Times are hard. Many practice settings are experiencing angry, hostile and even aggressive behavior from patients, parents, caregivers and other family members. While the underlying cause of anger may be actually fear or pain, aggression and violence towards you or your teams is not OK.
We share with you some suggestions and resources:
1. Put up signs in your office stating that your practice is a healing, respectful environment, and aggressive behavior will not be tolerated.
2. Set expectations and create policies that inform your patients and supports your team, and follow through with consequences. Here we share one example from the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management and here a plain language version . (Consult with your Risk Management team or Malpractice Carrier about adapting them for your practice's needs.)
Conflict is inevitable and happens when two parties do not agree. How you and your team members respond as professionals is vital when an agitated person is losing emotional control. You must consider not only the upset person, but the safety of staff and others in the area.
What do you do if a person becomes aggressive, hostile or violent?
Tips from the Crisis Prevention Institute can help you respond to difficult behavior in a safe and effective way.
As stated so well by the Crisis Prevention Institute, "humanity is full of potential"!
There is no magic resolution to these complex issues. It is hoped that integrating these types of policies and de-escalation strategies will empower you and your team members, and ensure a safe practice environment for all.