Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario

Managing and Mitigating Conflict in Health Care Teams

Elizabeth Wishart
Cambridge Memorial Hospital

The Advanced Clinical/Practice Fellowship (ACPF) program provided me with a unique opportunity to be engaged in the Best Practice Guideline (BPG) planning and implementation processes. This project was completed part-time in the summer and fall of 2014 under the supervision and tutelage of my mentor, Karen Cziraki.

The guideline I selected to focus on for this Fellowship experience was the Healthy Work Environment (HWE) guideline “Managing and Mitigating Conflict in Healthcare Teams”. This topic appealed to me for several reasons, including personal, professional, and academic motivation. The ACPF project focused largely on the planning and organization phases of BPG implementation. This provided a variety of learning opportunities while working with the Toolkit developed by the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO).

As part of the ACPF project, I had the opportunity to complete a literature review on the subject of conflict. I utilized a variety of resources, including the HWE BPG “Managing and Mitigating Conflict in Healthcare Teams”, library services, and online databases of journal articles. I reviewed and analyzed a variety of peer-reviewed journals, utilizing search terms such as conflict, nurse, team, burnout, bullying, fatigue, and conflict management. The literature review was completed in written format, and also adapted into PowerPoint presentations to key stakeholders and to the team of Clinical Education Facilitators. There are further plans to utilize and adapt these resources as part of a greater implementation plan of this HWE BPG.

To support the overarching implementation plan of this BPG, I also completed a gap analysis with input from various stakeholders within the organization. The gap analysis looked at which recommendations were met or unmet within the organization, and also looked at the various barriers and facilitators to implementation. These resources were presented to the key stakeholders and are integral to the overall implementation plan moving forward.

The final and largest piece of the ACPF project was the development of an e-learning module on conflict using Adobe Presenter. This was an excellent learning prospect and provided me with an opportunity to begin the development of a skillset in e-learning production. The content was developed using the information gathered through the earlier stages of the Fellowship, such as the literature review, but was also tailored to incorporate other strategies within the organization following input from the Organizational Development Lead. This piece of the Fellowship was particularly challenging, but it was also very rewarding. I was able to work with a new piece of software, and the modules that were developed will be used to support the overall implementation of this guideline within the organization.

Overall, my involvement with the ACPF program has been an incredibly rewarding learning experience. I have developed a variety of new skills that will be highly beneficial to me in continuing my current role at Cambridge Memorial Hospital, but will also support me as I pursue graduate studies in nursing as well. This project also allowed me the unique opportunity to lay some of the groundwork for overall implementation of the RNAO BPG Managing and Mitigating Conflict in Healthcare Teams, which we are now pursuing.

I thank the RNAO for their continued support of the ACPF program, as well as Cambridge Memorial Hospital for supporting me in this endeavor. I strongly encourage anyone who has a learning interest to explore involvement in the ACPF program.

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