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Conflict Management and Teamwork in Multidisciplinary Teams


This assignment will discuss clinical practice that reflects leadership, teamwork, and conflict management within a psychiatric setting. For delivering superior patient care in psychiatric nursing, it is crucial to have proficient conflict resolution skills, exemplary leadership abilities and excellent teamwork capabilities within multifaceted teams. By amalgamating the knowledge pool of nurses and experts from varied disciplines, a more comprehensive spectrum of insights is gained, facilitating sound decision-making, ultimately resulting in improved patient health outcomes. In psychiatric nursing, conflicts and diverging viewpoints may emerge in the discharge process, hindering patient care’s efficiency and efficacy (Shi et al., 2020). Consequently, a grasp of conflict management, leadership skills, and teamwork is vital in promoting transparent communication channels and collaborative decision-making that ultimately improve patient outcomes.

Relevant Concepts


In healthcare settings, effective leadership is important as it significantly impacts the decision-making process and drives the team’s overall performance. Autocratic and democratic leadership are two prevalent styles of leadership commonly discussed in such contexts. The autocratic leadership style is characterized by the leader having complete command and making decisions without consulting or engaging team members (Durmuş and Kırca, 2019). The autocrat has total decision-making capability, with all authority vested in them, while the team must adhere to instructions obediently with no room for inquiry. Autocratic leadership is evident in healthcare when a senior clinician exercises complete decision-making power over patient care and administrative issues, as observed in my reflection (appendix 1).

In contrast, democratic leadership is a technique that engages team members in the decision-making process. This approach appreciates and respects the opinions and skills of each member while promoting honest Communication and teamwork (Durmuş and Kırca, 2019). The democratic leader attentively considers varying viewpoints, strives for agreement among all parties involved, and ultimately reaches decisions collectively with their team.


Collaboration and productive teamwork are crucial for providing comprehensive patient care. When healthcare professionals such as nurses, doctors, and therapists work harmoniously, it ultimately improves patient care quality (Tadros, Barbini, and Kaur, 2023). According to Schot, Tummers, and Noordegraaf (2020), collaboration requires individuals with multifaceted abilities and knowledge to work together to attain a shared objectiveThis means specialists of various occupations come together to provide comprehensive patient care (Ellis and Abbott, 2013). The multidisciplinary approach offers a holistic treatment plan, including the patient’s mental, physical, and social needs.

One advantage that teamwork has to the health industry is better patient outcomes. Through effective collaboration, medical practitioners can combine their knowledge, experiences, and professionalism for the patient’s benefit (Zajac et al., 2021). For instance, a doctor may partner with a nurse to synchronize drug timing while monitoring vital signs and relaying alterations throughout care delivery. Through a joint effort, providers minimize their mistakes and misunderstandings that may arise and compromise appropriate care delivery in any case.

Cooperative efforts enhance the safety of patients in health care. Medical experts can discover risks or errors in patients’ treatment by interacting with each other actively and communicating (Busch, Saxena, and Wu, 2021). Apart from delivering patient care, team members’ cooperation fosters a productive and encouraging workspace. When medical experts sense being esteemed and comforted by their coworkers, they become more involved, incentivized, and contented in handling their duties (Wei et al., 2020). This results in superior healthcare delivery and diminishes tension and exhaustion amidst staff personnel, ultimately serving the interests of all stakeholders. There are several ways healthcare organizations can encourage teamwork. These methods include nurturing a collaborative environment, encouraging transparent Communication, defining explicit roles and duties, and offering ongoing training options for career advancement (Johnson and Hinchliffe, 2023). In addition, using technology tools such as email to simplify communications and information sharing from one department to another within the organization can increase cooperation among these teams.

