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Chapter 13: Conflict Management

MULTIPLE CHOICE
1. A newborn has several congenital anomalies incompatible with living beyond 1 month. The

newborn cannot retain formula, and the temperature drops when the newborn is removed from
the warmer. Two nurses who alternate caring for the baby argue about whether or not to
attempt bottle feedings and whether the newborn should be removed from the warmer to be
held. What is the origin of the conflict described?
a. Ethical values
c. Personal goals for advancement
b. Nursing role concerns
d. Personality differences
ANS: A

This situation depicts personal issues based on two separate sets of ethics or values regarding
the newborns care. One nurse places value on nutritional needs and the other on the need for
bonding. This conflict is not personality driven among the two nurses. The role of the nurse is
to care for the newborn. They both want to care for the newborn, so they are meeting their
nursing role; however, the conflict is based on an ethical issue about feeding and bonding.
PTS: 1
DIF: Cognitive Level: Analysis
REF: p. 287
OBJ: Identify common factors that lead to conflict.
TOP: Conflict management
MSC: NCLEX: Safe and effective care environmentmanagement of care
2. Of the following common areas of conflict between nurses and their patients and families,

which does the nurse interpret as the most easily resolved?


Issues of concern about quality of care
Issues surrounding treatment decisions
Issues of family involvement
Issues about quality of parental care

a.
b.
c.
d.

ANS: A

Families typically are concerned with how well their loved one is being attended to. Conflict
often arises out of concerns related to quality of care. Whereas this is something that the nurse
can directly address, issues of treatment decisions, family involvement, and quality of parental
care often require more discussion and intervention.
PTS: 1
DIF: Cognitive Level: Analysis
REF: p. 288
OBJ: Discuss five methods to resolve conflict.
TOP: Conflict management
MSC: NCLEX: Safe and effective care environmentmanagement of care
3. What is the best strategy for resolving the conflict in a situation in which two staff nurses

request the same vacation weeks?


a. Accommodation
b. Collaboration
ANS: B

c. Competition
d. Avoidance

Collaboration is the strategy that involves confrontation and problem solving. Needs, feelings,
and desires of both parties are considered to create a winwin outcome. Avoidance is a lose
lose strategy for conflict resolution, which is unassertive and uncooperative. Competition is a
winlose situation in which the use of force or the use of power occurs. Accommodation is the
losewin situation in which one person accommodates the other at his or her own expense but
often ends up feeling resentful and angry.
PTS: 1
DIF: Cognitive Level: Analysis
REF: p. 288 | p. 290
OBJ: Discuss five methods to resolve conflict.
TOP: Conflict management
MSC: NCLEX: Safe and effective care environmentmanagement of care
4. On the unit in which you work, one nurses aide is usually pleasant and helpful; the other is

often abrasive and angry. What is the most important basic guideline to be observed by a nurse
who must resolve a conflict between the two nurses aides?
a. Deal with issues, not personalities.
b. Require the aides to reach a compromise.
c. Weigh the consequences of each possible solution.
d. Encourage ventilation of anger and use humor to minimize the conflict.
ANS: A

Dealing with the issues and not the personalities is one of seven important key behaviors in
managing conflict. Whereas issues tend to be more concrete, personalities involve emotional
issues. Although weighing the consequences is one of the seven key behaviors, it does not
apply to this situation which involves the behaviors of the nurses aides. Asking parties to
compromise may not always be the best approach in resolving the conflict. Although
encouraging ventilation of anger and using humor are successful approaches, it is important to
always deal with the issue at hand and not the personality of the person.
PTS:
OBJ:
TOP:
MSC:

1
DIF: Cognitive Level: Analysis
REF: p. 288 | p. 290
Discuss techniques to use in dealing with difficult people.
Conflict management
NCLEX: Safe and effective care environmentmanagement of care

5. One of your peers, a staff nurse, is a potshot artist. This nurse often makes you the butt of

innuendo or teasing digs. You are fed up and decide to take action the next time it happens.
What strategy should be considered as an effective way of dealing with a sniper?
a. Clam up and allow the individual to fully ventilate her concern.
b. Confront and tell the individual he or she is wrong.
c. Coldly withdraw from the individual.
d. Obtain group confirmation or denial of criticism raised by the individual.
ANS: D

When confronting the sniper, it is important to involve the rest of the staff to get a group
consensus of denial or confirmation. Remember to always expose the snipers attack by
saying, That sounded like a put-down to me. Clams tend to withdraw from the individual.
Confronting the individual and telling them they are wrong is how a Sherman tank would
approach the situation because they have a strong need to be right.
PTS: 1
DIF: Cognitive Level: Application
REF: p. 294
OBJ: Discuss techniques to use in dealing with difficult people.
TOP: Conflict management

MSC: NCLEX: Safe and effective care environmentmanagement of care


6. A staff nurse who has worked on the unit for 6 months voices the following concerns to

another nurse: The clinical nurse leader of the unit often follows me into the supply room
and stands blocking the doorway and chats. The nurse leader makes opportunities to mention
my good looks, muscular physique, or strength in the context of daily work, saying things
like: Youre so handsome; no wonder your patients like you. The nurse leader frequently
touches me on the arm, the shoulder, chest, or the hair, and if Im sitting, touches my leg.
Yesterday, the nurse leader patted my arm and said, You know, if we were dating, I might be
able to give you lighter assignments. I dont want to date the nurse leader. I just want to be
left alone! What should I do? What is the best reply?
a. Dont be quite so honorable. Go on a date and see if you get better assignments.
b. Confront the nurse leader with a description of the behavior and state that you
want the behavior to stop.
c. Go directly to the human relations office at the agency and tell them what you just
told me.
d. Contact your lawyer and get advice ASAP in case the nurse leader decides to turn
the tables and accuse you of advances.
ANS: B

