Nursing Tips for Treating Stubborn Patients

Dealing with an uncooperative patient is enough to test any healthcare professional. Even though you are the expert and know all the ways to help, if they stubbornly refuse your assistance it’s easy to get frustrated and give up. But no matter how much your patience is tried, you know you can’t just throw your hands up and walk away. Here are some tips to treat suborn patients.

Remain Calm

If your patient is uncooperative or frustrated, you know the best thing you can do is stay calm. Don’t allow your patient to see your frustration. Maintaining a calm demeanor as you work with them will also help reduce their anxiety around the situation. You want to reassure them instead of fueling their anger or stubbornness.

Be Empathetic

Always put yourself in someone else’s shoes. You want to demonstrate empathy as you work with your patients. They need to know that you care about them and you’re not just doing your job. While that may be the case, there is so much more to nursing than just data and duties. Each patient is different, so treating them with empathy is essential.

Avoid Arguing

Someone who argues with you, even against their own best interest, can trigger anger reactions. But arguing with a patient who won’t cooperate isn’t the best way to convince them. Avoid arguing to help them remain calm. Instead, encourage them to engage in the right behavior through positive reinforcement.

Ask Questions

One of the reasons patients get frustrated is they feel like they’re not being heard or taken seriously. One way for them to know you’re listening is to ask questions and truly listen to their answers. Address their concerns by repeating what they said back to them and providing your guidance for how to best move forward.

Create a Plan

Your patient wants to feel well, but they also want to be in control. An illness or injury that lands them in your department makes them feel out of control. If you can work with the patient on the right care plan, they will feel like they have input and won’t be as frightened or anxious about what is supposed to happen next.

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