Communication vital to defusing sticky situations with angry patients
Angry patients and violence against healthcare workers plague hospitals across the country, as organizations try to defuse tension in a high-stakes environment.
Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota saw four security lockdowns in six months, with the latest incident on Sunday night involving someone outside of the hospital with a weapon, WCCO 4 news reported. Now the hospital, along with community partners, work to protect both patients and hospital staff.
Identifying triggers of patient violence can help hospital leaders find potential intervention targets, according to a study published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing.
Researchers found that some catalysts for patient violence against healthcare workers included the use of needles and restraints, patient discomfort, cognitive impairment, physical transfers and patients who demand to leave. Hospitals can train staff to recognize patient violence indicators and educate them as to how to best mitigate the situation, the study found.
Violent patients and vulnerable hospital staff are a dangerous combination, one the federal Patients' Bill of Rights needs to address, Anne Skomorowsky, Ph.D., a psychiatrist at Columbia University and a Public Voices fellow with the OpEd Project, wrote in an opinion piece in today's Boston Globe.
"The human rights perspective acknowledges that healthcare workers have the same inherent rights to safety as do patients," Skomorowsky wrote. "The healthcare worker is encouraged to report, document, and demand response from the institution and the government to prevent violent and threatening behavior."
Communication could be the key to defusing angry, potentially violent patients. When the healthcare deviates from patients' expectations of error-free, streamlined care, providers can actually exacerbate the situation by failing to communicate properly, according to a Huffington Post blog post.
This communication failure can prompt extreme anger and even litigation, author Ruth Tarantine, DNP, R.N., the chair of online nursing graduate programs and nursing faculty at a private university, wrote.
Healthcare leaders and practitioners must practice good communication, validate patients feelings and hear their concerns and complaints, she said. "Nothing defuses patient anger better than an empathetic healthcare provider who is willing to acknowledge and discuss the shortcomings of healthcare, admitting that healthcare processes and providers need to improve," Tarantine wrote.
To learn more:
- here's Tarantine's blog post
- read the study abstract
- check out the Boston Globe's opinion piece
- here's the WCCO article
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Thank You Ms Sullivan and Fierce Healthcare.
"some catalysts for patient violence against healthcare workers included the use of needles and restraints, patient discomfort, cognitive impairment, physical transfers and patients who demand to leave"
Needles, restraints, and patients who demand to leave?
D'ya Think that maybe, just Maybe, if Hospitals weren't up to their eyeteeth in Violent, Felony Assaults of Patients they might not have so much of this blowback Violence against Hospital Workers?
Even beyond all the Incurable Mind Disease Fraud Hospitals make so much money inflicting, Perhaps, their Legal Staffs ought to send them a Memo?
The Bill of Rights – Full Text
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.