No two people are exactly alike, and our differences are part of the beauty of being human. But in the workplace, differing opinions can be a source of conflict—especially when two nurses have strong personalities. The key to being an effective manager is understanding how to resolve conflicts between your travel nurses and keep the peace at your hospital.
Multiple viewpoints add to the strength of your nursing team. They allow your staff to reach innovative conclusions to problems, for example. But when two nurses reach an impasse, it’s important to step in before the situation escalates. Here’s what you can do.
- Jump in at the right time. Ignoring a problem will not make it go away. When you see, or hear word of two travel nurses going head-to-head, take action. Step in after the argument has occurred and tempers have cooled a bit, but do this as soon after the initial conflict as you can. You don’t want to allow for a repeat event.
- Confront the situation. Reach out to each nurse involved and schedule some time to discuss what happened. Don’t be wishy-washy—be direct about the specific situation you’d like to talk about.
- Listen to each side. Meet with each party separately and listen to their version of what happened. Ask clarifying questions, but don’t make leading statements. You want the travel nurse to say in their own words what happened.
- Stay neutral. This can only serve to escalate the situation further. Your goal should be fairness to each nurse involved, and adherence to rules and company policies.
- Make your expectations known. Once you’ve met with each nurse individually, gather them together for a group meeting. Let them know you’ve taken into consideration all viewpoints, and offer a possible solution. Then discuss their thoughts and get their input on how to solve the problem in a way that all agree to. Make it clear you expect all to stick to the solution.
- Encourage employees to communicate. Let your nurses know that agreeing to disagree is perfectly acceptable, as long as they can remain professional and avoid conflict. Explain the value of different viewpoints in making a stronger workforce.
Conflict resolution is a learned skill
As with all talents in your managerial toolkit, conflict resolution comes with time. The more you work at it, the more peace you’ll be able to instill in your travel healthcare staff.
Looking for new travel nurses?
If you’ve found one of your nurses isn’t a good fit, or you just need to staff up—contact MedPro Healthcare Staffing! We work with our clients to find and place highly qualified travel nurses who match with your hospital culture and job qualifications. Plus, we help our nurses be their very best through our MedProU program—so we always place nurses who possess current licensure and cutting-edge industry knowledge. To learn more, contact one of our experienced recruiters today!
Want to read more? Check out our past blog posts:
- Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late! 6 Signs You Need to Bring in Outside Help
- Keys to a Successful Travel Nurse Staffing Strategy
- Top Travel Nursing Recruiting Strategy