How to Resolve Workplace Conflict in a Hospital Setting

It is easy for workplace conflict in a hospital to happen due to the emotional nature and intensity of the job.  Nobody likes dealing with conflict, but effectively handling workplace conflict in a hospital setting is a critical skill that can help your career.  Avoiding the conflict just adds stress to your job and potentially leads to unnecessary job changes.  These tips will help you handle a workplace conflict more easily and prevent them from escalating.

Tackle The Issue After You’ve Calmed Down

Give yourself and the other person some time to cool down before you approach the issue.  It is important to discuss matters before they continue to escalate, but the situation will not benefit from either party going into the resolution angry or upset.  Taking a little while to calm down will make a world of difference in the discussion.

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Consider Your Role in the Conflict

Is there anything you could have handled differently?  Take responsibility and acknowledge any wrongdoing you may have in the altercation.  This will help the other person see that you are open to understanding all sides of the disagreement.

Talk It Out

Always have a discussion about the conflict in a face to face manner, and not over emails or other forms of messages, because it is too easy to misinterpret the meaning.  Use “I feel” statements to refer to the behavior and not the person.  Comments that start with “When I’m shouted at, I feel…” or “I feel unappreciated when I…”  Avoiding statements with “you” will help the other person not feel blamed and the need to be defensive, which leads to a more open discussion.

Know When To Get Human Resources Involved

It may be obvious to get HR involved when there is a policy violation involved, but there are a few other instances when it may be a good idea to call them in.  If you have tried to resolve the conflict on your own to no success, human resources can be a great mediator.  They would also like to know about the conflict if you or anyone else is considering quitting or if it is affecting staff morale.  Human resource staff is trained in workplace conflict management and can be a great resource for helping you.

Let It Go

After addressing the problem and working through a resolution it is imperative that you move on and do not hold a grudge.  You do not have to be best friends with your co-worker, but it is important that you continue to act in a professional manner.

Each conflict is an opportunity for growth in your professional career.  It helps us to understand another person’s perspective and reflect on our own actions, preventing future conflicts.  Learning how to resolve workplace conflict in a hospital is an invaluable skill that will not only help you become happier in your job, but it will also show your employer what a well-rounded employee you are.

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What is an agency nurse and how might this work for my career?

Whether just starting your nursing career or as a well-established permanent or NHS nurse, you might ask yourself – what is an agency nurse exactly, and can this be a good move for my career?

An agency nurse is the same as any other, only they work on a temporary (or ‘locum’) basis through an agency in a variety of settings rather than a permanent role in one fixed place. Working as an agency nurse isn’t for everyone but it can prove an excellent career choice for many nurses, offering the chance to gain new skills and the ability to work flexibly.

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Some of the benefits of working healthcare staffing agency

Greater control over your work-life balance

Agency nurses have the ability to control where, when and how often they work. This means you have greater choices over your hours, shift patterns and even income. Don’t fancy nights or want to take a two week holiday at short notice? Not a problem. Communicate your availability and preferences with your recruitment agency and they will secure the most suitable work for you.

Career development

Working as an agency nurse means access to a wide range of environments to work in. This is undoubtedly a bonus for your experience and CV, as you will learn a variety of skills and sets of tasks and responsibilities. This could range from healthcare trusts to prisons to general practice, as well as work within hospitals.

Although students and newly qualified nurses are limited to healthcare assistant work, this experience can be invaluable in securing subsequent temporary roles or your first permanent position, depending on which work pattern you have decided is best for you.

Career guidance and support

When working as an agency nurse you will have the full support of your agency behind you. Some agencies will offer career help and advice, as well as help with matters such as your NMC revalidation .


Some people prefer the same environment to work in day in day out, but for many others the chance to work in a new workplace with different teams can be a very rewarding and exciting way to work.

Agency nurses must be able to fit seamlessly into new teams while working at their professional best, working at the task at hand: the wellbeing of their patients. Rather than sticking to one hospital, or even one ward, it will suit those who enjoy new surroundings and work colleagues.

