The conflict was among two other staff members and myself. One large and strong staff member wanted to enter the room, take the tongue depressor away from the patient, and physically remove him from the examination room. Another staff member wanted to call the police. My opinion was that we should call the patients therapist, who was listed in the patients file, and inquire regarding the best actions to take for the safety of the staff members and patient alike. The patient had not harmed anyone, nor had he done anything particularly wrong, so I felt that bringing the police to the scene would be an unnecessary strain on him. The patient was confined in the examination room and could not cause harm to any other patients or staff members, and he was now quiet so he was hardly even causing a disturbance. Everyone wanted to resolve the incident quickly and successfully; there was simply no unanimous decision about what steps would be the best to take.

I was frustrated because I felt that my fellow staff members were not listening to my opinion, so I decided to try another way of communicating. I handed the patients file to the other staff members and asked them to please review it because I felt that their problem solving skills were excellent and I knew that together we could come up with a solution.

After personally reviewing the notes on file, they agreed that the therapist should be called for advice, but it was insisted that we also contact security so that they will be on call if their services became needed.

Fortunately, the therapist answered quickly and was not far from our clinic. Because of his patient dedication, he arrived before the police, and was able to quickly calm and comfort the patient. The patient left the clinic in the custody of the therapist, and the police arrived shortly thereafter. No official report was filed, however our clinic has now updated and improved the policies regarding reviewing patient information before treatment, as well as spearheading a campaign to encourage inter-practitioner communication to provide the best care possible for our patients.

The conflict could have stressed the relationships among staff members because everyone wanted to be right and not listen to other peoples ideas, but instead it has brought our staff closer together and set the framework for a more successful workplace. Because of the frightening nature of the occurrence, we actually had something that bonded us together, and since then our tempers have been much cooler with each other..