Conflict Resolution in the Interdisciplinary Team

Conflict Resolution is an important role of the Leader. Highly productive teams are cohesive. They blend ideas, seek solutions and work together to improve patient outcomes.

Highly productive teams are the product of blending highly capable, highly confident and highly determined individuals together under a common purpose. However, when you blend highly capable, highly confident and highly determined people together, conflict is bound to arise.
When this occurs, your highly productive team can come to a screeching halt while the conflict plays out. It's the responsibility of the leader to get the team back on track. To do this efficiently, it helps to understand why conflict between interdisciplinary teams occurs.
Even though one would think everyone on the team would have the same agenda most times the individual focus is quite different.

The circulating nurse is likely thinking she has fifteen minutes of charting to do in an eight minute case, while the scrub tech is trying insure that not one of the nineteen very small sutures gets closed up inside the patient. The nurse anesthetist is debating how he is going to get the patient deep enough NOT to move, yet shallow enough to wake up within the next nine and a half minutes because the room must be turned over, and the surgeon is screaming, "All I'm asking for is eight minutes of y'all s attention... eight minutes is all I need please!" Furthermore, “As operations become more complex and require more technology, the mental and physical demand on surgeons and their teams will likely increase” (Yu, et al. 2016).

Creating a collaborative work environment means understanding that the members of the interdisciplinary team will commonly have different views on: scope of time, resources, sense of urgency, patient load, care delivery models and task vs objective work approach (Finkelman, 2016).

“Nurses need to develop the skills necessary to participate effectively on the team, which requires collaboration, communication, coordination, delegation, and negotiation” (Finkelman, 2016).
The first step in addressing this problem is to remember what matters most.
We must also separate people from their positions or titles and remember that difficult personalities exist in every work environment. It is not because someone is a surgeon that they're difficult to work with or because someone is a nurse that they have no idea what they're doing. Everyone is a critical member of the team and their willingness to contribute to the team's objectives in a therapeutic manner is what must be managed.
Chances are high if you have hired the right people, efforts are going to collide and conflict will arise. Be ready to lead, this is when they need you most.

Finkelman, Anita. Leadership and Management for Nurses, 3rd Edition. Pearson, 2016. [MBS Direct].

Yu, D., Lowndes, B., Thiels, C. et al. World J Surg (2016) 40: 1565. doi:10.1007/s00268-016-3449-6

Created By
Mike Yelverton


Created with images by maxlkt - "hand united hands united" • DVIDSHUB - "Knife Fighting" • RyanMcGuire - "emotions man happy" • skeeze - "surgery surgeons operation" • sasint - "hospital assistance care for" • Jonas B - "Doctor" • makamuki0 - "castells hands collaboration" • TeroVesalainen - "handshake hand give" • Alex & le temps qui passe - "Collaboration" • NASA Goddard Photo and Video - "Fermi's Motion Produces a Study in Spirograph"

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