Change threatens individuals and groups and in most cases result in conflicts. Today’s healthcare is always changing and evolving. During the implementation of change, foreseen and unforeseen conflicts arise. Proper conflict addressing skills are necessary for facilitating real thought and idea exchange process (Kelly, 2012, p.315). Conflicts in nursing result from various sources like the incompatibility of nursing care and financial goals. Such scenarios create the impression that the quality of the healthcare services is likely to reduce due to cost cutting (p.311). Other sources of conflict can be imposing new mandatory practice rules, for instance, our facility made it compulsory for nurses to take flu shots. As much as the intentions are pure, a conflict was born as the nurses felt the ethical and anatomy principles were violated.
The principle of autonomy upholds individual independence. The law stipulates that no matter how severe the condition of the patient is freedom remains overwhelmingly important them. A patient is not expected to rely on the decision of the physician or family regarding medical decisions. The nurse or physician is obligated to respect and promote the patient’s autonomy (Kelly, 2012, p.569). In our facility, the autonomy of nurses was violated by mandating that every nurse should take the flu shot a situation where our power to make medical decisions was overlooked. From personal knowing, if a patient is incapable of making medical decisions the next relevant person in line is the family members and not the facility or management.
Communication combined with other characteristics of teamwork facilitates delivery of efficient and safe patient care. Collaboration also through the distribution of power evenly through nurses and leaders promotes empowerment of the whole team. Power comes from having knowledge of each team member’s strength, weakness, interests and respecting personal decisions which intern cultivates trust (Kelly, 2012, p.269). Our facility overlooked the communication principle by making it compulsory for nurses to take the flu shots without consultation of the involved parties. The management did not seek the opinion of the nurses regarding the shots, and this creates the feeling of being left out during decision making, which hinders professional autonomy.
Through personal knowing, professional autonomy is boosted when staff members feel valued and included in the decision-making process. This can only be realized through shared governance and interpersonal collaboration working towards the same goal and vision (Kelly, 2012p.269). Such facts result in delivery of adequate patient care. Nurses are expected to support each other and communicate effectively (Kelly, 2012, p.277). Most of the communication is through nurse leaders who represent the nurses to the ethics committee. Communication from the management is through the nurse leaders a principle that the administration overlooked.
Ethical principles offer guidelines to nurse and physicians during decision making process. Moral principles which include being just and respect for others demand the need to comply and respect the right for others to make their decisions. Regarding the law, it is required that the necessary information should be provided for decision making. The management violated this law as the information relating to the mandatory shots was not availed to the nurses. The facility went ahead to make paternalistic decisions for the nurses without consultation. It would have been ethical if the installation made a decision that was in agreement with the principle of ethics, autonomy, self-expression and beneficence (Kelly, 2012, p.571).
In contemporary healthcare surroundings, high demands are placed on the physicians to deliver quality and efficient healthcare to ensure optimum patient care. From personal knowing, most administrators and management recognize the need for effective interpersonal communication and consultation to facilitate proper teamwork (Kelly, 2012, p.268). A conflict that rose from the mandatory shots could have been avoided had the facility applied communication practices. The best way to improve population health is through public health measures and disease prevention (Polan, 2015p.6). As much as the need to protect the community and other parties affected by the healthcare is of the essence, it should be done in agreement with ethical and the autonomy principles. The institutions also suffered when ethics were overlooked as the normal operations of the facility were interrupted.
Apparently, regardless of the importance or the necessity of change, the human reaction cannot be ignored. So often the administrators of change neglect the importance of the human response regarding the new directives (Kelly, 2012, p.307). The institutions and leaders need to know that people are entitled to their rights of expression, decision making, and feelings. From an ethical standpoint, regardless of a person’s condition, they still retain their independence in making medical decisions.
- Kelly, P. (2012). Nursing Leadership and Management. Cliffton Park, NY: Cengage Learning
- Polan, E., & Taylor, D. (2015). Journey across the Life Span: Human Development and Health Promotion. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis Company.