Chapter 23: Conflict: The Cutting Edge of Change Nursing School Test Banks

Chapter 23: Conflict: The Cutting Edge of Change
Yoder-Wise: Leading and Managing in Nursing, 6th Edition

MULTIPLE CHOICE

1. A group of staff nurses is dissatisfied with the new ideas presented by the newly hired nurse manager. The staff wants to keep their old procedures, and they resist the changes. Conflict arises from:
a. Group decision-making options.
b. Perceptions of incompatibility.
c. Increases in group cohesiveness.
d. Debates, negotiations, and compromises.
ANS: B
Conflict involves disagreement in values or beliefs within oneself or between people that causes harm or has the potential to cause harm. Folger, Poole, and Stutman (2012) add that conflict results from the interaction of interdependent people who perceive incompatibility and the potential for interference.

REF: Page 432 TOP: AONE competency: Communication and Relationship-Building

2. Two staff nurses are arguing about whose turn it is to work on the upcoming holiday. In trying to resolve this conflict, the nurse manager understands that interpersonal conflict arises when:
a. Risk taking seems to be unavoidable.
b. People see events differently.
c. Personal and professional priorities do not match.
d. The ways in which people should act do not match the ways in which they do act.
ANS: B
By definition, conflict involves a difference in perception between two or more individuals.

REF: Page 433 TOP: AONE competency: Communication and Relationship-Building

3. The nurse manager is aware that conflict is occurring on her unit; however, she is focused on preparing for a state health department visit, so she ignores the problem. A factor that can increase stress and escalate conflict is:
a. The use of avoidance.
b. An enhanced nursing workforce.
c. Accepting that some conflict is normal.
d. Managing the effects of fatigue and error.
ANS: A
Avoidance as a conflict-management style prolongs conflict and has a tendency to escalate conflict.

REF: Page 436 TOP: AONE competency: Communication and Relationship-Building

4. The nurse manager decides to use a mediator to help resolve the staffs conflict. A basic strategy for truly addressing this conflict is to:
a. Identify the conflicting facts.
b. Be determined to resolve the conflict.
c. Schedule a meeting time for resolution.
d. Have a clear understanding of the differences between the parties in conflict.
ANS: D
It is important for each person in the conflict to clarify the conflict as I see it and how it makes me respond before all the persons involved in the conflict can define the conflict, develop a shared conceptualization, and resolve their differences.

REF: Page 435 TOP: AONE competency: Communication and Relationship-Building

5. Sarah, a staff nurse on your unit, witnesses another nurse striking a patient. Sarah wants to remain friends with her colleague and worries that confrontation with her colleague or reporting her colleague will destroy their relationship. Sarah is experiencing which type of conflict?
a. Intrapersonal
b. Interpersonal
c. Organizational
d. Professional
ANS: A
Intrapersonal conflict occurs within a person when confronted with the need to think or act in a way that seems at odds with that persons sense of self. Questions often arise that create a conflict over priorities, ethical standards, and values. Some issues present a conflict over comfortably maintaining the status quo and taking risks to confront people when needed, which can lead to interpersonal conflict.

REF: Page 433 TOP: AONE competency: Communication and Relationship-Building

6. The chief nursing officer plans a series of staff development workshops for the nurse managers to help them deal with conflicts. The first workshop introduces the four stages of conflict, which are:
a. Frustration, competition, negotiation, and action.
b. Frustration, conceptualization, action, and outcomes.
c. Frustration, cooperation, collaboration, and action outcomes.
d. Frustration, conceptualization, negotiation, and action outcomes.
ANS: B
Thomas (1992) determined that conflict proceeds through these four stages in this particular order.

REF: Page 434 TOP: AONE competency: Communication and Relationship-Building

7. After using a mediator to resolve a conflict between the nurse manager and two staff nurses, the chief nursing officer decides to:
a. Observe to make sure the conflict has been resolved.
b. Fire both staff nurses.
c. Reassign both staff nurses.
d. Reassign the nurse manager.
ANS: A
The nurse leader should follow up to determine if the conflict has been resolved because, in professional practice environments, unresolved conflict among nurses is a significant issue that results in job dissatisfaction, absenteeism, and turnover, as well as in decreased patient satisfaction and poorer quality in patient care.