There are two ways to deal with sexual harassment in the workplace: informally by
confrontation and formally through a grievance procedure, keeping a record of all
confrontations and statements in writing. The best first step is to confront the person directly.
Then, if there is no stopping of the behavior, go to the human relations office and explain the
situation. At this point, there is no need to contact a lawyer because the human relations office
can handle the sexual harassment issue.
PTS:
OBJ:
TOP:
MSC:

1
DIF: Cognitive Level: Analysis
REF: p. 300
Identify situations of sexual harassment in the workplace and discuss possible solutions.
Conflict management
NCLEX: Safe and effective care environmentmanagement of care

7. To resolve a scheduling conflict, a nurse manager is using employment seniority. The nurse

manager interprets this as


a. a winwin strategy.
b. a winlose strategy.

c. a loselose strategy.
d. a compromise.

ANS: B

This is an example of a winlose strategy, which underpins competition as the method of


resolving the conflict. The person with the more seniority wins, and the one with the lesser
seniority loses the scheduling issue. Compromise or bargaining is a modified winlose
strategy. In this instance, there is no compromise as the nurse manager uses seniority to
resolve the conflict. Avoidance is a loselose strategy for conflict resolution, which is
unassertive and uncooperative. Winwin strategies involve collaboration and problem solving,
which lead to cooperation and objectivity.
PTS: 1
DIF: Cognitive Level: Analysis
REF: p. 289
OBJ: Discuss five methods to resolve conflict.
TOP: Conflict management
MSC: NCLEX: Safe and effective care environmentmanagement of care

8. The nurse manager is attempting to resolve an interpersonal conflict between two nurses.

Which action below should be done first?


Determine the facts related to the situation.
Schedule a meeting time for resolution.
Have an accurate understanding of the problem or conflict.
Have the determination to resolve the conflict.

a.
b.
c.
d.

ANS: C

The first step is to make sure that the nurse manager has an accurate understanding of the
problem of conflict. The quality of the outcome of resolving a problem depends on proper
recognition and identification of the problem or issue. This assessment is best addressed by
determining the nature of the differences and the reasons for them. After this has been
achieved, the next steps would be identifying the conflicting facts and developing ways to
implement a plan for resolution.
PTS: 1
DIF: Cognitive Level: Application
REF: p. 288 | p. 290
OBJ: Discuss five methods to resolve conflict.
TOP: Conflict management
MSC: NCLEX: Safe and effective care environmentmanagement of care
9. During a staff meeting, an upset nursing assistant tells the group that the other nursing

assistants are given easier patient assignments and are always given their choice of days off.
What approach by the nurse manager would be effective to resolve this conflict?
a. Attempt to persuade the upset nursing assistant to calm down.
b. Tell the group that this type of conversation needs to be handled privately.
c. Consider transferring the upset nursing assistant to another unit.
d. Acknowledge the feelings of the upset nursing assistant and make a plan to meet
with her.
ANS: D

Acknowledging the nursing assistants feelings is the first step in conflict resolution. This
process requires dealing with issues, not personalities, by communicating openly, listening
actively to the complaints, sorting out the issues, identifying key themes of the discussion, and
weighing the consequences and options to resolve the conflict. Transferring the upset person
avoids dealing with the conflict.
PTS: 1
DIF: Cognitive Level: Application
REF: p. 288 | p. 290
OBJ: Discuss five methods to resolve conflict.
TOP: Conflict management
MSC: NCLEX: Safe and effective care environmentmanagement of care
10. Considering the following terms used to label different styles of handling angerthe Sherman

tank, the sniper, the constant complainer, and the clam. Which of the following comments
would you expect a Sherman tank to make?
a. That sure sounded like a put-down to me.
b. How dare you accuse me of not putting away the linen!
c. So, you think you know everything, eh?
d. Why do we always have to rotate shifts?
ANS: B

Sherman tanks attack individuals and have a strong need to prove to themselves and to others
that their view of a situation is right. Their comments are abusive and abrupt and can be
intimidating. Snipers take potshots at others and are not as openly aggressive as Sherman
tanks. Constant complainers do just thatthey complain but offer no solution. Clams also
behave like their namethey clam up and refuse to respond when you need an answer or
want to talk.
PTS: 1
DIF: Cognitive Level: Analysis
REF: p. 292
OBJ: Discuss solutions and alternatives in dealing with anger. TOP: Conflict management
MSC: NCLEX: Safe and effective care environmentmanagement of care
11. Which action by the nurse has a potential for creating role conflict?
a. Arguing that the nurse on the next shift is responsible for weighing a patient
b. Failing to discuss differences with a coworker the nurse is angry with
c. Placing the nurses personal achievement over that of coworkers
d. Trying to change another nurses personality
ANS: A

Arguing with another nurse about whose responsibility it is to weigh a patient is an example
of a role conflict. Failing to discuss differences is a communication conflict. Placing personal
achievements about those of others is goal conflict. Trying to change another nurses
personality is personality conflict.
PTS: 1
DIF: Cognitive Level: Application
OBJ: Identify common factors that lead to conflict.
MSC: NCLEX: Not applicable

