In every workplace, there will be conflict. For nurses, this can often manifest in the form of disagreements between coworkers or patients and nurses.
Nurses need to know how to handle these conflicts in a way that doesn’t damage their relationships or the nursing profession as a whole.
It is for this reason that the question, “What are some nursing conflict scenario examples?” is so important. Nurses need to know how to handle difficult conversations and navigate through difficult situations.
Objectives of the Nursing Conflict Scenario Examples Interview
When the interviewer asks this question, they are trying to observe the following in your response:
1. Your acceptance of conflict as a natural part of the nursing profession
Nursing is a very sensitive profession. Therefore, honesty is key. When the interviewer asks this question, they are trying to see how honest you are.
Will you sit there and lie that you have never experienced any conflict?
Of course not!
The interviewer wants to see if you are able, to be honest about the fact that nursing is a profession where conflict is bound to happen.
2. What types of conflict you have experienced as a nurse?
This question is also trying to assess the level of experience you have had with conflict.
Do you have any personal examples that you can share?
Are the experiences you have had related to disagreements with coworkers or patients?
3. How did you approach and resolve the conflict?
Nurses are often put in a position of authority.
Therefore, the interviewer must see that you are capable of resolving conflicts in a way that does not further damage relationships or the nursing profession.
- Can you be diplomatic?
- Are you able to compromise?
- How do you handle confrontation?
4. Your ability to be reflective
This question is also assessing your critical thinking skills.
When you are asked to share a conflict scenario, the interviewer wants to see how you reflect on the situation.
- What were the factors that led to the conflict?
- What could you have done differently?
- How did the conflict affect the outcome?
These are just a few of the questions that the interviewer will be trying to fill in when they ask the nursing conflict scenario question.
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Nursing Conflict Scenario Examples Interview Answers
As mentioned earlier, conflict is a natural part of the nursing profession.
Here are five example answers to the nursing conflict scenario examples interview question:
Nursing interview conflict example 1
I remember one time when I was working on the night shift.
A patient started acting out and becoming disruptive.
Another nurse and I got into a disagreement about how to handle the situation.
This led to a lot of tension between us and the situation only escalated.
However, in the end, we were able to come to a resolution that was beneficial for the patient.
We both agreed to talk to the patient’s doctor about the situation and get their input on how to best proceed.
This answer shows that the candidate is capable of handling conflict professionally.
They can compromise and work together with other nurses to find a resolution that is best for the patient.
Nursing interview conflict with coworker example 2
I once disagreed with a coworker about how to handle a patient’s medication.
I felt like my way was the best way, but she disagreed.
We argued for a while, but eventually, we were able to come to a resolution that was acceptable for both of us.
We decided to table the discussion and revisit it later if we still had disagreements.
This allowed us to continue working together without any animosity.
This answer shows that the candidate is capable of resolving conflict without damaging relationships.
They are also able to compromise to find a solution that is acceptable to everyone involved.
Example answer 3
I remember this one time when the wife of a patient became hostile and started yelling at me.
I tried to stay calm and professional, but she just kept getting angrier and angrier.
Eventually, I had to call security to escort her out of the hospital.
It was a stressful situation and I was really upset after it happened.
After I was done attending to my other patients, I requested for the patient to be brought to my supervisor’s office so that I could explain what happened.
We were able to talk it out and I was able to explain my side of the story.
In the end, we found level ground and the patient was able to remain in the hospital.
This answer shows that the candidate is capable of handling difficult situations.
They can involve a superior to mediate and find a solution that is perfect for the hospital, patient, and wife.
Example answer 4
I remember this one time when I was working on a med-surg unit.
See also: Med-Surg Nurse Interview Questions
My supervisor asked me to take on a new patient who had just been transferred from the ICU.
I was really busy, but I didn’t want to say no.
Unfortunately, the patient was sick and I didn’t have enough time to devote to them.
My supervisor got angry at me because the patient wasn’t doing well and I was blaming it on my lack of time.
We got into a huge argument and I almost quit my job.
However, after a few days of cooling off, we were able to sit down and talk.
We came to an agreement that I would take on fewer patients so that I could devote more time to the new patient.
This situation didn’t damage our relationship and we were able to move on.
This answer shows that the candidate is capable of admitting when they are wrong.
They also can compromise to find a solution that is beneficial for everyone involved.
Example answer 5
During my internship, I was working in a public health clinic.
See also: Public Health Nurse Interview Questions
One of my patients was a pregnant woman who had come in for her check-up.
She had been trying to get an abortion, but she couldn’t afford it.
I didn’t know what to do because it was against my personal beliefs to help her get an abortion.
However, I didn’t want to abandon her either.
I talked to my supervisor about the situation and we agreed that I would help her find a different clinic that could provide her with the abortion services that she needed.
I felt like I had done the right thing by helping her find a clinic, but it was still difficult for me to go against my personal beliefs.
This answer shows that the candidate is capable of making tough decisions.
They are also able to put their personal beliefs aside to help a patient.
This answer also shows that the candidate can compromise to find a solution that is acceptable to everyone involved.
How to Answer About Nursing Interview Conflict With a Coworker?
In the nursing profession, there will inevitably be times when conflict arises with coworkers.
There are many different ways to handle these situations and the best way to deal with them will depend on the individual.
When responding to conflict scenarios with coworkers in a nursing interview, you should consider the following:
1. How did the conflict start?
When responding to this question, you should give a brief overview of the situation and how it developed.
Let the interviewer know if it was a minor disagreement or if it escalated into a full-blown argument.
2. What were the points of contention?
As coworkers, conflict can often arise due to differing opinions or because someone feels like they are not being treated fairly.
When responding to this question, be sure to outline the specific issues that caused the conflict.
3. How did you handle the situation?
Yes, you hard a conflict because of one thing or the other, but how did you handle the situation?
Responding with anger and hostility will not get you very far.
Therefore, you must show the interviewer that you were capable of handling the situation maturely and professionally.
This includes being able to compromise and find a solution that is acceptable to everyone involved.
4. How did the situation end?
The interviewer will want to know if the conflict was resolved or if it continued to escalate.
If it was resolved, be sure to outline how it was resolved. If it continued to escalate, let the interviewer know what happened and how it ended.
5. Find suitable examples
Let’s be real, not all conflicts end up with an amicable solution.
Many times they result in hurt feelings and bruised egos.
If this is the case with you, then you’ll need to find an appropriate example to share with the interviewer.
Make sure that you choose an example that demonstrates your ability to handle conflict professionally.
See also: Nursing Scenario Interview Questions
Conclusion: Nursing Conflict Interview Answers
Conflict is a natural occurrence in the workplace.
However, how you handle conflict will say a lot about your character and professional skills.
When responding to conflict scenarios in a nursing interview, be sure to showcase the following qualities:
- and the ability to find a solution that is acceptable to everyone involved.
If you can demonstrate these qualities, then you will likely be a successful nurse.
Good luck with your nursing interview!
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- Greatest Accomplishment Nursing Interview
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