patients were often not attended to despite calls made to practitioners (Burch, 2011). He outcomes sought through the answering of calls is to ensure that there is better quality of care for the ostomy patients by ensuring prompt response to their calls. It is possible that the prompt response to calls can avert complications associated with their ostomy. The improvement is expected to be implemented almost immediately to integrate this into the care structure of the organization and ensure the prompt addressing of this issue.


Anastakis, D. (2003). Negotiation skills for physicians. American Journal of Surgery , 1-8.

Berwick, D., Godfrey, B., & Roessner, J. (1991). Curing Health Care: New Strategies for Quality Improvement. Journal for Healthcare Quality .

Burch, J. (2011). Management of stoma complications. Retrieved March 16, 2016, from Nursing Times:

Donald, A. (2008). Alternative dispute resolution: Managing upsets and keeping people safe. Evidence-based Healthcare and Public Health , 412-13.

Grdina, R. (2014). QSTUDENT #3: QUALITY IMPROVEMENT. Retrieved March 16, 2016, from

Lindekke, L., & Sieckhert, A. (2005). Nurse-physician workplace collaboration. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing .

Messeris, E., Sekhal, R., Deiling, S., Koltun, W., Stewart, A., McKenna, K., et al. (2012). Dehydration is the most common indication for readmission after diverting ileostomy creation. Dis Colon Rectum .

Ward-Collins, D. (2013). Manage Conflict and Resolve Problems by Negotiating. Retrieved March 16, 2016, from

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