REF: p. 287
TOP: Conflict

12. Which of the following scenarios shows an ethical conflict?


a. A nurse who consistently speaks poorly of another nurse for always being

grumpy
b. A nurse who has a hard time respecting no codes on young patients
c. A nurse who refuses to run a systems check on the glucometers because its night

shifts duty
d. A nurse who forgets to alert family members to a change in visiting hours
ANS: B

A nurse who has a hard time respecting no codes on young patients is experiencing an
ethical conflict. A nurse who speaks poorly of another nurse has a personality conflict. A nurse
who refuses to run controls on a glucometer has a role conflict. A nurse who forgets to alert
family members to a change in visiting hours has a communication conflict.
PTS: 1
DIF: Cognitive Level: Analysis
OBJ: Identify common factors that lead to conflict.
MSC: NCLEX: Safe and effective care environment

REF: p. 287
TOP: Conflict

13. A nurse is aware that an area of conflict between nurses and patients families is quality of

parental care. Which action would not help the nurse reduce conflict?
Become frustrated with the parents for lack of participation in care
Model positive parenting techniques
Encourage parents to meet other parents
Give out information about parenting classes

a.
b.
c.
d.

ANS: A

To reduce conflict that nurse can model positive parenting techniques, encourage parents to
meet other parents and give out information about parenting classes. The nurse should avoid
becoming frustrated with parents because this will likely cause conflict.
PTS: 1
DIF: Cognitive Level: Application
OBJ: Identify common factors that lead to conflict.
MSC: NCLEX: Safe and effective care environment

REF: pp. 288-290


TOP: Conflict

14. What can staff nurses do to reduce conflict with patients and families?
a. Allow nurses to enforce what they feel comfortable with.
b. Keep treatment decisions between the patient and health care team only.
c. Do not allow family to participate in patient care.
d. Maintain consistency in enforcing rules and policies.
ANS: D

To reduce conflict with patients and families, the nurse can maintain consistency in enforcing
rules and policies. Allowing each nurse to enforce rules they are comfortable with, keeping
treatment decisions between the patient and the health care team, and not allowing family to
participate in care may increase conflict.
PTS: 1
DIF: Cognitive Level: Application
OBJ: Identify common factors that lead to conflict.
MSC: NCLEX: Safe and effective care environment

REF: pp. 288-290


TOP: Conflict

15. A nurse is frustrated about being scheduled on a holiday that had been requested off, but a

new nurse with less seniority was given the holiday off. Which action by the nurse shows
accommodation?
a. The nurse works out a schedule change with the new nurse.
b. The nurse doesnt bring the issue to the attention of the new nurse but feels angry
and frustrated.
c. The nurse works the holiday while the new nurse has the day off.
d. The nurse requests to have the day before the holiday off.
ANS: C

Accommodation occurs when the nurse decides to work the holiday while the new nurse has
the holiday off. Collaboration occurs when the nurses work out a schedule change. Avoidance
occurs when the nurse doesnt bring the issue to the attention of the new nurse but feels angry
and frustrated. Compromise occurs when the nurse requests to have the day before the holiday
off.
PTS: 1
DIF: Cognitive Level: Application
OBJ: Discuss five methods to resolve conflict.
MSC: NCLEX: Safe and effective care environment

REF: p. 290
TOP: Conflict resolution

16. A nurse feels angry over a patient assignment and feels that assignments always include the

bad ones. What is the best way to control this anger?


a. Ignore the negative feelings.
b. Talk about other coworkers behind their backs.
c. Face this anger and determine what is being felt.
d. Refuse to speak to any coworkers for fear of lashing out.

ANS: C

The nurse should face the anger and determine what is being felt. Ignoring angry feelings,
talking about coworkers behind their backs, and ignoring others will not help to resolve the
anger.
PTS: 1
DIF: Cognitive Level: Application
REF: pp. 297-300
OBJ: Discuss techniques to use in dealing with difficult people.
TOP: Dealing with difficult people
MSC: NCLEX: Safe and effective care environment
17. Which statement by the nurse is true regarding sexual harassment?
a. Sexual harassment no longer occurs in the workplace.
b. Sexual harassment is only caused by men.
c. The most common sexual harassment complaint is inappropriate remarks and

touching.
d. Nothing can be done to prove sexual harassment.
ANS: C

The most common sexual harassment complaint is inappropriate remarks and touching. The
statements that sexual harassment no longer occurs in the workplace, sexual harassment is
only caused by men, and nothing can be done to prove sexual harassment are false.
PTS:
OBJ:
TOP:
MSC:

1
DIF: Cognitive Level: Analysis
REF: pp. 300-302
Identify situations of sexual harassment in the workplace and discuss possible solutions.
Sexual harassment in the workplace
NCLEX: Safe and effective care environment

18. A female nurse is experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace by a male nurse. Which

action should this nurse take to stop the sexual harassment?


Ignore the comments made by the male nurse.
Laugh about the comments.
Tell the male nurse to stop.
Begin to sexually harass the male nurse.

a.
b.
c.
d.

ANS: C

The nurse should take the most direct route and tell the male nurse to stop. Ignoring the
comments, laughing at them, or sexually harassing the male nurse will not stop the
harassment.
PTS:
OBJ:
TOP:
MSC:

1
DIF: Cognitive Level: Application
REF: pp. 300-302
Identify situations of sexual harassment in the workplace and discuss possible solutions.
Sexual harassment in the workplace
NCLEX: Safe and effective care environment

MULTIPLE RESPONSE
1. What action(s) by the staff nurse is an effective way to deal with a sexual harassment issue in

the workplace? (Select all that apply.)


