Careers

Dealing with angry patients

With healthcare services stretched, frustrations can arise among patients and relatives. Mandy Day-Calder offers some suggestions about how to respond when feelings run high

With healthcare services stretched, frustrations can arise among patients and relatives. Mandy Day-Calder offers some suggestions about how to respond when feelings run high

I have a ‘milestone’ birthday this year and by this grand ‘old’ age I know myself well. I am usually patient and tolerant. Yet I was shocked recently at how angry I became during a lengthy call to a mobile phone customer service team.

Although there were factors in my defence, I have pondered why I got so irritable. My frustrations were not, on the whole, aimed at an individual. Instead I felt powerless against ‘the system’.

Having reflected on the ordeal, it seems easy to draw parallels with how patients and relatives may feel when faced with an over-stretched healthcare system.

Convenient target

How you respond to their anger will have an impact,

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