Unit 4 Topic 2: Strategies for Handling Conflict

Unit 4 Topic 2: Strategies for Handling Conflict

Identity-based conflict occurs when the warring parties assign themselves specific characteristics and also brand their adversaries which conflict with theirs; hence, a sense of competition arises (Higazee, 2015). Identity conflict can occur between two individuals or between groups. In health care, the common identity conflict is between the nurses and the doctors. Every group feels they carry more responsibility in caring for the patient; therefore, their decisions should be taken and drop decision for the other group. For example, the conflict that happened in the labor ward where the doctors wanted to take in two clients for cesarean section at the same time, yet there was limited staff to assist in the surgery. Although they claimed they were emergencies, the nurse in charge was able to tell they were not. The identity conflict arose because every party felt they were superior to the other; therefore, their decisions should be taken (Best, & Williams, 2019).

The nursing manager has a great responsibility in handling the identity conflict in their units. However, it is imperative to prevent a conflict than to manage it; therefore, the nurse manager should always ensure everyone is treated fairly. In the case of identity conflict, they should first listen to both parties to determine the source of the conflict. In determining the cause of the conflict, the nurse manager should not do it alone because this can affect the implementation of derived solutions. Once the issues are identified, the nurse should consult the guidelines and protocol for that institution that addresses the issues. Through this, they will collectively derive solutions which leave all parties convinced (Ellis, & Toney-Butler, 2019). The manager should advise their staff to communicate always rather than involving themselves in loggerheads with their colleagues.


Best, S., & Williams, S. (2019). Professional identity in interprofessional teams: findings from a scoping review. Journal of interprofessional care, 33(2), 170-181.

Ellis, V. L., & Toney-Butler, T. J. (2019). Conflict Management. In StatPearls [Internet]. StatPearls Publishing

Higazee, M. Z. A. (2015). Types and levels of conflicts experienced by nurses in the hospital settings. Health Science Journal, 9(6), 1.