Tell the person to stop.
Tell your best friend about the incident.
File a formal grievance.
Explain the situation to your spouse.

a.
b.
c.
d.

e. Play along with the person and document the activities.


f. Threaten the person with a sexual harassment lawsuit.
ANS: A, B, C, D

There are two ways to deal with sexual harassment workplace conflict, informally and
formally through a grievance procedure. Start with the most direct measure. Ask the person to
STOP! Tell the harasser in clear terms that the behavior makes you uncomfortable and that
you want it to stop immediately. In addition, put your statement in writing to the person,
keeping a copy for yourself. It is also important to tell other people (e.g., family members,
friends, your personal physician, your minister) that this is happening and how you are
dealing with it.
PTS: 1
DIF: Cognitive Level: Application
REF: pp. 300-302
OBJ: Discuss five methods to resolve conflict.
TOP: Conflict management
MSC: NCLEX: Safe and effective care environmentmanagement of care
2. Which of the following are common factors of conflict encountered in nursing? (Select all

that apply.)
Ambiguous boundaries around work responsibilities
Unclear communication to family members about visiting hours
Nursing assistant placing personal achievement above everything
Chief of medicine demanding that the nurse/patient ratio be increased
Consideration of 26-week termination of pregnancy by a physician because of
mothers health
f. Vacation schedules posted with new staff members having to work at least one day
during all holidays
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

ANS: A, B, C, D, E, F

All of these areas are potential factors that can precipitate conflict in a nursing situation
roles, communication, goals, personalities, and conflicting ethics and values.
PTS: 1
DIF: Cognitive Level: Application
REF: p. 287
OBJ: Identify common factors that lead to conflict.
TOP: Conflict management
MSC: NCLEX: Safe and effective care environmentmanagement of care
3. What is important for the nurse manager to understand about resolving conflict in the

workplace? (Select all that apply.)


a. Realize that most new graduates use competition as a form of conflict response.
b. Effective role socialization reduces negative conflict behaviors among nursing
staff.
c. Use of collaboration to solve conflict issues is an important strategy to encourage.
d. Thinking like a nurse promotes role socialization and reduces conflict.
e. Nurse managers need to create working environments that facilitate professional
practice.
f. High self-esteem fosters entitlement-type behavior that promotes conflict.
ANS: B, C, D, E

New graduates use compromise and avoidance as primary means of conflict resolution based
on current research. High self-esteem is often found in empowering workplace environments
where successful positive conflict resolution occurs. Effective role socialization, positive
professional practice environments, using collaboration, and thinking like a nurse are noted in
effective conflict resolution situations.
PTS: 1
DIF: Cognitive Level: Application
REF: pp. 288-290
OBJ: Identify common factors that lead to conflict.
TOP: Conflict management
MSC: NCLEX: Safe and effective care environmentmanagement of care
4. What are some positive results that can come from conflict? (Select all that apply.)
a. Disturbing issues are brought out, which may lead to more serious conflict.
b. Groups cohesiveness may increase as individuals resolve issues.
c. Results of conflict can be constructive.
d. Groups can learn from each other.
e. Talking about issues can avert serious conflict.
ANS: B, C, D, E

Positive aspects of conflict include group cohesiveness may increase as individuals resolve
issues, results of conflict can be constructive, and groups can learn from each other and
talking about issues can avert serious conflict.
PTS: 1
DIF: Cognitive Level: Analysis
OBJ: Identify common factors that lead to conflict.
MSC: NCLEX: Safe and effective care environment

REF: pp. 288-289


TOP: Conflict

5. A nurse is caring for an older adult patient when conflict regarding treatment arises between

the family and the health care provider. What can the nurse do to resolve this conflict? (Select
all that apply.)
a. Defend the health care providers treatment and try to explain it to the family.
b. Try to convince the family that the health care provider knows what is best for the
patient.
c. Allow the family to participate in the decision-making process for their loved one.
d. Encourage the family to speak directly to the health care provider regarding
treatments.
e. Clarify the health care providers order with the family.
ANS: C, D, E

The nurse should avoid defending the health care providers treatment and convincing the
family that the health care provider knows what is best. Instead the nurse should allow the
family to participate in the decision-making process, encourage the family to speak directly to
the health care provider regarding treatments, and clarify orders with the family.
PTS: 1
DIF: Cognitive Level: Analysis
OBJ: Identify common factors that lead to conflict.
MSC: NCLEX: Safe and effective care environment

REF: pp. 288-290


TOP: Conflict

6. Which of the following statements by the nurse about unresolved conflict is true? (Select all

that apply.)
a. Conflict makes nursing staff more productive.
b. Conflict reduces productivity among staff.

c. Conflicts wastes time.


d. Conflict waste energy.
e. Conflict increases teamwork.
ANS: B, C, D

Unresolved conflict reduces productivity, decreases teamwork, and wastes time and energy.
Nursing staff are not more productive with unresolved conflict, and this type of conflict does
not increase team work.
PTS: 1
DIF: Cognitive Level: Application
OBJ: Discuss five methods to resolve conflict.
MSC: NCLEX: Safe and effective care environment

REF: p. 288
TOP: Conflict resolution

7. What actions can a nurse implement into daily practice to reduce conflict? (Select all that

apply.)
Deal with issues and not personalities.
Worry about themselves and no one else.
Communicate openly.
Listen actively.
Sort out issues.

a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

ANS: A, C, D, E

To reduce conflict, nurses can implement the following actions into their daily practice: deal
with issues and not personalities, communicate openly, listen actively, and sort out issues.
PTS: 1
DIF: Cognitive Level: Application
OBJ: Discuss five methods to resolve conflict.
MSC: NCLEX: Safe and effective care environment

