As a healthcare provider, you’re expected to deal with various kinds of situations and many emergencies. However, while you might be prepared to deal with emergencies, dealing with difficult patients is another treatment in itself. Every health care provider has its share of difficult patients. You dread seeing their names on your daily schedule, while the office staff is wary of returning their calls.
Difficult patients are usually clingy, manipulative, dependent, non-compliant, self-destructive, hostile and even litigious. They feel that they deserve complete and dedicated attention from you and your staff. You can try your best and still feel frustrated over their lack of positive response. Their attitude speaks plainly that you’re not doing enough and this leaves you feeling guilty and inadequate.
Patients come to healthcare providers because of health concerns. Ill health or the prospect or concern of ill health evokes anxiety and fear of the unknown. When patients complains, their concern frequently relates to their anxiety and fear about a health problem. Whatever the verbalized complaint, a patient complaint should always be considered a call for help or a request for assistance in coping with a problem.
You can’t please everyone, though as a provider your main purpose is to please as many patients as possible so that they keep returning. When patients are dissatisfied with the service you are providing they will be one of three kinds of complainers: aggressive, passive or constructive.
Aggressive complainers are most difficult to please and are often more concerned with displaying their emotion than actually achieving a solution. Aggressive patients will often shout, jump to conclusions, and can make unreasonable demands or make threats. Aggressive complainers can be intimidating but should be handled in a calm manner unless the employee feels threatened in which case calling for help may be necessary.
Passive complainers are the most...
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