5 Nursing Conflict Scenario Examples Interview

Nursing conflict scenario examples interview

During the practice, nurses come across plenty of challenging situations that are going to put their conflict-resolving skills to a test.

You should be able to resolve the issue before it gets too serious.

The interviewer wants to hear that you are aware that conflict situations are relatively common in your profession.

Explain how you would approach and resolve such a situation and provide an example of how you have handled these issues in the past.

Here is five nursing conflict scenario examples interview that involves not only patients and family members but also doctors and other nurses.

Nursing Conflict Interview Questions and Answers

1. How would you communicate with a difficult patient?

To resolve conflict with difficult patients, the first thing I do is actively listen to what the person has to say.

If patient is angry, I will acknowledge his anger and then respond with an empathetic statement.

I will slow down my response, to make sure that I’m not providing a defensive or angry answer.

I will also pay attention to the volume and speed of my speech.

If I got really affected by the words that were said, I would take a time-out. I will try to turn the conversation toward something constructive.

For example, I might say “I understand that you’re frustrated about this, let us move on to solving the problem for you, here is what I can do”.

With that being said, I would not accept abusive behavior.

If the patient continues to be abusive even after I have told him that such behavior is unacceptable, I will alert my immediate supervisor.

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2. Tell me about a time you saw something not done correctly by another coworker.

Exerting moral courage to speak up when an unethical situation takes place is risky and creates a lot of anxiety.

However, the outcome of speaking up is worth the risk, in the absolute majority of cases.

There was that one time when I was working in an emergency room and an elderly woman came in with severe sepsis.

See also: ER Nurse Interview Questions

The nurse dropped the catheter and pick it up while still having her sterile gloves on. She then inserted that dirty catheter into the patient.

I was shocked and asked the nurse what she was doing.

She responded that the patient is septic already and a few additional bacteria won’t do anything.

I was a nursing student at that time and I was afraid of starting a conflict with anyone more experienced, but I went to the director of the ED and, in the end, the nurse got fired.

3. How would you pacify an aggressive family member?

When I have to deal with frustrated family members, I will first calmly ask them not to shout and will then listen to what they have to say.

Once, I had to communicate with a patient’s husband who was aggressive towards nurses in particular.

I didn’t take it personally and suggested inviting the doctor over so that he could answer all of the questions.

Even though I had all the right answers, I didn’t let the husband’s comments get to me.

I coordinated the responses with the doctor, made sure that we were on the same page, and the doctor took the communication with the family member from there.

4. How would you manage an uncooperative colleague?

I used to work with a colleague who liked to dispute every diagnosis that I made in front of the doctors.

At first, I thought that it was just a coincidence, but very soon I realized that those attacks were deliberate.

I asked that nurse have an open talk with me as such situations make it a lot more challenging to work as a team.

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I wanted to figure out what the problem was and mentioned to the other nurse that I might have to report the issue if we fail to resolve it.

Turns out, she was feeling like the doctors favored me over her.

I said that I was sorry that she felt that way. The nurse apologized and we continued working together in a much more friendly environment.

5. How would you respond to an unprofessional doctor?

I understand that doctors have a higher level of qualification and that it’s extremely important to keep the doctor/nurse relationship professional (especially, in front of the patients).

I will review my company’s policies and will act accordingly.

In the majority of cases, if the issue is not too serious, I would speak to the doctor directly to tell him that he made me feel uncomfortable.

However, if I feel like the patient’s health may be at risk, or that I was personally threatened or harassed, I would immediately report the doctor to higher authorities.

See also: Mayo Clinic Nurse Interview Questions

How to Answer About Conflict Scenarios in Nursing Interview?

These were a few nursing conflict scenario examples. When answering such questions, try to focus on your problem-solving skills.

You don’t necessarily have to provide an example that involves you being a part of the conflict.

Mentioning a time when you recognized and mediated a conflict might count as a good answer as well.

Here are the main things that the interviewer will be paying attention to:

  1. Your acceptance of the fact that conflict is a normal part of a nurse’s job – the interviewer wants you to be honest.
  2. The level of experience you have had resolving conflict situations – sharing a personal example is the best way to answer the question.
  3. The way in which you approach and resolve conflict – the interviewer wants to know if you’re able to compromise and how well you can handle confrontation.
  4. Your critical thinking skills – you should say that you have had an opportunity to reflect on the conflict and to learn from it. You can mention the things that you could have done differently.

See also: Nursing Scenario Interview Questions

Conclusion: How to Handle Conflict Nursing Interview

When providing nursing conflict scenario examples interview, base your story on these four questions:

  1. How did the actual conflict start?
  2. Why did it arise?
  3. How did you choose to handle the situation?
  4. How did it all end?

That’s the recipe for a perfect answer.

Best of luck with your upcoming nursing interview!

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