Financial reward

It’s true that working healthcare staffing can mean better financial remuneration, particularly if you have plenty of availability. It can mean expressing an interest for night shifts only, for instance, rather than juggling shifts with other permanent team members, thereby maximising income.

Avoid ‘office’ politics

Agency nursing allows you to focus on patient care without having to navigate the dynamics of team and hierarchical politics. You can focus on the job at hand when at work, allowing you to disconnect and focus on personal commitments when you’re not.

History’s Greatest Nurses

Who are the iconic nurses of the profession and what did they do? As part of our thank you series leading up to International Nurses Day (#IND2020) we're looking at some of the most important healthcare staffing 
throughout history, their contribution to modern nursing, and a couple of celebrities you probably didn’t know were once nurses! Putting care at the heart of everything you do is essential as a nurse and although times are difficult with the outbreak of COVID-19 we want to show our appreciation of nurses and midwives throughout the world. Please know that we are here for you, whether it be advice around mental health, talking to our Head of Clinical Performance (retired RGN) Lorraine Gray, or just an ear to listen after a difficult day, you need only to ask.

Mary Seacole, 1805 – 1881:

Mary Seacole was a free black Jamaican woman who dedicated her life and savings to caring for British and Jamaican soldiers. She was initially rejected by the British soldiers from tending to them during the Crimean war because of her race. However, Mary answered Florence Nightingale’s call for support from all able-bodied nurses and brought supplies, nursing kits and her own herbal knowledge to tend to the sick and injured. The impeccable level of care she provided meant she eventually won the trust and support of the British soldiers and she is now one of history’s most celebrated nurses.

She was an independent nurse and funded all of her own travels and supplies, this left her with an incredible legacy but no capital with which to support herself. After the war, it became known that she had used her own money to fund all of her efforts in helping the British soldiers that a public campaign to raise money for her was launched and was supported by the British army as well as royalty. She played such a vital role in helping her “boys” that she earned the name “Mother Seacole”.

Florence Nightingale, 1820 -1910:

A mainstay in the history of nursing, Florence Nightingale is often considered the first professional nurse. Born to a wealthy family, it was rather uncommon for her to have said she felt a calling to help the sick by being a nurse. But this is what she wanted. Eventually, she gained the permission from her father to pursue her dreams in this profession. She began her formal training at the Institute of St. Vincent de Paul, in Alexandria, Egypt.

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In 1854 she took a team of 38 trained nurses and travelled to Turkey to treat the sick and wounded British soldiers of the Crimean war. She instated a new regime of hygiene and had the facilities washed from head to toe, introduced surgical caps and hand washing. Her compassionate care and commitment to her patients earned her the title: ‘The Lady with the Lamp’ as she would make her rounds of the facility even in the middle of the night.

What many don’t know, however, is that Florence Nightingale was also an excellent statistician and the data she collected is now known as the ‘Polar Area Diagram’ and is still used to this day. In memory of Florence Nightingale International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world on her birthday, 12th May.

Walt Whitman, 1819 - 1892:

Walt Whitman, also known as one Americas’, most influential poets was a man of many trades – most of which creative as a teacher and a writer. It is probably safe to say that Walt never intended to take up nursing. He was not born knowing he’d be a nurse in the future and he certainly didn’t start off wanting to go to nursing school. But rather a humble poet. His journey into the profession is an interesting one.

During the American Civil War Walt travelled to Fredericksburg to see his brother who had been injured during the war. It was there that he saw the other injured soldiers and the horrific wounds inflicted on them. Seeing this prompted Walt’s journey into care, with no formal training and nothing but a hard stomach and a willingness to help, he helped amputees regain their independence and even attended during surgeries. He went on to visit around 600 hospitals and see around 90,000 patients. What he saw and felt during that time is immortalised in his writings and journals which express the harrowing sights of pain and suffering he witnessed first-hand.

