Think of an example of when you were involved in a work conflict where it was actually a productive conflict. Share your story on the online discussion forum.
Back in 2008 when this specific hospital opened its doors for RPNs to be part of their ER team, it was like a dream come true for me. However, as an RPN at the time, we faced plenty of challenges. Not only did we work in a busy Emergency department and learn along the way, but we also faced bullying and distrust from all our RN colleagues. Every day we were bullied to the point where even if I was the only Maria in the department, the RNs would say, Maria ‘the RPN’. We were not considered nurses but we were RPNs. This was an ongoing conflict between two kinds of nurses that are separated by the scope of practice. It had caused tension and mistrust between the RPNs and RNs for a long time. It was really bad that bullying became normal. I did not take anything they said personally since I am there as their colleague, I am a nurse, and I am there to provide care to the patients and as well as to learn most especially from the senior RN nurses. So one day during my lunch break inside the ER break room, it was like an ordinary day when one of the senior RN nurses who was retiring in a few months complained about RPNs being present and hired within the department. This time though, she was complaining to me since I was the only one in the room. So instead of personalizing her complaints, I asked her why she simply felt that way about RPNs. She said it is nothing personal about me since she likes me, however, it’s the RPN role as a whole. She explained that the RPNs are taking their job away and that the new graduate RNs are coming in with baccalaureate and that leaves the diploma RNs in the middle where it becomes tough and almost impossible for them to get a new job. I explained to her that RNs will never be phased out in the ED since there is a difference in the scope of practice and that they are always absolutely needed. I reassured her that. But at that moment, my conflict with the senior RNs and resentment had resolved on their own by actively listening to why they continuously bullied our presence in the department. It does not make it right of course, however, I understood that due to fear and job insecurity, the senior RN nurses who carry a diploma unknowingly bully the RPNs because of those reasons.
It’s good that she talked to you. She didn’t know how it made you feel with RN being the way they were to RPNs. That interaction allowed her to see your side and you to see the situation from an RNs perspective. Hopefully things got better after that when they realized it only helps them to have RPNs as well.
Recently, I was part of a family meeting where we met with the two daughters of a resident in order to address our concerns that the resident was being undertreated for pain. The meeting lasted for an hour, and by the end of the meeting, the family consented to an increase in pain medication for the resident. We were able to obtain an order quickly and to put it into place. This was very rewarding, as the resident’s entire presentation changed quickly. She became quieter, calmer, more pleasant, and staff could now have a conversation with her. What started out as a stressful family meeting became a very productive occasion.
Care conferences can be difficult if family members can’t come to an agreement. I’m glad both daughters were able to agree to increase the pain medication. I currently have a resident that has two POAs ( daughter and son) and they disagree on almost everything regarding the resident’s care. His daughter w ill agree to something then the son would disagree, it makes caring for the resident really difficult.
My first instinct is to think that I am often avoidant by nature. Although, not always. One particular weekend at work was very hectic and disorganized. My coworkers and I were running around trying to keep up with the day. Many of us not having breaks. I worked on a floor that would receive most admissions from emerge and it just happened to be a busy weekend. Approximately 2 hours before the end of our shift on Sunday night, we were receiving several admission to the unit and in order to make room, we were transferring patients off our unit to other floors. All of this at the end of 3 -12 hour shifts. Obviously we were very overwhelmed and angry and it was chaos on the floor trying to make everything happen. We all left angry and fed up. My following shift, I approached my manager and mentioned to her that if she was at work that day, I probably would have quit. She was fully aware of the situation as she had heard complaints from other staff members as well. She apologized for the situation and ask if I could set some time aside to talk about what happened and how we could make things better. In this situation, I was confronting but my manager was able to collaborate with me. I felt heard that day and I have a different appreciation for my manager as well.
Just recently the DOC came to the unit and asked what time I go for break; she also wanted the know what time the PSWs go for their breaks as well. She later told me that the PSWs were complaining that most of the time there is only one PSW on the unit transferring residents to the dining room. I explained to the DOC that I usually help to porter the residents but most days I am busy with other tasks.
I gathered the PSWs and allowed them to voice their concerns. They expressed that they are the busiest right before dinner time. We came up with scheduled break times, that way there is always two PSWs on the unit at all times. We have been trialing this new break schedule for a few days now and it seems to be improving efficiency.
I had been sent into one of our LTC homes to assist while we transition one IPAC lead to another who went off early for maternity leave. While I was there the direction for fall Covid and flu Vaccine clinic were to be started. While looking through the disorganized mess that was left for the new Ipac lead I started looking into documentation and working through what resident had consent, documentation and resources. While spending a few weeks in the home for support I identified that for this role we need some sort of Resources to assist is running a vaccine clinic and what steps are involved. When I asked the support of the team we then realized that most of the manager only had 1-2 year experience and none of them had ever been involved in the process. During my time there I was able to create a process for running a vaccine clinic and also formatted a checklist for IPAC as this role is considered new to LTC and nothing formal had been created yet for onboarding.
This sounds great but was a struggle to get Dir of IPAC on board as she was not in the home an aware of the other issues and concerns that were going on with a new management team, daily struggles and clean up of a LTC home. The IPAC Director came to check in on the home and came in very force full and demanding with the staff. After her direct demands she left the room. I asked the team to check back with me in the afternoon for further direction but to keep working on what task they had been assigned. The DOC and I debrief and came up with a working plan. I then presented it to the Director of IPAC and stated this is what we are able to do with the team and support we have.
During my mental health rotation in college, we focused on communication and mental health assessments, so we were supposed to spend most of our time interacting with the patients. Over time most of the students started to hangout in a corner of the room and play cards. If the patients wanted to interact with us they could join. I didn’t feel that was the best way to spend our time as we were supposed to be learning. Our clinical tech always encouraged us to talk and one day another student gave me some feedback. We had a discussion where we were all able to speak and feel heard. I still thought that more time should be spent with the patients, but I could see their point about also giving some more space and did my best to do so. The one thing I really enjoyed about this rotation was that our clinical tech was very encouraging and gave us many opportunities to have these kinds of discussions where we could learn from each other as well as speak up. I was glad this other student started the conversation because it allowed everyone in the group a chance to speak and share their views, including me which normally I have trouble doing. I was able to have a better educational experience because of it.
I do blood draws at work and used to work through lunch and take my lunch break later. One day a patient had come in without an appointment asking if a nurse was able to give her depo-provera injection. I said I would as soon as I finished my scheduled appointments. Once I was finished I brought the patient in. I checked the chart to see when she last had it as it needs to be given within a certain time frame and if the patient is late getting it they need to have a pregnancy test done before it is given. There was no record of the medication in the patients chart and she stated she was supposed to get it so she didn’t start bleeding and the time frame was different then what I knew it was given. She also stated she was already late getting her dose. I asked her to do a urine before I could give the injection. The patient became upset and asked why she needed to do the urine. I explained that I needed to do a pregnancy test to ensure she was not pregnant and I could not give the medication if there was a possibility she could be pregnant. She kept refusing to to the urine and continued become more irritated with me. Everyone had gone to lunch and I was the only one in the clinic but one of my colleagues had come back and heard the patient getting louder with me so she came in and talked to the patient as well. I explained once again that since we had no record of the medication in her chart or her last dose I needed her to do the urine so I could do a pregnancy test before I give the medication. She kept refusing to give the urine sample so I said I can’t help you then. I left the room and my colleague continued talking the patient. The patient finally left. After that day our lunch breaks were to be staggered so no one was left alone in the clinic.