One conflict that comes to mind is one of broken privacy and communication. A situation occurred with a student in school, which promoted medical staff to notify Child Protective Services (CPS). This teenager became a danger to her self and needed immediate medical and mental health interventions. A member of the local medical staff became very close to the student and disclosed the private CPS call to the student. In turn, this student told her mother, who became very belligerent and irate that she contacted our field supervisor. The next working day, the supervisor approached the medical team in which a team member revealed she let the student know about the CPS call. The supervisor gave verbal corrections and explained the privacy laws protecting the patient and the reporter. This action caused conflict within the nursing team, as trust became an issue. Johansen (2012) reference workplace conflict as “ongoing, complex relationships based on emotions” in which participants respond to their perceptions of a particular situation (p. 50).
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Despite several interventions, training, and reference materials, this employee failed to protect patient privacy several times. Understandably so, this employee felt her actions were justified as she was attempting to build rapport with the patients. The above situation is just one example of improper communication and negligence use of power and position. Prior too many of these events, workplace bullying began to take precedence amongst staff members of different levels (Eager et al., 2010). Micromanaging, medical record restriction and workarounds began to emerge and become the new normal in efforts to maintain patient confidentiality. The compromising patient information eventually led to employee termination.
Relation to Leadership
Effective conflict management begins with an understanding of the cause. In the above example, the nurse manager had to employ several opportunities for growth and correction for the employee, with the understanding, this particular employee had trouble releasing and retaining patient information. HIPPA training was given to all staff before the recommended timeline at the interdepartmental level. The HIPPA training was part of a behavior change strategy in which management used to promote self-awareness (Marquis and Houston, 2017).