If you look up the job requirements for a dialysis technician one of the things not listed will be “must be good when handling abusive patients.” But it is still part of the job.
Most patients you encounter will be pleasant and easy to work. In fact many will be very appreciative of the work you are doing for them. But unfortunately there will always be patients who become hostile and verbally abusive. At first it will be unsettling but over time you will learn how to handle abusive patients like a professional. Your goal is to put a stop to it as quickly as possible and this guide will give you some ideas on how you can do that.
Know your clinics policies
The clinic or hospital you work for should have guidelines for handling abusive patients because it just come with the medical territory. Be sure to review these so you understand how you are expected to act in those situations. If you have any questions be ask your supervisor for clarity.
Never take it personally
This can be easier said than done but it is important that you do not let the attacks effect you personally. Over time you must develop a professional psychological armor that allows you to do this.
Another good strategy for handling abusive patients is to find something to apologize for. Something like “I know drawing blood can hurt, I am sorry we must do it.” This can go along way because it demonstrates empathy with the patient and what they are going through.
Let the patient know that you understand they are in pain or uncomfortable. Maybe even have one or two stories ready about a time you were under medical care and went through a tough experience.
Have Responses Ready For Handling Abusive Patients
Having a few rehearsed statement always at the ready will help you from getting rattled when handling abusive patients. “Explain why you feel this way?” or “I deserve respect and will not tolerate this behavior from you.” are two examples you might find useful.
This can be very effective and goes a long way in truly winner over a patient. When handling abusive patients distract them with questions that are completely off topic such as “that is a nice necklace you are wearing” or “does this weather bother you?” Anything to get their mind off what they are going through. But be sure to focus on them and ask questions about them. That will go along way in keeping their attention because everyone likes to talk about themselves.
It is important to remember this all come down to respect. Though a patient should respect you from the start due because you are a professional providing care for them some people demand their respect to be earned. That is why it is important for you to develop methods for handling abusive patients professionally. Doing so you will earn their respect and put a stop to the abuse.
Talk About It
Find someone who works with you at the clinic to share your abusive patient stories with. You’ll find that doing a little venting with a fellow medical professional will really help you not take it personally. Chances are they will have their own stories and proven ways of dealing with it. No matter what do not let it get to you.
Remember you are a professional dialysis technician and you deserve respect.