Conflict Management

Effective conflict management is vital in healthcare settings since it facilitates the resolution of conflicting perspectives and disagreements that may arise among healthcare professionals. When conflicts are managed appropriately, decisions made concerning patients’ interests are optimal, teamwork improves, and a peaceful work environment persists (Ani, Onu, and Anikelechi, 2021). Healthcare teams comprise various disciplines, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists and technicians. Conflicts often arise in healthcare due to each discipline’s different professional outlooks and roles (Ani, Onu, and Anikelechi, 2021). These discrepancies can lead to differing views due to their distinct skill sets, knowledge bases, and responsibilities. Differences in treatment preferences among medical professionals, including physicians, nurses and pharmacists, can impede decision-making and lead to conflicts, as evidenced in appendix 1. The resulting discrepancies invariably affect the calibre of patient care provided.

Managing conflicts successfully requires promoting transparent Communication and respecting each team member’s outlook. For healthcare practitioners, it is crucial to attentively listen to one another’s viewpoints, exchange knowledge, and engage in collaborative brainstorming of potential resolutions (Russell, 2022). This can be achieved through frequent team meetings, interdisciplinary rounds as well as establishing unobstructed channels of Communication. In healthcare, recognizing and comprehending individual and cultural dissimilarities is another crucial element of conflict management (Klimecki, 2019). Healthcare practitioners possess varying origins, whereby personal convictions, principles, as well as encounters could have an impact on their outlooks or choices.

On occasion, variances in beliefs can result in confrontations among healthcare providers and patients. Such instances may involve contrasting views about treatment options, decisions regarding terminal care or customary traditions. Healthcare professionals must handle these conflicts with compassion and cultural awareness by learning the patient’s values and preferences through active listening with due diligence given to their unique circumstances (Klimecki, 2019). In Irish healthcare settings, mediation or facilitated discussions are useful conflict resolution techniques for effectively handling and managing conflicts (Amsler, Martinez, and Smith, 2020; Hynes, 2007). A mediator can provide impartial assistance to promote Communication and direct the involved parties towards a solution that prioritizes the patient’s welfare while upholding the integrity of medical personnel. In addition, healthcare facilities have the capacity to encourage a forward-thinking method for handling conflicts by offering instructional sessions and practice in communication prowess, team collaboration strategies, and conflict settlement (Hull, Robertson, and Mortimer, 2020). These learning opportunities equip medical practitioners with aptitudes required to efficiently handle challenging circumstances while fostering constructive relationships among colleagues.



A leader’s capacity to make wise choices, encourage and invigorate their colleagues, and establish a conducive work atmosphere have far-reaching implications on the standard of care provided for patients. Based on my reflection, the Consultant portrayed autocratic leadership, evidenced by their choice to release the patient despite disagreement from other team members. According to Giltinane (2013), a leader’s role in mental health is to elicit effective performance from others by influencing the creation of shared vision and values. The consultant failed to acknowledge the contributions of other team members in the client care. Although leaders are sometimes faced with difficult choices, it is imperative that they take into account the knowledge and perspectives of those who are involved in caring for patients directly.

Effectively leading requires actively listening, collaborating and taking into account various perspectives. Through active listening to team members’ insights and concerns, leaders can develop a comprehensive understanding of the situation enabling them to make informed decisions (Zajac et al., 2021). Had they taken time out for other team member’s opinions in the given scenario; the Consultant may have identified potential risks or alternative methodologies concerning patient care.

Effective leadership emphasizes the importance of collaboration. It is important for leaders to promote an environment that encourages the development of professional connections and collaboration, wherein team members feel comfortable expressing their views and proposals. According to Blegen and Severinsson (2011), leadership in mental health nursing revolve around activities that imply entering into mutual relationships. Moreover, Holm and Severinsson (2010) suggests that a shift from the traditional leadership model to physician-nurse model is vital for the management of psychiatric patients. By engaging with all team members in decision-making processes, leaders have access to a diverse range of knowledge and expertise leading to optimal decisions being made. Suppose the Consultant had opted for collaborative decision-making and deliberated on diverse choices with the team. In that case, there may have been a likelihood of arriving at an agreement that would serve the patient’s best interests. Moreover, such collaboration fosters ownership and accountability among team members while boosting their dedication to delivering quality care.