REF: pp. 288-290


TOP: Conflict resolution

Zerwekh: Nursing Today, 7th Edition


Chapter 13: Conflict Management
Test Bank
MULTIPLE CHOICE
1. A newborn has several congenital anomalies incompatible with living
beyond a month. He cannot retain formula, and his temperature drops
when he is removed from the warmer. Two nurses who alternate caring for
the baby argue about whether or not to attempt bottle feedings and
whether he should be removed from the warmer to be held. What is the
origin of the conflict described?
a. Ethical values
b. Nursing role concerns
c. Personal goals for advancement
d. Personality differences
ANS: A
This situation depicts personal issues based on two separate sets of ethics
or values regarding the infants care. One nurse places value on nutritional

needs and the other on the need for bonding.


DIF:
OBJ:
TOP:
MSC:

Cognitive Level: Analysis


REF: p. 267
Identify common factors that lead to conflict.
Conflict management
NCLEX: Safe, effective care environmentmanagement of care

2. Of the following common areas of conflict between nurses and their


patients and families, which is most easily resolved?
a. Issues of concern about quality of care
b. Issues surrounding treatment decisions
c. Issues of family involvement
d. Issues about quality of parental care
ANS: A
Families typically are concerned with how well their loved one is being
attended to. Conflict often arises out of concerns related to quality of care.
This is something that the nurse can directly address, whereas issues of
treatment decisions, family involvement, and quality of parental care often
require more discussion and intervention.
DIF:
OBJ:
TOP:
MSC:

Cognitive Level: Comprehension


REF:
p. 268
Discuss five methods to resolve conflict.
Conflict management
NCLEX: Safe, effective care environmentmanagement of care

3. What is the best strategy for resolving the conflict in a situation in which
two staff nurses request the same vacation weeks?
a. Accommodation
b. Collaboration
c. Competition
d. Avoidance
ANS: B
Collaboration is the strategy that involves confrontation and problem
solving. Needs, feelings, and desires of both parties are considered to
create a win-win outcome.
DIF:
OBJ:
TOP:
MSC:

Cognitive Level: Analysis


REF: p. 269
Discuss five methods to resolve conflict.
Conflict management
NCLEX: Safe, effective care environmentmanagement of care

4. On the unit in which you work, one nurses aide is usually pleasant and
helpful; the other is often abrasive and angry. What is the most important
basic guideline to be observed by a nurse who must resolve a conflict
between the two nurses aides?
a. Deal with issues, not personalities.

b. Require the aides to reach a compromise.


c. Weigh the consequences of each possible solution.
d. Encourage ventilation of anger and use humor to minimize the
conflict.
ANS: A
Dealing with the issues and not the personalities is one of seven important
key behaviors in managing conflict. Issues tend to be more concrete,
whereas personalities involve emotional issues.
DIF:
OBJ:
TOP:
MSC:

Cognitive Level: Analysis


REF: p. 272
Discuss techniques to use in dealing with difficult people.
Conflict management
NCLEX: Safe, effective care environmentmanagement of care

5. One of your peers, a staff nurse, is a potshot artist. She often makes you
the butt of innuendo or teasing digs. You are fed up and decide to take
action the next time it happens. What strategy should be considered as an
effective way of dealing with a sniper?
a. Clam up and allow the individual to fully ventilate her concern.
b. Confront the individual, saying that she is wrong.
c. Coldly withdraw from the individual.
d. Obtain group confirmation or denial of criticism raised by the
individual.
ANS: D
When confronting the sniper, it is important to involve the rest of the staff
to get a group consensus of denial or confirmation.
DIF:
OBJ:
TOP:
MSC:

Cognitive Level: Application REF: p. 274


Discuss techniques to use in dealing with difficult people.
Conflict management
NCLEX: Safe, effective care environmentmanagement of care

6. A staff nurse who has worked on the unit for 6 months voices the following
concerns to another nurse: The clinical nurse leader of the unit often
follows me into the supply room, where she stands blocking the doorway
and chats. She makes opportunities to mention my good looks, muscular
physique, or strength in the context of daily work. She says things like,
Youre so handsome, no wonder your patients like you. As she talks to
me, she frequently touches me on the arm, the shoulder, chest, or the
hair, and if Im sitting, she touches my leg. Yesterday, she patted my arm
and said, You know, if we were dating, I might be able to give you lighter
assignments. I dont want to date her. I just want her to leave me alone!
What should I do? What is the best reply?
a. Dont be quite so honorable. Date her and see if you get better
assignments.
b. Confront her with a description of her behavior and tell her that

you want her to stop.


c. Go directly to the human relations office at the agency and tell
them what you just told me.
d. Contact your lawyer and get advice ASAP, in case she decides to
turn the tables and accuse you of advances.
ANS: B
There are two ways to deal with sexual harassment in the workplace:
informally by confrontation and formally through a grievance procedure,
keeping a record of all confrontations and statements in writing. The best
first step is to confront the person directly.
DIF: Cognitive Level: Analysis
REF: p. 282
OBJ: Identify situations of sexual harassment in the workplace and discuss
possible solutions.
TOP:
Conflict management
MSC: NCLEX: Safe, effective care environmentmanagement of care
7. When a nurse manager uses employment seniority to resolve a scheduling
conflict between two nurses, this is an example of a _____ strategy.
a. Win-win
b. Win-lose
c. Lose-lose
d. Compromise
ANS: B
This is an example of a win-lose strategy, which underpins competition as
the method of resolving the conflict. The person with the more seniority
wins, and the one with the lesser seniority loses the scheduling issue.
Compromise or bargaining is a modified win-lose strategy. In this instance,
there is no compromise as the nurse manager uses seniority to resolve the
conflict. Avoidance is a lose-lose strategy for conflict resolution, which is
unassertive and uncooperative. Win-win strategies involve collaboration
and problem solving, which lead to cooperation and objectivity.
DIF:
OBJ:
TOP:
MSC:

