By September 14, 2009 0 Comments

How to deal with patients, the difficult ones.


I’m sure most nurse and traveling nurses have had to deal with some sort of rude or even abusive patient at some point during their careers. These situations may rise or even worsen when patients and nurse stress levels are at their peak. So what are some ways in which you can prevent or at least lessen these situations from happening around you and the facility you practice in?

It’s apparent that no one really enjoys going to the hospital for care or treatment, this especially holds true when the patient is there for an extended period of time. It’s easy to label a patient as difficult or short but you must remember that they don’t want to be there but they must in order to receive the proper care. Often times these behaviors stem from something much deeper and they may just be protecting themselves out of fear, anger or sadness. It’s not fair to lump all patients into one category or the other. Each patient is as unique as you are, so keep that in mind when trying to deal with them and making them feel comfortable during their stays. Just take a second and sympathize their situation and you can begin to see maybe why it is their reacting the way they are. Their expectations may be a bit inflated, so just be real with them and hopefully that will prevent any situation from escalating into something more dire. Remember, you are a professional, so do all you can to prove so. If things start to turn for the worse or get out of hand, remove yourself from the situation and let tempers and whatever else cool down before trying again.

Another way to prevent your patients from becoming unruly or anxious is start off by telling them exactly what to expect as a patient under your care. Being a traveling nurse, you may be entering a situation or facility where there is a nursing shortage and your time is spread pretty thin. You may have a bigger caseload than normal and caring for each and every patient in a timely manner can become troublesome. If this is the situation be sure and alert your patients that you’ll be doing your best to care for them and when you are there it is their time, they have your complete attention. By giving the patient reasons, not excuses, of why it is you’re so busy, they just may understand the next time it takes you a few minutes longer to address their issues.

Like most things in life, nothing goes as planned. Being a nurse you experience a lot of ups and downs, whether it relate to your profession of your personal life. We are all human and we are all wired to feel, but as a nurse you must try and be a little more resilient than the average person. A hospital is not usually a happy place, your job is the most difficult and trying of all professions and it’s hard to maintain a neutrality when dealing with emotion. You knew coming into this job that there will be those times when it seems nothing is going your way, just remember tomorrow will bring a new beginning. You can’t let every little thing bring you down. If that’s the case, I suggest you find yourself a new occupation, otherwise you’ll never find the satisfaction that can be with a traveling nurse career.

I hope these tips help you the next time a situation arises with a troublesome patient. If you remember to take into consideration how they must feel, you’ll be all the better for it and so will the patient in question. If you have any other tips for other traveling nurses out there, by all means please share them with us.

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Posted in: Nursing, Travel Nursing

About the Author:

Patrick Fuerstenau here. Born in Kentucky, raised in Germany, landed in Nebraska and still here. I've been involved with Marketing and Advertising for over a decade. It all began with an internship at an ad agency in Omaha, followed by a 9 year stint as a graphic artist at the lone major newspaper in Omaha. A friend of mine told me about an opening at her company and said that it was the best gig she's ever had... So I decided to spread my proverbial wings and see what I could do for them and vice versa. So here I am at Medical Solutions and am going on my 3rd year as a Marketing Specialist for a great travel nursing company. This by far has been a major blessing in my life. I love the work I get to do just as much as I love the people who make up this fabulous company. I can see myself here for a long time... As long as they'll have me. Now that we've got the career timeline out of the way... Let me tell you a little about who I am. I am oh so passionate about the game of futbol! I've been playing soccer since the age of 8 and am still playing today. If I couldn't at least kick the ball around, I don't know what I would do with myself. I fear getting old. I also have a strong love for the arts... Music, Visual arts, Film, Design... pretty much anything and everything arty. I'm happy go lucky and am always looking to have a good time. Just ask my manager! And I love writing about travel nursing.

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