Besides, effective leadership entails taking into account various viewpoints. Typically composed of individuals from distinct backgrounds, skill set, and experiences, healthcare teams incorporate each member’s unique perspective, which enhances comprehensiveness in understanding patient care (Donnelly et al., 2021). Leaders can enhance their decision-making process and mitigate potential risks by acknowledging and considering different perspectives. This approach fosters inclusivity, mutual respect, collaboration, and effective contribution among team members. Healthcare organizations can facilitate this leadership development through training programs that focus on improving communication skills, conflict resolution capabilities, and decision-making abilities to provide high-quality healthcare services effectively.


For the provision of comprehensive patient care, it is crucial to have collaboration and efficient teamwork among healthcare professionals. Based on the Irish policy, the initial step in team formation involves having a common vision, values, and principles (Mental Health Commission, 2006). Based on my reflection, the multidisciplinary team had no common vision. Moreover, in the reflection, the significance of a multidisciplinary approach in decision-making was emphasized by the various views expressed by team members, specifically the community mental health nurse (CMHN). According to the Irish healthcare policy, multiple needs of patients with severe mental disorders cannot be addressed by one individual (Byrne and Onyett, 2010). The contribution of each team member carries exceptional skills and perspectives that hold the power to make a remarkable difference in the patient’s outcome. For instance, CMHN specializing in mental health is likely to bring insights into social and psychological needs specific to patients. Collaboratively involving themselves by conducting discussions with transparency while respecting individual viewpoints leads to the establishment of well-informed decisions and prioritizing safety and overall wellness for their patients.

To achieve success as a team, it is crucial to acknowledge and value the input of all members. By recognizing and appreciating each person’s diverse skill set, knowledge base, and life experiences within the group setting, this establishes mutual respect that fosters collaborative growth. If in this situation where the Consultant had realized and respected contributions made by CMHNs alongside other colleagues on board when reaching decisions, their insights could have allowed for more patient-oriented choice which was comprehensive enough.

An essential component of successful teamwork is to uphold transparent and unobstructed communication channels. In healthcare environments, inadequate or disrupted Communication can result in severe ramifications for patient well-being. By guaranteeing that all members within the team are updated and engaged in discussions as well as decision-making procedures, instances of misunderstandings or overlooked information are minimized (Ratna, 2019). Ensuring a collective commitment to patient care is essential for effective teamwork. When each team member bears responsibility and has a vested interest in the well-being of the patient, they are inclined to actively contribute their knowledge and effectively collaborate with others. This joint accountability promotes an active approach towards problem-solving and decision-making that ultimately amplifies the quality of healthcare provided.

Conflict Management

Managing conflicts effectively is of utmost importance in the healthcare sector as it allows for recognizing diverse perspectives, resolving differences professionally and taking patient-centric decisions. Based on my reflection, the dispute between a consultant and team members has underscored the significance of mastering conflict resolution skills in such scenarios. The divergence of views, apprehensions or choices often leads to conflicts in healthcare. Rather than hindrances, healthcare professionals should view them as opportunities for improvement and advancement. With a fair approach that displays impartiality, attentiveness and civility towards all involved parties, constructive dialogues can take place, resulting in mutual contentment over a shared agreement reached by both sides. Creating a safe and supportive environment that encourages open expression of thoughts and concerns among team members is crucial for effective conflict resolution (Tang, Vezzani, and Eriksson, 2020). To ensure fairness, an unbiased mediator or facilitator may assist in facilitating the process, promoting constructive Communication and encouraging novel ideas while ensuring everyone’s viewpoints are considered.

A paramount aspect of healthcare revolves around effectively managing and mitigating risk. Assessing and minimizing potential hazards related to discharging patients is especially crucial in ensuring their safety. According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (2017), this entails carefully considering each patient’s specific needs, vulnerabilities, as well as available support systems. Through a comprehensive approach to identifying and addressing probable risks, health professionals can proactively prevent adverse events while prioritizing the overall welfare of their clientele.


