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Conflict Management: Health Professionals

  • By: Michael P. Pagano
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

All organizations and their employees face conflicts. However, the unique context and communication that occurs in health care provides a plethora of distinctive conflict situations that often require sensitive and sometimes rapid management actions. Because health care organizations, providers, and patients are engaged in communicative behaviors, decisions, and actions that involve illness, injury, and potentially life-threatening situations, health professionals face a variety of career-related struggles. Among the key conflicts for health professionals are those related to patient communication, provider-provider interactions, and provider-organizational policies and procedures.

Provider–Patient Conflicts

The very nature of health communication, which is frequently emotionally charged as a result of the patient's illness or injury, prior experiences, economic situation, and other factors, creates a difficult context for information exchange, mutual trust, and relationship building. ...

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