REF: Page 432 | Page 436 TOP: AONE competency: Leadership

8. A nursing instructor is teaching a class on conflict and conflict resolution. She relates to the class that conflict in an organization is important, and that an optimal level of conflict will generate:
a. Creativity, a problem-solving atmosphere, a weak team spirit, and motivation of its workers.
b. Creativity, a staid atmosphere, a weak team spirit, and motivation of its workers.
c. Creativity, a problem-solving atmosphere, a strong team spirit, and motivation for its workers.
d. A bureaucratic atmosphere, a strong team spirit, and motivation for its workers.
ANS: C
Differences in ideas, perceptions, and approaches, when managed well, can lead to creative solutions and deepened human relationships. Work on conflict suggests that complete resolution of conflict is counterproductive to the achievement of organizational goals, organizational change, and cohesiveness of employees.

REF: Page 432 TOP: AONE competency: Communication and Relationship-Building

9. Jane has transferred from the ICU to the CCU. She is very set in the way she makes assignments and encourages her new peers to adopt this method without sharing the rationale for why it is better. This is a good example of a process and procedure that creates which type of conflict?
a. Organizational
b. Intrapersonal
c. Interpersonal
d. Disruptive
ANS: C
Interpersonal conflict transpires between and among nurses, physicians, members of other departments, and patients.

REF: Page 433 TOP: AONE competency: Communication and Relationship-Building

10. Two nurses on a psychiatric unit come from different backgrounds and have graduated from different universities. They are given a set of new orders from the unit manager. Each nurse displays different emotions in response to the orders. Nurse A indicates that the new orders include too many changes; Nurse B disagrees and verbally indicates why. This step in the process is which of the following in Thomas Stages of Conflict?
a. Frustration
b. Conceptualization
c. Action
d. Outcomes
ANS: B
Thomas Stages of Conflict include conceptualization, which involves different ideas and emphasis on what is important or not or about what should occur.

REF: Page 434 | Page 435
TOP: AONE competency: Communication and Relationship-Building

11. Mrs. Hill, aged 68, was hospitalized after a stroke. The speech therapist recommended that oral feeding be stopped because of her dysplasia. During visiting hours, Mr. Hill fed his wife some noodles. The nurse noticed this and stopped Mr. Hill from feeding his wife, telling him it was the doctors decision. An hour later, the nurse returned and found Mr. Hill feeding his wife again. The nurse tried to stop him again. Mr. Hill refused and claimed that the clinical staff was trying to starve his wife; he also threatened to get violent with the nurse. The nurse decided to walk away and documented the event in Mrs. Hills chart. According to Thomas Four Stages of Conflict, in which stage could the nurse have been more effective?
a. Frustration
b. Conceptualizing
c. Action
d. Outcomes
ANS: C
By walking away, the nurse is engaged in an action or a behavioral response, which is the action stage of conflict that is outlined in the four stages of conflict (Thomas, 1992). In this stage, the nurse might have used more effective strategies, such as clarifying Mr. Hills views on feeding his wife and engaging in dialogue with Mr. Hill to clarify his concerns and attempt to reach a common goal.

REF: Page 435 TOP: AONE competency: Communication and Relationship-Building

12. Mrs. Hill, aged 68, was hospitalized after a stroke. The speech therapist recommended that oral feeding be stopped because of her dysplasia. During visiting hours, Mr. Hill fed his wife some noodles. The nurse noticed this and stopped Mr. Hill from feeding his wife, telling him it was the doctors decision. An hour later, the nurse returned and found Mr. Hill feeding his wife again. The nurse tried to stop him again. Mr. Hill refused and claimed that the clinical staff was trying to starve his wife; he also threatened to get violent with the nurse. The nurse decided to walk away and documented the event in Mrs. Hills chart. The outcome as depicted by Thomas conflict stages can be considered to be:
a. Compromising.
b. Confronting.
c. Constructive.
d. Destructive.
ANS: D
Resolution was absent because the nurse did not have time to effectively deal with the issues in the conflict. This can lead to negativity, increased frustration, and further distancing between individuals or groups, including between patients and nurses.

REF: Page 439 TOP: AONE competency: Communication and Relationship-Building

13. Jill is the head nurse on a unit in a large hospital. Two of the staff nurses are constantly arguing and blaming each other, and a resolution has not occurred in months. To solve the existing conflict, which is the most creative conflict resolution?
a. Avoiding
b. Competing
c. Compromising
d. Collaborating
ANS: D
Collaboration, although time-consuming, is the most creative stance. The collaboration technique involves both sides in the conflict working together to develop an optimal outcome. This results in a win-win solution.

