5 Helpful Tips For Dealing With Difficult Patients
Nursing is a profession of caring and dedication. Most nurses are devoted to their patients. Communication is everything when it comes to establishing a comforting and healthy nurse–patient relationship. Taking care of patients and changing their lives for the better can leave a special mark on the life of a nurse. However, every nurse encounters a number of patients who are difficult to work with. These patients are likely afraid and need the best care there is to offer, despite these difficulties. We have provided five helpful tips to make dealing with difficult patients as easy as possible.
- Don’t Be Aggressive with Aggressive Patients
There are going to be times when a patient is angry and resistant to receiving care. When dealing with aggressive patients, it is important to take the time to talk with them carefully to understand how they are feeling. Once you understand the reasons behind their aggression, calmly offer solutions for the issues at hand. Speaking with strength and compassion will help diffuse their anger. Give patients the sense of positivity they need to begin the healing process.
- Try Your Best to Contain Your Emotions
Patients who are experiencing intense emotions will often try to create more emotional turmoil around them. To help extremely emotional patients, it is wise to practice control over your own emotions. Expressing emotional control will not only allow you to handle the situation with professional clarity, it will provide the patient with a sense of emotional stability. Respond to the patient using positive and kind language. Reacting to difficult patients by using negative language will only worsen the situation. Retaliating with insults and condescension will only delay the patient receiving the care he or she is expecting you to provide.
- Body Language Is Everything
Patients are always observant of the body language of their nurse. A defensive posture or crossed arms can communicate a challenging message to a difficult patient. As a nurse, you want to offer medical care with open arms as a source of balanced wellbeing. Keep your facial expressions calm. Remember to make eye contact to remind patients that you are there with them. When you start to get that frustrated feeling throughout your entire body, take deep breaths and refocus your physical energy. Instead of making matters worse, use that passion to be the nurse that a difficult patient needs.
- Be Patient, But Don’t Take Abuse
There is a difference between letting difficult patients speak their troubles to you and being verbally abused. There is never a reason you should have to accept abusive behavior from a patient. If ever a patient becomes overly agitated or violent when you are attempting to help him or her, contact your supervisor. If matters escalate to the point that you feel a patient is putting you or themselves in serious danger, notify hospital security. Do not subject yourself to extreme circumstances that go beyond the limits of your nursing duties.
- Always Take a Moment to Regroup
Don’t let a bad experience with a difficult patient ruin your entire day. Even if patients aren’t showing it on the surface, your help as their nurse is making an improvement to their condition. You must leave the negativity behind. Don’t cause your own health to decline by internalizing the stress of the day. Don’t allow a difficult patient to make you feel like you aren’t trying hard enough. Remind yourself that you are great at what you do, and allow the experience to be a source of inspiration to keep working hard to help people during their most difficult moments.