WHAT STEPS SHOULD BE TAKEN WHILE TAKING CARE OF A DIFFICULT PATIENT WHO IS SUFFERING FROM MENTAL ILLNESS?

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What steps should be taken while taking care of a difficult patient who is suffering from mental illness

Working as a nurse has you job setting either to be in a nursing home, healthcare facility or a hospital. These are some of the settings where you can find nurses. Nurses typically care for patients who are sick and need treatment hence are constantly up their feet doing paperwork with hours of no breaks since they have very tight schedules. Some have 12-hr shifts that extend up to a maximum of three days.

Some of the patients are always difficult to deal with if not managed properly which makes it difficult to communicate with their family members about their actual care needs. Many of the patients can be manipulative, demanding or even angry. Taking care of them requires one to stay on path with their values and of what is expected as a nurse remembering that your sole mission is taking care of patients.


Also Read: Nursing tips to deal with difficult patients


There are various types of patients and different ways of how to deal with them. Angry patients, for instance, needs a nurse who is not easily frightened by them. Most of the patients in these state show defensiveness, resistance to whatever is going on around them. A careful study of what is going on with the patient is the first step in trying to offer medication to this type of patient. Approaching them differently is the first process to do as this action best helps to identify how they are feeling.

Manipulative patients are known for threatening people who come near them as they always throw temper tantrums in attempts to get their way. Often, this kind of patients is not in the best possible mindset to talking to since they seem to be stuck in their own events hence will not accept change easily. Many like to demand more should medicine or demand special treatment and at worse require nurses to do what they want. Experienced nurses should, however, calmly recognize their own feelings when dealing with this type of patients by making sure that emotions do not get the better of them. These patients often want to engage people in heated arguments with which they never want to admit they are in the wrong.

So, what are the ways of handling difficult patients? Nurses who often encounter this type of patients need to watch their language as closely as possible to mitigate the issue from escalating. Many manipulative patients will try to fight you by throwing angry words at you to make you become verbally aggressive. It is imperative for a nurse to try and calm their selves and avoid the negative language at all costs. Often, doing this makes the patient feel in such a way they cannot have the opportunity to overreact. Use of positive language is a more appropriate approach to the kind of patients.

One’s body language often tells a person’s emotion better than words. A nurse who grimaces her face when attending to the patients is more likely to get responses depending on how the patients see their body language. It is said that one should aim for eye contact for about sixty percent of the time and try to avoid eye contact.

Caring for someone with mental disorders vary greatly in severity and causes. Common mind problems are always easy to handle. Often, patients with this kind of problem have difficulty in communication hence the problem in understanding what they are saying. Many of these patients experience hallucinations affecting the way they communicate. Nurses who take care of them need to ensure that they are given enough time for them to be heard and offered time to express their selves without interruption. Nurses often need to have confidentiality when treating these patients and establish the limits when communicating with them to avoid escalating the problem much further.

Patients expressing the feeling to take their own lives need attention plus ensure that their condition is properly diagnosed. It is imperative for nurses to know and establish their professional support network, understand the danger signals and know how to respond.