REF: Page 439 TOP: AONE competency: Communication and Relationship-Building

14. A nurse educator is giving a workshop on conflict. During the sessions, he makes various statements regarding conflict. All of the statements are true except:
a. Conflict can decrease creativity, thus acting as a deterrent for the development of new ideas.
b. Horizontal violence involves those with similar status but little power in the larger context.
c. Interprofessional collaboration reduces unresolved conflicts.
d. All conflicts involve some level of disagreement.
ANS: A
The opposite is true because research has shown that conflict, like change, increases creativity and allows for the development of new ideas.

REF: Page 432 | Page 444 | Page 445
TOP: AONE competency: Communication and Relationship-Building

15. Sarah is a nurse manager in a surgical unit. She is concerned about a conflict between Lucy (a staff nurse) and one of the maintenance personnel. Sarah explains to Lucy that unsatisfactory resolution of the conflict is typically destructive and will result in:
a. Decreased frustration between the maintenance worker and her.
b. A good relationship with the maintenance department.
c. Eventual resolution of the problem without further intervention.
d. Decreased productivity on her part.
ANS: D
Research by Saltman et al. (2006) determined that productivity decreases with destructive conflict, whereas constructive conflict strengthens relationships.

REF: Page 435 TOP: AONE competency: Communication and Relationship-Building

16. Staff at Valley Hospital are concerned that recent staffing cuts will affect their ability to provide quality patient care, and they express their concerns to senior management. The CEO of Valley Hospital makes the following statement: We need to contain costs because our funding has been decreased. This is a good example of which of the following conditions that propel a situation toward conflict?
a. Incompatible goals
b. Role conflicts
c. Structural conflict
d. Competition for resources
ANS: A
Conflicts arise in four areas: goals, facts, approaches, and values. Conflicts among goals arise from competing priorities such as the provision of quality patient care and containment of costs.

REF: Page 433 | Page 436
TOP: AONE competency: Communication and Relationship-Building

17. Kala, a unit manager, in discussing a role the CEO would like her to perform, makes the following statement, I will sit on the hospital taskforce on improving morale if you send me to the hospitals leadership training classes next week, so I can further develop my skills and thus be more effective. Which of the following conflict management styles is Kala using?
a. Collaborating
b. Avoiding
c. Negotiating
d. Accommodating
ANS: C
Negotiation involves an exchange of concessions (membership on a committee in return for attendance at a workshop) or trading. This strategy supports a balance of power.

REF: Page 439 TOP: AONE competency: Communication and Relationship-Building

18. John is a circulating nurse in the operating room. He is usually assigned to general surgery, but on this day he is assigned to the orthopedic room. He is unfamiliar with the routines and studies the doctors preference cards before each patient. The fourth patient comes into the room and John prepares a site for a biopsy using a Betadine solution. The surgeon prefers another solution. He notices what John has done and immediately corrects him by rudely insulting John. Which of the following is the most appropriate approach to conflict resolution in this example?
a. Collaboration
b. Compromising
c. Avoiding
d. Withdraw
ANS: B
Compromise involves negotiation or an exchange of concessions and supports a balance of power.

REF: Page 439 TOP: AONE competency: Communication and Relationship-Building

19. Factors that influence the ease with which conflict is resolved include all except which of the following?
a. Level of interdependence of the parties
b. Interprofessional collaboration.
c. Expression of ones own needs and ideas.
d. Avoidance of the issue or concern.
ANS: D
Conflict involves a level of interdependence and is a condition for conflict but not necessarily for continuance of the conflict. Expression of ones ideas and concerns is considered assertive and effective in resolving conflict if the concerns and needs of the other are also considered. Interprofessional collaboration has been shown to be effective in resolving conflict. Avoidance tends to prolong and sometimes escalate conflict.

REF: Page 432 | Page 436 | Page 438
TOP: AONE competency: Communication and Relationship-Building

20. The head nurse and a staff nurse are having a conflict over how to use and apply a new procedure for dressings in the medical/surgical unit. The staff nurse wishes to use the new procedure based on newly released nursing research. The head nurse wishes to use a protocol that has been used in the department for a number of years. The head nurse later makes comments to other staff on her unit about the credibility of the staff nurse. This behavior is associated with:
a. Lateral violence.
b. Horizontal violence.
c. Confrontation.
d. Bullying.
ANS: D
Bullying involves aggressive or destructive behavior or psychological harassment of a recipient who is in a position of power differential with the perpetrator (the head nurse). Bullying is closely related to lateral or horizontal violence and involves such behaviors as incivility or intimidation.

