Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario


Nurses gather to ward off workplace disputes and disruptions, before they have a chance to develop


TORONTO, Feb. 22, 2005 – A group of outpatient nurses approach their director in a last-ditch effort to deal with a hot-tempered physician prone to explosive behaviour. An informatics nurse is at a loss when she discovers two executives are exchanging nasty emails. A community health nurse tells her patient his services will be discontinued, and he pleads with her that his health can’t handle it. And an RN who alters a patient’s long-term care plan receives irate voice messages from his daughter complaining about the change.

According to Anne Grant, a chartered mediator qualified in nursing, law and the intervention of workplace disputes, this kind of conflict in our health-care system threatens both quality of care for patients, and quality of work life for staff. “In the past five years I have seen an unprecedented rise in conflict, not only between health team members but between client and caregiver,” Grant says. “If unchecked, such behaviour contributes to absenteeism, client dissatisfaction and problems with the recruitment and retention of valued staff.”

Despite the potential for problems, however, Grant notes that conflict doesn’t have to translate into an interruption in quality care. In fact, anticipating, preventing and working through conflict situations is easy if you have the right tools and techniques.

Author of A Nurse’s Practical Guide to the Law, Grant will be in Toronto on Feb. 24 to facilitate Fight or Flight: Professional Nursing Solutions to Conflict in the Workplace, a one-day workshop hosted by the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario’s (RNAO) Centre for Professional Nursing Excellence. Using case studies and role playing, Grant will offer almost 200 registered nurses tips for dealing with real-life conflict.

Conflict often comes with change and uncertainty. The timing for this workshop is ideal given today’s focus on health-care reform, and in particular last week’s good news that 4,000 health-care professionals – among them nurses and nurse practitioners – want to be part of the provincial government’s interdisciplinary family health teams. This welcome shift to team-based care invariably changes the way nurses and other health-care professionals interact in the workplace. There’s no better time than right now to learn how to head off unnecessary disruptions and disputes before they even have the chance to develop.

Fight or Flight: Professional Nursing Solutions to Conflict in the Workplace. A one-day workshop led by Anne E. Grant, LL.B, LL.M, C. Medm, Chartered Mediator, ADR Institute of Canada

Two hundred RNs from across Ontario, including front-line nurses, nurses in independent practice, managers, clinical nurse specialists, educators and supervisors.

Thursday, Feb. 24, 2005 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

89 Chestnut Street, Toronto, Ontario

The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) is the professional association representing registered nurses wherever they practise in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has lobbied for healthy public policy, promoted excellence in nursing practice, increased nurses’ contribution to shaping the health-care system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public they serve.


For more information, please contact:
Marion Zych, Director of Communications, RNAO
Phone: 416-408-5605
Toll free: 1-800-268-7199 ext.209
Cell: 647-406-5605