During the PM change of shift report, an RN calls in ill and the staffing office says she cannot be replaced. This leaves only one RN, Mrs. K. for 26 clients. Mrs. K. says, “If you do not get another RN for this unit, I am going to quit this job. I will not do it this shift, but I will not put up with this constant shortage of help. I don’t care if it is an RN, but I should have people with some skills to get the clients cared for. The reason everyone quits around here is because they are overworked, underpaid, and the hospital management does not give a damn. The place needs to be investigated.”
Mrs. K identified the problem as being a dangerously low nurse to patient ratio and the inability to care for all of the patients the way they should be cared for. Mrs. K states “if you do not get another RN for this unit, I am going to quit this job”. In this statement she has clarified her perspective of the way the unit and hospital is managed. Her personal opinion and verbal expression clearly identifies the need for change. Mrs. K suffers stress and angst from working with inadequate resources as the lead conflict in this scenario. Followed very closely, she discusses problems within leadership and the alignment of the management team. The cause of conflict in this particular situation was the fact that a nurse called off sick during a nightly change of shift. This lends the entire burden to Mrs. K to take care of all 26 patients on the floor. Also, there seems to be various underlying issues related to the staff as indicated by Mrs. K. It is clear that the fundamental needs of the unit not being met. Conflict should be managed through active communication. Russell states, “Effective communication is an art that is essential to maintaining a therapeutic environment. It is necessary in accomplishing work and resolving emotional and social issues such as conflict” (Roussel & Swansburg, 2009).
Strategy & Plan
The following plan should be implemented to resolve this conflict. Introduce active listening....