A Particular Type of Dysfunctional Conflict

Subject: Nursing
Pages: 1
Words: 360
Reading time:
2 min
Study level: Master

It is hard to disagree that all people face different conflicts, and sometimes it may happen on a daily basis. Although some consider conflicts entirely negative and distressing, they can actually be positive and enhance future communication. Of course, the condition under which the conflict will not be destructive is that it is managed properly. Otherwise, it may become dysfunctional and lead to adverse consequences like increased dissatisfaction, an unfriendly and anxious working environment, and reduced productivity and performance (Joel, 2018). Advanced practice nurses (APNs) should be ready to encounter even more conflict than other providers. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to illustrate a particular type of dysfunctional conflict and then explain two strategies to deal with it effectively.

The following is a short scenario that is an example of a dysfunctional conflict. A nurse is not satisfied with her working communication with a pulmonologist. The APN considers her colleague’s behavior unprofessional in some situations and gets annoyed by their jokes, late arrivals, and extra familiarity. However, instead of discussing these concerns with the pulmonologist himself or involving a neutral third party, the nurse tries to avoid any conflicts. She tries not to communicate with her colleague and sometimes ignores his comments, making the working process much more difficult.

The component of the scenario that characterizes the particular type of dysfunctional conflict, which is avoiding, is the fact that the APN does not want to openly discuss her concerns with the pulmonologist or the management. Instead, she pretends that nothing is happening, but her anger, stress, and dissatisfaction worsen their communication and the atmosphere in general. According to Joel (2018), one way for the nurse to solve this situation is to think about her own emotions, prepare a proper place for discussion, and then talk about the things she considers inappropriate or unprofessional. If she explains the reasons, and if the pulmonologist is an adequate person, they will solve their issue. In case it does not happen, then it is possible for the APN to involve a third party, for example, the director of nursing, and explain that the pulmonologist’s behavior interferes with her workplace concentration and responsibilities.


Joel, L. A. (Ed.) (2018). Advanced practice nursing: Essentials for role development (4th ed.). F.A. Davis Company.