Strategies to Handle Difficult Patients

April 9, 2012 — 1,608 views  
Become a Bronze Member for monthly eNewsletter, articles, and white papers.

Caring for patients can be difficult, so it is important that nurses and doctors understand how to communicate effectively with people who are scared, sick or just plain rude. Difficult patients may not be able to manage their emotional responses to treatments, and if they're uncomfortable, they may lash out.

Nurses need to remember the position the patient is in when speaking to him or her directly. If the person is sick, injured or going in for surgery, he or she may need some additional care and attention. For example, taking the time to strike up conversation with a patient may help him or her feel at ease.

When speaking with patients about their conditions, treatments or even the weather, nurses need to not only hear what is being said, but actually internalize the words. Maintaining eye contact, delivering nonverbal cues and being a friend goes a long way toward caring for difficult patients. After all, having a few quick laughs may ease the tension and help a person feel better in the long run.

Managing difficult patients is an essential part of proper caregiving, so when it comes time to handle an unfavorable situation, remember the situation these people are in and act as passionate as possible.