It’s our mission to help our patients achieve freedom from pain

Policy – Dealing With Difficult Patients

Dealing with difficult patients can be challenging. The Directors of Interventus Pain Specialists will provide a safe and healthy work environment for their -staff, Doctors and Allied Health Practitioners who visit the Practice. It is not acceptable for staff to be harassed either verbally, physically or emotionally by aggressive/difficult patients.

Examples of unacceptable behaviour are:

  • Profanity, harassment, offensive or intimidating statements or gestures, threats of violence either in person, through verbal or electronic communication, which may include, swearing, yelling or other derogatory remarks.
  • Behaviour that is disruptive, or pose a threat to the rights and safety of staff/Doctors at Interventus Pain Specialists.

The following steps are a guide to help staff deal with these difficult patients.

  1. Advise the Practice Manager of the situation. If the Manager is absent advise one of the Directors.
  2. Do not put yourself in harm’s way of an aggressive/ difficult patient – if the patient is visiting the Practice and is showing signs of aggression and you feel threatened – ask the patient to leave – if they decline to do so, advise the Practice Manager and call security on 32327214 or 32327750.

The following are guidelines from Avant Medical Indemnity Insurance for staff and Doctors to follow in dealing with aggressive/difficult patients.

  • Try to remain neutral, although it may be difficult with an irrational patient.
  • Speak softly and refrain from exhibiting a judgemental attitude.
  • Put some distance between yourself and the patient, and do not make intense eye contact.
  • You should try to demonstrate control of the situation, without becoming demanding or authoritative.
  • You should seek to smooth the situation over, rather than bully the patient into better behaviour.

If unsuccessful using the above measures and the patient is on the telephone – advise the patient to cease his/her aggressive/difficult behaviour and if the behaviour continues – advise the patient you are ending the telephone conversation or if you feel uncomfortable dealing with the situation, refer the patient to the Practice Manager.

Interventus Pain Specialists has the right to decline to make appointments for aggressive/difficult patients-in this circumstance, the Case Manager, of a WorkCover patient or the referring Doctor will need to be _advised in writing.

This decision will be made by the Practice Manager in conjunction with the patient’s Specialist.

Make a record of conversation and save in the patient’s file.