Mary Eliza Mahoney, 1845 – 1926:

Mary Eliza Mahoney has a spotlight in history as the first registered African American nurse in the US. She worked her way up to this position having worked as a cook, janitress and laundry woman for the New England Hospital for women and children. At the age of 33, her determination presented her with admittance to the New England Hospital graduate school for nursing where after 16 months she was one of three students to graduate due to its difficulty.

She was a pioneer for black women and her success forced the college to accept black students onto their professional nursing training courses. Mahoney co-founded the National Association of Coloured Graduate Nurses in 1908 to try and improve the status of black nurses.

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Edith Cavell, 1865 – 1915:

Edith Cavell was a British nurse with the Red Cross during world war one. She established modern nursing training in Belgium but was executed for treason. She was a committed nurse who administered high-quality care to all soldiers who entered her hospital. When the Germans declared that any Allied soldier who did not give themselves up would be shot, Cavell began to help British soldiers escape to the neutral Netherlands. She admitted to helping over 200 Allied soldiers and was executed by firing squad. Her commitment was to life and administered care to all – no discrimination whatsoever.

Celebrities you didn’t know were nurses:

Mary Todd Lincoln, 1818 – 1882:

Wife of America’s first president, Abraham Lincoln, Mary volunteered as a nurse during the Civil War in the Union hospitals. At the end of the war, she used her position to help raise money for former slaves as well as freeing slaves and joining in the fight for their freedom

Audrey Hepburn, 1930 – 1963:

Arguably one of Hollywood’s greatest starlets, Audrey Hepburn volunteered in a Dutch hospital during World War II as a means to contribute to the resistance to the Nazi’s occupation of the Netherlands. She also couriered messages and performed silent dance recitals to raise money for the movement. In later life she also spent a lot of time working with UNICEF.

Tina Turner, 1939 - Present:

Before she was known as one of the greatest singers of all time, legendary vocalist Tina Turner had dreams of being a full-time nurse. In fact, she worked in healthcare as a nurse’s aide at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

Julie Walters, 1950 - Present:

Beloved British actress, Julie Walters, best known for her role as Ron Wesley’s mother in Harry Potter, trained as a nurse at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham when she was 18. She was there for 18 months and worked on the casualty, coronary care and ophthalmic wards.

Final entry...

You! You're probably tired of reading or seeing the word COVID-19 or Corona virus, however we can't ignore this final entry. Nurses and midwives across the world have been truly inspirational, showing the care, compassion and professionalism in the face of an international pandemic. The stories we have heard from our nurses and those across the world show the best in humanity. From those working 12 hours a day in uncomfortable PPE, to two nurses in Australia who have suspended their wedding to help with the efforts, to nurses who have come out of retirement to work in remote triage facilities it has been amazing. As cheesy as it sounds, we truly believe that all nurses currently working during this pandemic are healthcare heroes. The picture below was drawn by a very talented 13 year old Nick, thanks Nick.

Thank you NHS

Thank you on International Nurses Day

Here we find that throughout history, there have been nurses who have made significant impact – whether in the fashion industry, in war, or showbiz, nurses have shown us the better side of humanity and have been the best role models to look up to.

If you’re looking for your next role we want to help! Whether working in primary care or acute nursing, our medical staffing agency are currently working on several opportunities and may have the right role for you.

11 things to do with the children during COVID-19

As if juggling children with shift work in healthcare wasn’t hard enough! Since the schools have closed to reduce the spread of Coronavirus you might be wondering what you can do to keep them entertained and learning, well here’s 11 things you can do to keep the children happy, from arts and crafts to amazing experiments you can try:

Rainbow handprints

Since the dawn of time mankind has painted handprints on the walls of caves to celebrate existence. You might not want to let your little ones make handprints on your walls but you can have a lot of fun with them (in a nice, easy-to-clean way). Try creating loads of different coloured handprints, cutting them out and letting your children make amazing collages out of them! You could make a butterfly, a heart, a rainbow … anything! It’s essentially a colourful memory of your children best high fives!

