How To Deal With Difficult Patients

The nursing field is an exciting one; however, it can become quite daunting whenever you come across difficult patients. Here are some tips on how to handle such patients.

How To Deal With Difficult Patients

Similar to other professions where you have to deal with the general public, you will have to deal with difficult people in the field of nursing too. Patients can lose control over their emotions and lash out at you; however, you will have to stay calm and composed as a nurse.

You will have to deal with various types of emotions like anger, fear, anxiety, hysteria, confusion, agitation, irritation and being over demanding. If you are opting to become a nurse, then you will have to learn some tips and tricks to manage and deal with such difficult patients. In this article, we have listed out some ways in which you can manage these patients.

1. Stay Calm

The main mantra of dealing with difficult people is to stay calm and composed throughout. Take a few deep breaths and go on with a calm face. Staying calm will allow you take control of the situation and will help you defuse it.

2. Be Empathetic

Step into the shoes of your patient and be empathetic. Show the patient that you care, don’t be defensive and treat the patient with respect. Remember that the patient is in pain and is uncomfortable at the moment. Tell the patient that you are aware of their painful situation. This way you will be able to keep calm about the situation and help in solving the problem better.

3. Interact with your Patient

Whenever you come across a difficult patient, try to interact with them. Engage in a conversation with the patient to draw out their feelings. While interacting with your patient make sure to use their name and speak softly. Ask them questions about the problems they are facing at the moment. Be as polite as you can and treat your patient well.

4. Avoid Arguments

No matter what the situation is, stay away from arguing. You might want to argue with your patient when you are being questioned by your patient, but try to remain calm, apologize if necessary and assure your patient that the problem will be taken care of in time. You will have to remember that by getting into an argument will not solve the problem or calm the patient.

5. Release Stress Elsewhere

Make sure that you do something outside your nursing career that helps you release your stress. You can join classes like yoga, swimming, dance, singing or play pool and golf in a club. All such activities will help you reduce your stress levels when you are at work.

6. Let the Patient Talk

Sometimes it is best to let the patients do the talking.Let the patient tell you their story. This will help the patient get away from their pain and will help them de-stress. Console the patient if needed and see to it that their emotional needs are met.

7. Acknowledge The Situation

At times it is important to acknowledge the situation no matter how difficult it is. Speak to your patient about how you feel about the situation and tell them that they are hitting the wrong note.

8. Set Boundaries

Difficult patients some time cross limits, they start screaming and act violently. If you ever come across such patients, make sure to set boundaries. You will have to let the patients know their limits. Speak softly and let them know that shouting and screaming is not a good thing to do. If they are cursing, then tell them that they cannot use such language in the hospital. Be clear and make the patient understand the boundaries. Step out if needed and follow up after some time.

9. Don’t let it get to you

Whenever you come across a difficult patient it is important not to dwell on the incident. It is natural to feel upset and angry if the interaction was unpleasant, but it is best to forget the incident as soon as you can. Take a deep breath and go on with your daily chores. Remember that nursing is a difficult job and you are doing good.

10. Find Extended Help

If you think that the patient needs some help to manage their anger or anxiety then offer to help them. Suggest them to find a social worker or a psychologist if need be. This way the patient will not feel abandoned and will feel that you care. It is not possible to find solutions to every problem the patient has, but you can extend help if needed.

So, if you are a nurse or someone who is looking forward to work in the nursing industry then you should know that the job is not as easy as it seems. Taking care of difficult patients can be very difficult and stressful. The above-listed tips will help you overcome some of the difficulties that you might face while working as a nurse. Keep in mind that, no matter how bad the situation is, keeping calm is the mantra to handle difficult patients.
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