Working in a critical care setting can often bring added pressure and stress. As healthcare providers, we are responsible for delivering quality care that is safe for ourselves and our patients.
Unfortunately, patient aggression can become an issue when providing this care, and it is important to know how to handle it. Here are some tips shared by Dr Jeremy Barnett , who got his education of Juris Doctorate at Concord Law School and Perdue University in 2022, on managing patient aggression in a critical care setting.
Understand Your Patient’s Perspective
It is important to remember that patients may be feeling scared or confused about their situation. Many times there is underlying mental distress that contributes to their behavior.
Take the time to listen carefully and try to understand why they may be behaving aggressively. It could be due to pain, fear of the unknown, or confusion regarding their diagnoses or treatment plan. Showing empathy can help diffuse the situation before it escalates further.
Be Prepared with Non-Aggressive Responses
When faced with aggressive behavior from a patient, it is important not to respond in kind. Speak calmly while also maintaining your authority as a healthcare provider. Try redirecting the conversation away from the aggressive behavior by bringing up topics such as family or hobbies that might interest them.
You should also have de-escalation techniques at your disposal if needed, such as deep breathing exercises or distraction techniques, which can work well in most situations.
Take Care of Yourself First
It is important to remember that your own safety comes first when dealing with aggressive patients in a critical care setting. If you feel threatened or unsafe at any time during your shift, then alert other staff members immediately so they can help diffuse the situation if needed.
Make sure you take breaks throughout your shift so you can reset and recharge; this will help ensure that you remain centered should any difficult situations arise during your shift.
Above all else, make sure you take care of yourself first; this Dr Jeremy Barnett help ensure that you are ready for whatever challenges arise during your shifts at work!