Cognitive Level: Comprehension


REF:
p. 269
Discuss five methods to resolve conflict.
Conflict management
NCLEX: Safe, effective care environmentmanagement of care

8. The nurse manager understands that the first step in attempting to resolve
an interpersonal conflict between two nurses is to:
a. Determine the facts related to the situation.
b. Schedule a meeting time for resolution.
c. Have an accurate understanding of the problem or conflict.
d. Have the determination to resolve the conflict.
ANS: C
The quality of the outcome of resolving a problem depends on proper
recognition and identification of the problem or issue. This assessment is

best addressed by determining the nature of the differences and the


reasons for them. After this has been achieved, the next steps would be
identifying the conflicting facts and developing ways to implement a plan
for resolution.
DIF:
OBJ:
TOP:
MSC:

Cognitive Level: Comprehension


REF:
p. 272
Discuss five methods to resolve conflict.
Conflict management
NCLEX: Safe, effective care environmentmanagement of care

9. During a staff meeting, an upset nursing assistant tells the group that she
thinks the other nursing assistants are given easier patient assignments
and are always given their choice of days off. What approach by the nurse
manager would be effective to resolve this conflict?
a. Attempt to persuade the upset nursing assistant to calm down.
b. Tell the group that this type of conversation needs to be handled
privately.
c. Consider transferring the upset nursing assistant to another unit.
d. Acknowledge the feelings of the upset nursing assistant and
make a plan to meet with her.
ANS: D
Conflict negotiation requires dealing with issues, not personalities, by
communicating openly, listening actively to the complaints, sorting out the
issues, identifying key themes of the discussion, and weighing the
consequences and options to resolve the conflict. Acknowledging the
nursing assistants feelings is the first step in this process.
DIF:
OBJ:
TOP:
MSC:

Cognitive Level: Application REF: p. 272


Discuss five methods to resolve conflict.
Conflict management
NCLEX: Safe, effective care environmentmanagement of care

10. Considering the following terms used to label different styles of handling
angerthe Sherman tank, the sniper, the constant complainer, and the
clamwhich of the following comments would you expect a Sherman tank
to make?
a. That sure sounded like a put-down to me.
b. How dare you accuse me of not putting away the linen!
c. So, you think you know everything, eh?
d. Why do we always have to rotate shifts?
ANS: B
Sherman tanks attack individuals and have a strong need to prove to
themselves and to others that their view of a situation is right. Their
comments are abusive and abrupt and can be intimidating. Snipers take
potshots at others and are not as openly aggressive as Sherman tanks.
Constant complainers do just thatthey complain but offer no solution.

Clams also behave like their namethey clam up and refuse to respond
when you need an answer or want to talk.
DIF:
OBJ:
TOP:
MSC:

Cognitive Level: Analysis


REF: p. 272
Discuss solutions and alternatives in dealing with anger.
Conflict management
NCLEX: Safe, effective care environmentmanagement of care

MULTIPLE RESPONSE
1. The staff nurse understands that which of the following are effective ways
to deal with a sexual harassment issue in the workplace? Select all that
apply.
a. Tell the person to stop.
b. Tell your best friend about the incident.
c. File a formal grievance.
d. Explain the situation to your spouse.
e. Play along with the person and document the activities.
f. Threaten the person with a sexual harassment lawsuit.
ANS: A, B, C, D
There are two ways to deal with sexual harassment workplace conflict:
informally and formally through a grievance procedure. Start with the most
direct measure. Ask the person to STOP! Tell the harasser in clear terms
that the behavior makes you uncomfortable and that you want it to stop
immediately. In addition, put your statement in writing to the person,
keeping a copy for yourself. It is also important to tell other people (for
example, family members, friends, your personal physician, your minister)
that this is happening and how you are dealing with it.
DIF:
OBJ:
TOP:
MSC:

Cognitive Level: Comprehension


REF:
p. 282
Discuss five methods to resolve conflict.
Conflict management
NCLEX: Safe, effective care environmentmanagement of care

2. Which of the following are common factors of conflict encountered in


nursing? Select all that apply.
a. Ambiguous boundaries around work responsibilities
b. Unclear communication to family members about visiting hours
c. Nursing assistant placing personal achievement above everything
d. Chief of medicine demanding that the nurse/patient ratio be
increased
e. Consideration of 26-week termination of pregnancy by a
physician because of mothers health
f. Vacation schedules posted with new staff members having to
work at least one day during all holidays
ANS: A, B, C, D, E, F

All of these areas are potential factors that can precipitate conflict in a
nursing situationroles, communication, goals, personalities, and
conflicting ethics and values.
DIF:
OBJ:
TOP:
MSC:

Cognitive Level: Application REF: p. 267


Identify common factors that lead to conflict.
Conflict management
NCLEX: Safe, effective care environmentmanagement of care