REF: Page 439 | Page 444
TOP: AONE competency: Communication and Relationship-Building

21. Which of the following exemplifies the predominant conflict management style of nurse managers?
a. Elizabeth, the head nurse on neurology, finds that Tom, the RN nurse on nights, is irritable in relation to any suggestions or new ideas, and so she comes in to work after Tom leaves the unit.
b. The technology committee has recommended a clinical system for implementation on the nursing unit. Staff is anxious about the change. Tim, the head nurse, asks staff for ideas on how to meet the technology goals and to meet staff needs.
c. During management meetings, George, the head nurse on nephrology, dominates meetings and decisions. Lee, the head nurse on the cardiac step-down unit, begins to miss the management meetings.
d. Ann, RN, asks her head nurse if she can go on the permanent evening shift. The head nurse, Rajib, agrees, as long as Ann agrees to be involved in assisting to mentor evening staff in the use of the new clinical information system.
ANS: D
Compromise involves trading and negotiation and is the predominant conflict management style of managers.

REF: Page 439 | Page 440
TOP: AONE competency: Communication and Relationship-Building

22. Lee, the head nurse in ER, has attempted to meet Jillian, one of her staff RNs, for several days to discuss concerns about Jillians relationships with her team members. Lee hopes to offer Jillian coaching so that Jillians relationships can be more satisfying for Jillian and her team members. Each time Lee and Jillian set a time to meet, Jillian phones in sick. In this situation, Lee and Jillian are demonstrating:
a. Similar conflict management strategies.
b. Escalation of conflict.
c. Avoidance and compromise strategies.
d. Competing and compromise strategies.
ANS: C
Jillian is demonstrating avoidance by staying away from meetings to discuss her team relationships, and Lee is demonstrating compromise by offering coaching in return for Jillians being able to engage in more satisfying relationships.

REF: Page 436 TOP: AONE competency: Communication and Relationship-Building

23. Which of the following best exemplifies the predominant style of conflict management for staff nurses?
a. Sarah and Jonas, two RNs, disagree about the best approach to assisting a family that has complex needs. They decide that they will consult with family and together will decide what is best.
b. Jennifer needs to switch a shift to attend a family function. She arranges to trade with Nancy, who wants a day off next to a 3-day break.
c. Lindsay asks Melody to stay late for the third day in a row. Melody refuses, stating that she has already helped out for two days by staying late for Lindsay.
d. Lara asks Stacey to switch shifts with her because Lara wants to attend a concert. Stacey would prefer not to but does to enable Lara, who is new in town, to be with her friends.
ANS: D
Avoidance and accommodation are the predominant conflict management styles of nurses. Accommodating involves neglecting ones own needs while trying to satisfy the needs of another.

REF: Pages 438-440
TOP: AONE competency: Communication and Relationship-Building

24. In trying to achieve Magnet status, the chief nursing officer establishes a shared governance model to help nurses experience job satisfaction. However, some nurses who have enjoyed working with less autonomy resist this change and begin to criticize and make rude comments about managers who embrace this model, as well as colleagues who support it. The comments are largely ignored because those who are making them are well established nurses who are often vocal about their displeasure with the organization. Organizational conflict is arising from which of the following?
a. Staffing practices
b. Increased participation in decision making
c. Allocation of resources
d. Tolerance of incivility
ANS: D
Organizational conflict arises from discord related to policies and procedures (such as staffing policies and practices and allocation of resources), personnel codes or conduct or accepted norms of behavior (such as incivility), and patterns of communication. A major source conflict in organizations stems from strategies that promote more participation and autonomy of staff nurses.

REF: Page 433 | Page 434 TOP: AONE competency: Leadership

MULTIPLE RESPONSE

1. Nurses entering into the workforce today are faced with which of the following relationships that could create organizational conflict? (Select all that apply.)
a. Nurse-physician relationship
b. Nurse-nurse relationship
c. Nurse-patient relationship
d. Nurse-chief nursing officer relationship
e. Nurse-auxiliary personnel relationships
ANS: A, B, C, D, E
By nature, conflict is potentially present in all interpersonal situations. The nurse manager should create an environment that recognizes and values differences in staff, physicians, patients, and communities.

REF: Page 442 TOP: AONE competency: Communication and Relationship-Building

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