Nursing is a tough profession – there are days that it’s not just the hard work that gets you down, it’s also the attitude of the people you deal with on a daily basis. You can sometimes encounter patients or their families who are angry or frustrated and situations can arise when they wish to take their anger out on you. But being a good nurse means that you put your own anger or frustration aside and focus solely on helping the patients and their families, even if the latter is being difficult. Here is what we at Vigna World suggest that you do to deal with difficult patients.

UNDERSTAND

The first step is to understand that these people are going through a rough time. Put yourself in their shoes – wouldn’t you want to scream or get angry if someone you loved was unwell? It can be easy to lose your cool when life has handed you a bunch of lemons.

When you understand the stress and the worry that is the source of this anger and frustration, it can become easier for you to effectively handle it.

LISTEN

The second step is to always listen. Let your patients or their worried loved ones vent out. They might be raising their voices at you or even treating you with disrespect, you need to remain calm and let them get their anger out. If you try to interrupt or use defensive statements or try and raise your own voice, you will just end up making matters worse.

The best way to deal with this is to let the person vent out their anger, and once that has been done, they will slowly but surely regain their calm composure and will be more open to your
input and opinion.

EMPATHIZE

Once you have let them get their frustration off their chests, your next step to deal with your angry patients/families would be to empathize with their pain. Tell them that you understand that what they are going through is difficult. Use helpful and sensitive statements – ‘I cannot
imagine what you are going through’, ‘I have no way to share your pain with you but I will do my level best to help you.’ Using such statements can reassure the patients and their families that their welfare is your first and utmost priority.

Remind them that as a nurse, it is your foremost duty to look after them and their needs and that you are ready to do as much as you can to make things better for them.

FULFILL PROMISES

If your patient was angry about something specific like unhygienic conditions or inconvenient situations and you ended up promising that you would resolve those issues for them, then stick to the promises you made! If you offered to help make things better for a patient, then do that as soon as you can. Not fulfilling the promises you made to your angry patients can just make that anger worse.

In case even after trying you are unable to help, proactively inform them that you tried your best, and apologize for the inconvenience. Remember, your job is to help them get better, and helping them minimize stress while they are under your care should be one of your top priorities.

SHAKE IT OFF

No one likes being shouted on or complained to. We totally get it, it was difficult for you to keep your calm and let your patients vent out on you. But you did it, and now one person feels lighter because of you. You helped manage someone’s stress and isn’t that why you
chose to take up nursing anyway – to help people?

Like we always say, nursing can be tough, especially on the bad days. But you have to brush it off and move on from bad days. When things get rough, hold on to the good memories and remember that so many of these people wouldn’t recover as well as they do if you weren’t
there to nurture them.

You can also opt for our Practical Skills Training here at Vigna World. We use a combination of e-learning, classroom training, demonstrations and simulations to ensure that you have all the skills demanded by the hospitals. Click here to know more