Quarterly scientific journal

Conflict management in operating room

Eleni Alexopoulou-Giannopoulou , Panagiotis Markidis , Athina Alexi-Bourtzi , Georgios Vasilopoulos


Due to the complexity of the organizational structure and different viewpoint of health professionals, hospitals are places of major tensions and conflicts. Aim: The aim of the present study was to explore the phenomenon of conflicts in operating theatres. Material and methods: A systematic review of contemporary international literature was conducted. Specifically, we explored international databases Pubmed, Cinahl, Health Source: nursing / academic edition and Google Scholar, and popular Greek websites from health care scientific journals. We used the terms "conflict" and "operating room" or "operating theatre" in the titles of the articles. Results: We identified 15 eligible articles. Reasons of conflicts in the operating room that emerged were power, poor education, tensions regarding the materials or tools, personality differences, demographic data and obstacles emerged by the organizational structure. Consequences mainly concern the neglect of processes and medical errors. Coping strategies towards conflict were: discussion with colleagues, behaviour analysis, avoidance of the person who caused conflict, maintaining composure, warning his colleagues - preparing and creating the ideal team to avoid conflict. Conclusions: The conflict in surgery is inevitable, but can be mitigated if management exercises effective leadership, operating room is properly organized, climate cooperation is cultivated and the staff is trained regarding conflict management

Keywords: Conflicts, operating theatres, conflict resolution, conflict management, effective leadership

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