3. What is important for the nurse manager to understand about resolving


conflict in the workplace? Select all that apply.
a. Realize that most new graduates use competition as a form of
conflict response.
b. Effective role socialization reduces negative conflict behaviors
among nursing staff.
c. Use of collaboration to solve conflict issues is an important
strategy to encourage.
d. Thinking like a nurse promotes role socialization and reduces
conflict.
e. Nurse managers need to create working environments that
facilitate professional practice.
f. High self-esteem fosters entitlement-type behavior which
promotes conflict.
ANS: B, C, D, E
New graduates use compromise and avoidance as primary means of
conflict resolution based on current research. High self-esteem is often
found in empowering workplace environments where successful positive
conflict resolution occurs. Effective role socialization, positive professional
practice environments, using collaboration, and thinking like a nurse are
noted in effective conflict resolution situations.
DIF:
OBJ:
TOP:
MSC:

Cognitive Level: Application REF: p. 273


Identify common factors that lead to conflict.
Conflict management
NCLEX: Safe, effective care environmentmanagement of care

Zerwekh: Nursing Today, 6th Edition

Test Bank

Chapter 13: Conflict Management

MULTIPLE CHOICE

1. A newborn has several congenital anomalies incompatible with living beyond a


month. He cannot retain formula, and his temperature drops when he is removed
from the warmer. Two nurses who alternate caring for the baby argue about
whether or not to attempt bottle feedings and whether he should be removed
from the warmer to be held. What is the origin of the conflict described?
a. Ethical values
b. Nursing role concerns
c. Personal goals for advancement
d. Personality differences

ANS: A
This situation depicts personal issues based on two separate sets of ethics or
values regarding the infants care. One nurse places value on nutritional needs
and the other on the need for bonding.
DIF: Cognitive Level: Analysis
conflict

OBJ: Identify common factors that lead to

TOP: Conflict management


MSC: NCLEX: Safe, effective care environmentmanagement of care

2. Of the following common areas of conflict between nurses and their clients and
families, which is most easily resolved?
a. Issues of concern about quality of care
b. Issues surrounding treatment decisions
c. Issues of family involvement
d. Issues about quality of parental care

ANS: A
Families typically are concerned with how well their loved one is being attended
to. Conflict often arises out of concerns related to quality of care. This is
something that the nurse can directly address, whereas issues of treatment
decisions, family involvement, and quality of parental care often require more
discussion and intervention.

DIF: Cognitive Level: Comprehension


resolve conflict

OBJ:

Discuss five methods to

TOP: Conflict management


MSC: NCLEX: Safe, effective care environmentmanagement of care

3. What is the best strategy for resolving the conflict in a situation in which two staff
nurses request the same vacation weeks?
a. Accommodation
b. Collaboration
c. Competition
d. Avoidance

ANS: B
Collaboration is the strategy that involves confrontation and problem solving.
Needs, feelings, and desires of both parties are considered to create a win-win
outcome.
DIF: Cognitive Level: Comprehension
resolve conflict

OBJ:

Discuss five methods to

TOP: Conflict management


MSC: NCLEX: Safe, effective care environmentmanagement of care

4. On the unit in which you work, one nurses aide is usually pleasant and helpful;
the other is often abrasive and angry. What is the most important basic guideline
to be observed by a nurse who must resolve a conflict between the two nurses
aides?
a. Deal with issues, not personalities.
b. Require the aides to reach a compromise.
c. Weigh the consequences of each possible solution.
d. Encourage ventilation of anger and use humor to minimize the conflict.

ANS: A

Dealing with the issues and not the personalities is one of seven important key
behaviors in managing conflict. Issues tend to be more concrete, whereas
personalities involve emotional issues.
DIF: Cognitive Level: Comprehension
OBJ: Discuss techniques to use in dealing with difficult people
management

TOP: Conflict

MSC: NCLEX: Safe, effective care environmentmanagement of care

5. One of your peers, a staff nurse, is a potshot artist. She often makes you the
butt of innuendo or teasing digs. You are fed up and decide to take action the
next time it happens. What strategy should be considered as an effective way of
dealing with a sniper?
a. Clam up and allow the individual to fully ventilate her concern.
b. Confront the individual, saying that she is wrong.
c. Coldly withdraw from the individual.
d. Obtain group confirmation or denial of criticism raised by the individual.

ANS: D
When confronting the sniper, it is important to involve the rest of the staff to get
a group consensus of denial or confirmation.
DIF: Cognitive Level: Application
OBJ: Discuss techniques to use in dealing with difficult people
management

TOP: Conflict

MSC: NCLEX: Safe, effective care environmentmanagement of care

6. A staff nurse who has worked on the unit for 6 months voices the following
concerns to another nurse: The clinical nurse leader of the unit often follows me
into the supply room, where she stands blocking the doorway and chats. She
makes opportunities to mention my good looks, muscular physique, or strength in
the context of daily work. She says things like, Youre so handsome, no wonder
your clients like you. As she talks to me, she frequently touches me on the arm,
the shoulder, chest, or the hair, and if Im sitting, she touches my leg. Yesterday,
she patted my arm and said, You know, if we were dating, I might be able to give
you lighter assignments. I dont want to date her. I just want her to leave me
alone! What should I do? What is the best reply?
a. Dont be quite so honorable. Date her and see if you get better
assignments.
b. Confront her with a description of her behavior and tell her that you
want her to stop.
c. Go directly to the human relations office at the agency and tell them
what you just told me.
d. Contact your lawyer and get advice ASAP, in case she decides to turn
the tables and accuse you of advances.