Healthcare professionals can establish a culture of trust and enhance patient care by promoting a leadership style centered on open Communication, mutual respect, and collaborative decision-making during the discharge process. When combined with an approach that prioritizes patients’ needs, this type of effective leadership serves as the foundation for successful healthcare teams. In order to achieve optimal outcomes for patients in today’s ever-changing health environment, it is important that there be effective teamwork skills present at all levels. This should be fostered by clear Communication among team members while maintaining respect toward one another. It is essential to acknowledge that conflicts may arise within such high-pressure work environments. This requires valuing every individual’s contribution towards overall goals fueled by shared responsibility to offer their best performance possible when discharging clients.

Reference List

Amsler, L.B., Martinez, J. and Smith, S.E., 2020. Dispute system design: Preventing, managing, and resolving conflict. Stanford University Press.

Ani, K.J., Onu, C. and Anikelechi, I.G., 2021. Contributions of interpersonal conflict management on performance of government hospitals in Nigeria. Independent Journal of Management & Production12(7), pp.1785-1807.

Blegen, N.E. and Severinsson, E., 2011. Leadership and management in mental health nursing. Journal of nursing management19(4), pp.487-497.

Busch, I.M., Saxena, A. and Wu, A.W., 2021. Putting the patient in patient safety investigations: barriers and strategies for involvement. Journal of Patient Safety17(5), pp.358-362.

Byrne, M. and Onyett, S., 2010. Teamwork within mental health services in Ireland: a resource paper.

Donnelly, C., Ashcroft, R., Bobbette, N., Mills, C., Mofina, A., Tran, T., Vader, K., Williams, A., Gill, S. and Miller, J., 2021. Interprofessional primary care during COVID-19: a survey of the provider perspective. BMC Family Practice22(1), pp.1-12.

Durmuş, S.Ç. and Kırca, K., 2019. Leadership styles in nursing. In Nursing-new perspectives. IntechOpen.

Ellis, P. and Abbott, J., 2013. Leadership and management skills in health care. Nurse Prescribing11(5), pp.251-254.

Giltinane, C.L., 2013. Leadership styles and theories. Nursing standard27(41).

Holm, A.L. and Severinsson, E., 2010. The role of the mental health nursing leadership. Journal of Nursing Management18(4), pp.463-471.

Hull, R.B., Robertson, D.P. and Mortimer, M., 2020. Leadership for sustainability: strategies for tackling wicked problems. Island Press.

Hynes, J., 2007. Is mediation and conflict resolution the way forward in the Irish health service? /Report by John Hynes. Retrieved November 12, 2023.

Johnson, B. and Hinchliffe, R., 2023. Building Dynamic Teamwork in Schools: 12 Principles of the V Formation to Transform Culture. Taylor & Francis.

Klimecki, O.M., 2019. The role of empathy and compassion in conflict resolution. Emotion Review11(4), pp.310-325.

Krook, M., Iwarzon, M., and Siouta, E. 2020. The Discharge Process—From a Patient’s Perspective. SAGE Open Nursing6.

Mental Health Commission, 2006. Multidisciplinary team working: from theory to practice: discussion paper (1.84 MB). -2489.

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. July, 2017. NICE | The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

Ratna, H., 2019. The importance of effective Communication in healthcare practice. Harvard Public Health Review23, pp.1-6. Retrieved November 12, 2023.

Russell, K., 2022. Dealing with conflict. Clinical Leadership in Nursing and Healthcare, pp.261-285.

Schot, E., Tummers, L. and Noordegraaf, M., 2020. Working on working together. A systematic review on how healthcare professionals contribute to interprofessional collaboration. Journal of interprofessional care34(3), pp.332-342.

Shi, L., Li, G., Hao, J., Wang, W., Chen, W., Liu, S., Yu, Z., Shi, Y., Ma, Y., Fan, L. and Zhang, L., 2020. Psychological depletion in physicians and nurses exposed to workplace violence: A cross-sectional study using propensity score analysis. International Journal of Nursing Studies103, p.103493.

