What was your most difficult experience that demonstrates your ability to resolve problems?

Published 25 Apr 2017

In a hospital, problems do arise on a daily basis, with regards to the patient workflow. Some of these problems once solved, would lead to even greater ones. I do feel that the internal strengths of my organization are effective to handle the workflow. As having qualified and well-trained staff members adds to the strengths of the organization, it would be easy to solve many of the work-related problems concerned with the patient workflow. However, if the staff members are in a conflict situation, it could be a very difficult problem to solve, as it could have a cascading effect, especially on the workflow. I do feel that conflict situations amongst the staff member are the most difficult problems to solve. There was once a conflict situation in our organization with regards to the patient workflow. Through experience I feel that the authorities should play only a supervisory role and instead should ensure that the staff members can actually decide how this situation is going to be solved and actually implement the plan.

This was an instance in which one of the staff members felt that she was allocated excessive work compared to others with regards to patient workflow. She also felt that other staff members were not performing their duties and instead dumping the patient work on her. As a nursing supervisor I was responsible for following the problem. However, the staff member did not approach me and instead took the matters in her own hands. She had a hard talk with the other nurses in the working area and in front of the patients. Following this, the issue had gone to the higher authorities I had to take up the issue. It was difficult to sort out because there was no definitive means by which patents were allocated to each staff member.

Patients were allocated on a random basis. If a staff member was not present when a patient arrived, then the patient was allocated to the staff member who was present. This problem had to be solved cautiously as the staff members were seriously demotivated with the incident. It also had a disastrous effect on the patient workflow. From previous experience I have observed that if the higher authorities take the matter within their own hands, then the issue usually would get resolved, but the conflict within the staff members would continue, having an adverse effect on the patient workflow. Hence, through experience I felt that it was important to solve this problem by having active participation of the staff members, especially those who were in a conflict situation.

I had a meeting with each and every staff member of the incident in person, in order to get feedback and an insight into the incident. I then convened a meeting in order to develop a solution to the problem. However, the meeting was more of a stage at which the conflict worsened. I had to use my powers in order to stop the conflict and develop a solution to it. The staff members do consider me an authoritative figure and hence were listening to the suggestions put forth by me. Finally, a feasible solution was developed, which was slowly implemented. It was decided to allocate the patients on an equal basis. The staff members were permitted to leave the workplace only after seeking my permission. Each of them participated in resolving the conflict and made a whole-hearted effort to do so.

Finally, a plan was actually decided which was implemented. I had taken permission from the higher-ups regarding this plan. Finally, each and every staff members were happy with the patient work-distribution and were motivated to work (Neilson, 2003 & Messina, 2007).


  • Messina, J.J. & Messina, C.M. (2007), Productive Problem Solving.
  • Nielson, E. (2003), Conflict Management Approaches.
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