The Emergency Department environment can be volatile with clinical staff often working under immense pressure, experiencing high levels of stress and emotional exhaustion.

The working conditions in ED can often give rise to miscommunication and can sometimes lead to conflict situations. Such conflict can be confronting and can negatively impact on confidence and self-esteem and ultimately patient outcomes.

It is not always easy to avoid, such a situation, so it is important for you to have strategies to deal with the situation and resolve the issues.

Within this module you will find resources to assist in conflict management and resolution.

Dealing with workplace conflict

Strategies for resolving workplace conflicts in nursing
In nursing’s often fast-paced and stressful environment, workplace conflicts are certainly not a rare occurrence. Knowing how to deal with these conflicts and find swift resolution will help you in maintaining a professional, safe, and healthy environment for you and your patients.

Workplace conflict
There are broadly two kinds of workplace conflict: when people’s ideas, decisions or actions relating directly to the job are in opposition, or when two people just don’t get along. The latter is often called ‘a personality clash’.

Three Ways to Manage Conflicts in the Emergency Department
The environment in an Emergency Department (ED) or its supporting offices can be stressful, involving patients, coworkers, other departments and vendors.

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Flateau-Lux, L. R., & Gravel, T. (2014). Put a stop to bullying new nurses. Home Healthcare Nurse, 32(4), 225-229. doi:10.1097/NHH.0000000000000045

Hallett, N. (2018). Preventing and managing challenging behaviour. Nursing Standard, 32(26), 51-63. doi:10.7748/ns.2018.e10969

Hellebrand, A. M. (2018). No fear: Be proactive to end workplace violence and bullying. Nephrology Nursing Journal, 45(1), 11-85.

Johansen, M. L., & Cadmus, E. (2016). Conflict management style, supportive work environments and the experience of work stress in emergency nurses. Journal of Nursing Management, 24(2), 211-218. doi:10.1111/jonm.12302

Jonas-Dwyer, D. R. D., Gallagher, O., Saunders, R., Dugmore, H., Bulsara, C., & Metcalfe, H. (2017). Confronting reality: A case study of a group of student nurses undertaking a management of aggression training (MOAT) program. Nurse Education in Practice, 27, 78-88. doi:10.1016/j.nepr.2017.08.008

Richardson, S. (2017). Violence and aggression in NZ emergency departments. Emergency Nurse New Zealand, P14-P18.