ANS: B
There are two ways to deal with sexual harassment in the workplace: informally
by confrontation and formally through a grievance procedure, keeping a record of
all confrontations and statements in writing. The best first step is to confront the
person directly.
DIF: Cognitive Level: Analysis
OBJ: Identify situations of sexual harassment in the workplace and discuss
possible solutions.
TOP: Conflict management
MSC: NCLEX: Safe, effective care environmentmanagement of care

7. When a nurse manager uses employment seniority to resolve a scheduling


conflict between two nurses, this is an example of a:
a. Win-win strategy
b. Win-lose strategy
c. Lose-lose strategy

d. Compromise strategy

ANS: C
Avoidance is a lose-lose strategy for conflict resolution, which is unassertive and
uncooperative. Both persons in the conflict essentially lose, because the
decision is based on resorting to general rules instead of considering the merits
of each of the individual cases, which would be more of a compromise. Win-win
strategies involve collaboration and problem solving, which lead to cooperation
and objectivity.
DIF: Cognitive Level: Comprehension
with conflict

OBJ:

Discuss five methods to deal

TOP: Conflict management


MSC: NCLEX: Safe, effective care environmentmanagement of care

8. The nurse manager understands that the first step in attempting to resolve an
interpersonal conflict between two nurses is to:
a. Determine the facts related to the situation
b. Schedule a meeting time for resolution
c. Have an accurate understanding of the problem or conflict
d. Have the determination to resolve the conflict

ANS: C
The quality of the outcome of resolving a problem depends on proper recognition
and identification of the problem or issue. This assessment is best addressed by
determining the nature of the differences and the reasons for them. After this has
been achieved, the next steps would be identifying the conflicting facts and
developing ways to implement a plan for resolution.
DIF: Cognitive Level: Comprehension
with conflict

OBJ:

Discuss five methods to deal

TOP: Conflict management


MSC: NCLEX: Safe, effective care environmentmanagement of care

9. During a staff meeting, an upset nursing assistant tells the group that she thinks
the other nursing assistants are given easier client assignments and are always
given their choice of days off. What approach by the nurse manager would be
effective to resolve this conflict?
a. Attempt to persuade the upset nursing assistant to calm down.
b. Tell the group that this type of conversation needs to be handled
privately.
c. Consider transferring the upset nursing assistant to another unit.
d. Acknowledge the feelings of the upset nursing assistant and make a
plan to meet with her.

ANS: D
Conflict negotiation requires dealing with issues, not personalities, by
communicating openly, listening actively to the complaints, sorting out the
issues, identifying key themes of the discussion, and weighing the consequences
and options to resolve the conflict. Acknowledging the nursing assistants feelings
is the first step in this process.
DIF: Cognitive Level: Application
conflict

OBJ: Discuss five methods to deal with

TOP: Conflict management


MSC: NCLEX: Safe, effective care environmentmanagement of care

10. Considering the following terms used to label different styles of handling anger
the Sherman tank, the sniper, the constant complainer, and the clamwhich of
the following comments would you expect a Sherman tank to make?
a. That sure sounded like a put-down to me.
b. How dare you accuse me of not putting away the linen!
c. So, you think you know everything, eh?
d. Why do we always have to rotate shifts?

ANS: B

Sherman tanks attack individuals and have a strong need to prove to themselves
and to others that their view of a situation is right. Their comments are abusive
and abrupt and can be intimidating. Snipers take pot shots at others and are
not as openly aggressive as Sherman tanks. Constant complainers do just that
they complain but offer no solution. Clams also behave like their namethey
clam up and refuse to respond when you need an answer or want to talk.
DIF: Cognitive Level: Application
OBJ: Discuss solutions and alternatives in dealing with anger
management

TOP: Conflict

MSC: NCLEX: Safe, effective care environmentmanagement of care

MULTIPLE RESPONSE

1. The staff nurse understands that which of the following are effective ways to deal
with a sexual harassment issue in the workplace? Select all that apply.
a. Tell the person to stop.
b. Tell your best friend about the incident.
c. File a formal grievance.
d. Explain the situation to your spouse.
e. Play along with the person and document the activities.
f.

Threaten the person with a sexual harassment lawsuit.

ANS: A, B, C, D
There are two ways to deal with sexual harassment workplace conflict: informally
and formally through a grievance procedure. Start with the most direct measure.
Ask the person to STOP! Tell the harasser in clear terms that the behavior makes
you uncomfortable and that you want it to stop immediately. In addition, put your
statement in writing to the person, keeping a copy for yourself. It is also
important to tell other people (for example, family members, friends, your
personal physician, your minister) that this is happening and how you are dealing
with it.
DIF: Cognitive Level: Application
conflict

OBJ: Discuss five methods to deal with

TOP: Conflict management


MSC: NCLEX: Safe, effective care environmentmanagement of care

2. Which of the following are common factors of conflict encountered in nursing?


Select all that apply.
a. Ambiguous boundaries around work responsibilities
b. Unclear communication to family members about visiting hours
c. Nursing assistant placing personal achievement above everything
d. Chief of medicine demanding that the nurse/client ratio be increased
e. Consideration of 26-week termination of pregnancy by a physician
because of mothers health
f.

Vacation schedules posted with new staff members having to work at


least one day during all holidays

ANS: A, B, C, D, E, F
All of these areas are potential factors that can precipitate conflict in a nursing
situationroles, communication, goals, personalities, and conflicting
ethics/values.
DIF: Cognitive Level: Application
conflict

OBJ: Identify common factors that lead to

TOP: Conflict management


MSC: NCLEX: Safe, effective care environmentmanagement of care