Reflection Example: How to Solve a Physical Altercation Between a Nurse and Patient

Published: 2024-01-29
Reflection Example: How to Solve a Physical Altercation Between a Nurse and Patient
Essay type:  Reflective essays
Categories:  Health and Social Care Nursing
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 611 words
6 min read

Nurses routinely interact more intimately with patients than other professionals from different medical cadres. They are involved in all circumstances, from life-threatening moments to recovery processes, all of which are crucial to their lives. The nurses' proximity to patients sometimes predisposes them to conflict. This paper reflects an interpersonal conflict between a patient and a nurse. The patient physically assaults the nurse by slapping them in the face and how such a dispute can be solved from a nurse manager's perspective.

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The nurse and patient's aforementioned physical altercation breaks out and the nurse pushes the patient to take some medication. The patient, however, is reluctant to take the medication because it has been making him nauseous. After a heated confrontation, the patient slaps the nurse out of desperation. The conflict breeds depressive feelings in both the nurse and the patient because the patient believes his concerns are not considered. On the other hand, the nurse is depressed based on the non-compliance by the patient to an intervention that is supposed to restore his health and make his life even more productive.

As a nurse manager, it is essential to evaluate the conflict by considering the opposite sides' perceptions. Perceptions are a result of individual passions, which are the specifications to which different people expect things to be executed. The variance of passions between the nurse and patient may lead to emotional outbursts from both sides, with the conflict evolving into a physical exchange. The patient on one side is probably lobbying for a change of medication, while the nurse is concerned with the urgency of treatment and the patient's need to adhere to the prescription.

Analysis of the conflict helps the nurse manager to discern what approach may have been taken by the junior nurse as a professional. From a case in point, the nurse took a dominating approach, resulting in violent resentment from the patient. The urgency necessitated the dominant style to salvage the patient's situation (Patton, 2014).

The nurse manager should then draw up an action plan to resolve the conflict. Firstly, it is essential to pinpoint the source of conflict through keen listening (Patton, 2014). Nurse managers should investigate the altercation circumstances by getting the perspectives of the patient and nurse before deciding the next steps. The nurse manager should then target to strike a compromise between the nurse and patient to secure the nurse's continuation and full recovery of the patient.

The nurse manager should also be sure to take precautionary measures to avert such conflicts. In that regard, the nurse manager should consider instituting strict policy guidelines on abuse, where nurses are encouraged to report any incidents for prompt redress immediately. The nursing staff should be appropriately sensitized to these policies while offering compulsory counseling to those who fall victim or are caught assaulting others (Amiri & Namdar Areshtanab, 2019). Further, the nurse manager should strive to cultivate a teamwork culture among the nursing staff and extend to the patients they serve daily.


Conflicts are problems that can be firmly attributed to emotion. Therefore, a nurse manager should seek to appeal to the conscience of the parties involved. The nurse manager should listen and take into account the nurse and patient's emotional standpoints to cure the physical manifestation conflicts such as fights, which are hazardous to the hospital environment. A nurse manager involved in conflict resolution should not pursue rationality but seek to converge the patient's interests and the nurse involved in the dispute.


Amiri, E., Ebrahimi, H., Vahidi, M., Asghari Jafarabadi, M., & Namdar Areshtanab, H. (2019). Relationship between nurses' moral sensitivity and the quality of care. Nursing Ethics, 26(4), 1265-1273. (Abstract).

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