7 TRICKS FOR DEALING WITH AN AGGRESSIVE PATIENT
An angry patient is different from an aggressive patient. An angry patient might not like the way you deal with him and he is mildly frustrated with you whereas an aggressive patient wants to harm you and your staff. He will throw away all the medicines, cause a ruckus in the hospital, spit at you, call you names, and just won't keep his voice down. Certain diseases can lead to aggression, but a doctor has to take into account his patient's aggression come what may. Here's how he takes care of everything else whilst the patient is busy boiling his blood:
- KEEP YOUR CALM:
You keep metallic equipment together, they are bound to make noise, they just won't keep quiet. In like manner, when a patient behaves unreasonably, it is your prime most duty to not make noise, not lose control, and say yes to your peaceful exterior and no to your raging interior. If you fail as a doctor to cast a good example on patients, they will have nobody to inspire, aspire and praise.
- FORGET LOGIC, FIRST APOLOGISE:
Your mistake or not, you have to apologize to the patient for whatever the reason. You try to logic it out, fill in some sense into the combative patient and he will react in a more pronounced form of anger and you don't want to hit the wrong buttons. Try to enquire about the problem in an assertive mode and learn more about the patient.
- DETACH PROFESSIONALLY:
The angry man can make you feel worthless, stupid and penniless but don't let him get to your head. It is advisable to keep yourself out of this icky situation because it needs you to react efficiently, detach professionally and understand the patient masterly. At this moment, he needs you more than your self-esteem does!
- TREAT AN ADULT LIKE AN ADULT:
The more you treat an outraged adult like a child, the more will it outrage him and he will become psychotic and you won’t be able to handle the situation. An angry patient doesn't need your comforting words or kind smile, he needs a listener and you need to give him your full undivided attention. Treat him like an adult, and he will react more soberly.
- NEVER REPLY WITH ANGER:
An eye for an eye, tooth for tooth makes the world blind and speechless. If you give anger for anger, then this particular noble cum patient profession is not made for you. You need to be patient with an offended patient because he probably is in extreme pain or the brain cells have some disease and he needs looking after, not someone who will anger him further!
- MAKE A NOTE:
A furious patient will leave no room for you to make notes, you need to team up with a hospital staff member to handle him sanely and make notes on his behaviour. His aggressive behaviour is by virtue of four points, psychiatric disease, organic brain syndrome, alcohol-drug abuse and behavioural disorder. Observe, handle and make a note.
- CRY FOR HELP:
A few enraged patients will require handling by many people, you won't be able to handle them all by yourself. Notice when you need help and cry for help, you don't want the fuming patient to victimize you. He might leave you with no option, but run for help and cry for help. While managing an angry male patient, always keep a male-nurse with you and a nurse with you while handling an angry female patient. A co-attendant will not only save your patient's life but yours too!
Aggression is such an emotion which can cause irreversible damages, but if you use your quick-witted brain cells to manage an aggressive patient with the help of the points mentioned above then the damages can be reverted and prevented too! Good luck!