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Appendix 1

Reflection on a clinical practice placement using the Gibbs’ Cycle Model


My experience in the field during my clinical practice placement in the psychiatric ward has exposed me to the complexities of mental health nursing. There is one case in particular that was quite memorable for me; it entailed a patient with severe depression. The client had been in hospital for several weeks and was making good progress. However, the Consultant decided to discharge the patient against the advice of the other team members, including the community mental health nurse (CMHN) and social workers. The client had suffered from chronic mental problems dating back several years and was hospitalized three weeks ago after an attack episode. CMHN feared it was still premature to release the patient from the hospital due to risks of a relapse and suicide should such action be taken. On the other hand, the consultant argued that the patient was okay for release and would take care of them at the neighbourhood setting.


On seeing the consultant’s decision to discharge the patient, my gut reaction was a genuine fear for the safety of the patient. Their improvement, as far as I was concerned, suggested to me that they were not prepared for discharge. In my view, there was a high chance that the occurrence of a relapse would cause adverse outcomes for the psychological wellbeing of the beneficiary. This concern weighed heavily in my heart because I knew how delicate the patient’s state of health could be and just how sensitive their newly achieved equilibrium might be. Frustration could be sensed in the air alongside my concern. Hearing that the Consultant ignored all the views of the other group was somehow saddening. I was frustrated because I believed every member of the team should have his expertise and personal view considered in decision making process on behalf of an endangered patient’s welfare.


Upon careful evaluation, it is clear that the Consultant’s decision to discharge the patient does not reflect what is in the patient’s best interests. The client was still weak and highly susceptible to other problems, calling for more attention and help. Though premature discharge may seem like a small matter, it has been observed that these acts may undo the gains achieved in the course of the patient’s hospital visit, sending them along a retrograde spiral (Krook, Iwarzon, and Siouta, 2020). In this context, the duty of care should ensure that decisions are made according to what can benefit each particular patient. I realized that the consultant’s decision was unfair because it did not consider the opinion of other teammates, who actually know better the personal journey and needs of the patient. In particular, the CMHN’s expertise brought to sight individual difficulties which patients experienced. However, the Consultant forgot to consider vital scenarios, leading to a biased decision-making process since the patient’s situation was not perceived comprehensively, which resulted in this phenomenon.


The decision of the Consultant to discharge the patient against the advice of other team members may be attributed to various reasons. Healthcare settings are affected by time and bed pressures hence they may be among the contributing factors (Stansbury, Taylor, and Wueste, 2021). Another perspective is that the consultant might have had a different view on the patient’s prognosis due to inadequacies in discharge planning. According to Krook, Iwarzon, and Siouta (2020), inadequacy in discharge planning can impact a client negatively. It can lead to increased readmissions, mismanagement of hospital resources, and high healthcare costs. This is a reminder of how crucial it is to recognize and appreciate the essence of various viewpoints within the healthcare team.


The consultant’s decision to send home a patient against the recommendation of the other team members was not well taken. This situation, in fact, stressed the importance of teamwork in a healthcare setting as well as appreciating everyone’s knowledge in it. The decision making should occur within an atmosphere where team members have freedom to put in their expertise and give challenges to each other if necessary. Through this reflection, it is evident that patient welfare should always remain at the forefront of decision-making processes.

Action Plan

In the future, I will make a concentrated effort to champion my patients’ best interests should any similar circumstances arise. Understanding the delicate nature of those entrusted in my care, safeguarding their safety and welfare will be top priority. Asserting apprehensions and illuminating particular needs of the patient is crucial for effective decision-making towards devising an all-encompassing healthcare plan. If differences in views emerge among the healthcare team, I will strive to facilitate productive discussion and find common ground. By fostering respectful Communication and promoting mutual comprehension, my aim is to bring the group together towards a collective objective of delivering optimal patient care. If the issues persist and an agreement cannot be reached, I will elevate the matter to a senior manager. This guarantees that more advanced interventions and directions can be pursued to tackle the intricate circumstances in effect, thereby guaranteeing proper protection of the patient’s welfare.


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