How would you deal with an angry patient who did not want to co-operate and listen to you?


handshake in an interviewSooner or later, they will ask about specific situations from nursing job. It is a good way to see your readiness for it. Also, they sometimes like to speak about negative aspects of this job, just to see your reactions, to see if you are ready for it too.

Doesn’t matter if you work in high-profile nursing home for rich people, or in a state hospital, you will always deal with all kinds of strange patients. Some will be angry, some will be nice. Some will be drunk, some will accuse you of bad service and some may even attack you. This is a reality and the only way to get a job is to show in an interview that you are ready for it. Angry patient, or someone who does not want to co-operate, is probably the most common case of a daily nursing practice… So, what to answer?

Be ready, have solution

A good answer to this question should comprehend two things. First one is showing your readiness for such a situation and ensuring the recruiter that it won’t demotivate you in work or influence your behavior to other patients negatively. Second thing is to explain a solution to a situation, ideally a smart one. Shouting back is not a good one to speak about in an interview, although it often works :). Let’s have a look at some other answers…


Sample answers

I have experienced such patients during my residency program. At first I found it difficult to bear, because all I wanted was to help the patient. But finally I understood that people typically feel bad in hospital and therefore it is logical they behave strangely time to time. So if it happened again, I would try to calm him down softly, trying to explain him why I wanted to do the treatment and how it should help him. If it was not enough I would call a colleague to help me and hopefully we would manage the situation together.

I expect it to happen and thought about such situation before. I actually expect various bad reactions from patients and try to prepare myself for each one. When it comes to angry patient, I would most likely just listen to him, try to understand reason of his anger and solve the situation according to it. Each case individually. If it did not work, I would call a doctor or another nurse to help me out. But I expect it to happen and can ensure you it won’t influence me negatively in work.