Working as a nurse at a care center requires skill, patience, kindness, and determination. Most nurses work long hours on their feet all while protecting people’s lives and caring for them when they’re sick.
In many cases, nurses choose their profession because they want to take care of other people, but some patients can make being a nurse very difficult. If you have an angry, whiny, or manipulative patient, use the following tips to make the best of a bad situation and protect yourself and your sanity.
1. Listen Empathetically
Remember that the things you are used to dealing with every single day are new, scary, and unusual for your patients. Remember that they are uncomfortable, in pain, and confused. Take time to empathetically listen to their concerns. Some patients just need to know someone cares about their concerns. Other patients may have valuable information or valid concerns—taking your patients seriously will help you take better care of them and make them feel more respected.
2. Use Professional Body Language
When you’re interacting with a patient, maintain eye contact, use good posture, and avoid unprofessional body language. Rolling your eyes, putting your hands on your hips, and shaking your head may feel justified, but negative body language can make a bad situation worse and make your patient more angry. Remain calm and professional, even when you know you’re in the right.
3. Keep Accurate Records
Meticulous records will help you counter the claims of a manipulative patient and calm down a stressed or frustrated patient. Keeping accurate records is important for the health and safety of the patients, and it will make your job easier.
4. Make Time To Explain What You’re Doing
While your expertise means that you do some of the same things every single day, patients may be feeling scared and confused. Take a little bit of time to explain what you are doing and why. This can help ease your patient’s nerves.
5. Manage Your Own Stress Levels
It is harder to be professional and empathetic when you are stressed out, tired, or hungry. Manage your own stress levels using these tips. For more help managing your stress, take deep breaths when you are angry, go on breaks when you can, listen to music that relaxes you, and talk to friends and colleagues.
Dealing with difficult patients may not be the best part of being a nurse, but you can do hard things, especially when it involves best practices for the benefit of your patient. Use the tips above to make your job a little easier.