Dealing with a Difficult Patient

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Regardless of what professional field you are working in these tips could be helpful to you; because any job you get you will always be around other people so you should know how to control a bad situation. The physicians say that 15% of their encounters with patients are rated as difficult. When dealing with a “difficult” patient you must recognize the signs of anger, know what you should do so the situation doesn’t escalate, and get down to the root of the problem with the patient. The first step in dealing with an angry patient is recognizing the signs of anger, knowing the physical, verbal, and characteristics of a patient who is more likely to have an outburst. Clenching fists, fidgeting, breathing rapidly, tense posture, and tightening of the jaw are some of the easiest physical signs to look for. If you recognize these signs try to get to the root of the problem before things escalate to the verbal clues. Verbal signs may be raising his voice, yelling, saying mean or rude things to you; try to stay calm and not yell back let him vent his anger then try to resolve the situation. Patients that have problems with depression, anxiety, go into defense mode, being resistant with you, or their attitude may change from being happy and talkative to being quiet and short; these are the patients to watch for. Anger problems, stress, or anxiety can cause someone to be edgy when they get bad news or news that they do not agree with. Always remember, “Some people don’t like not having control over a situation.” (Forest, 2012) When someone is having health problems or they get bad news from the doctor they are more likely to get angry, although you cannot control what happens with your health; you can control how to handle it. There are many things that could cause a patient to get angry such as diagnosis, treatment, or even personal problems in the past or the present. A patient’s diagnosis can cause them to lose control if they hear they may lose their mobility,...
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