Get the whole family involved and create an amazing piece of art you can be proud of well beyond the outbreak!

Milk bottle elephants

With an incredibly sunny spring slipping by, you may have been tempted to try and fit in a trip to the zoo between shifts to entertain your children. Although the zoos are currently closed, you can still have all the fun of playing with the elephants by making some easy Recyc-lephants!

This craft idea is so easy, all you have to do is cut the bottom half of an empty plastic milk bottle and you’re almost done. Next, you cut out arches on the sides and back of the bottle and there you have it, an elephant that just wants to be decorated and played with!

For extra brownie points, take two of those arches which you have cut out and stick them on the sides of your elephant to make ears! This activity not only teaches your child the importance of recycling, but gets their minds working on creative ways to make anything fun.

Shadow drawing

Whilst the beach is a bit of a no-go at the moment, you can still have plenty of fun in the sun, or with the sun, by showing your children how to make amazing shadow drawings to decorate your patio or pathway!

Ask your child to gather their favourite toys that can be easily placed on the ground. Ideally, what you want is for the light to cast a shadow of their favourite items so they can draw around them with chalk. You can also use a table lamp for this if it’s more convenient. They can then add in anything they like to create amazing worlds for their toys to play in! And it’s easy to clean up as you just have to wait for the rain.

Indoor car track

With all the rushing around you’re doing with work and childcare, you might not have realised your children could be rushing around playing with cars too! With just a bit of masking tape you can create roadways, bridges and roundabouts for your children to play with in the house. Hours of fun - just try not to cause a traffic jam!

Plant some cress

Teach your children about the amazing power of nature by growing some cress. All you need are cotton wool balls, a marker, water, cress seeds and a cup to make crazy cress cups!

Get your cup, draw a face on it and get creative with the expressions, then fill your cup with some cotton balls, sprinkle your cress seeds, add your water (don’t drawn it) and set it in a well-lit part of the house or flat then wait. You can have competitions to see whose grow the fastest!

Start a vegetable garden

As medical staffing you know the value of caring for something and watching it thrive, well show your children how to do that with a vegetable garden! Strawberries, tomatoes, garlic, and potatoes are all very easy to grow and your children will love the satisfaction of pulling up veg that they planted as seeds.

Leaf painting/printing

Bring a bit of the great outdoors indoors. Bring home some leaves or flowers, paint one side of the leaf and stamp it on a piece of paper and there you go, your own print. You can make other flowers, sunbursts, snowflakes, rainbows and so much more.

Teach them responsibility

Give your child a responsibility. For example, if you have a pet goldfish, give your child the responsibility of feeding the goldfish at a specific time every day. This not only teaches your child responsibilities, consequences, and time keeping but will also boost their confidence knowing your trust them with something so important.

Set a reading challenge

Reading is a great way of engaging and nurturing the imagination for children. Set your child a reading achievement to hit every day or week and watch their imagination get better and better! Now is also a great time to show them different perspectives - show them something from another culture or introduce them to books that show them how to make, grow, or cook things!

Not all children respond to fairy tales and stories, so experimenting with different types of childrens’ books will help your child learn to love reading even more.

Learn a new skill every week

New skills like sewing, knitting and even sign language are invaluable tools that can come in handy in their future and whilst that they’re not in school, now is a great time to teach them something their schools may not be able to support. If you child has a dream of their future career, maybe they want to be an astronaut or a doctor – you could help them learn how to name all the bones in the body or all the major constellations!

Science experiments

Science experiments are fantastic fun for curious minds! You may have seen the videos of Mentos and Coke, but have you ever tried it?

If you need any extra help with finding the resources to have these conversations with your children, we would be happy to help. We can also help you source locum or clinician work in primary or acute care with appropriate medical staffing agency, we would be happy to talk to you about it!