Patient and Visitor Conduct: How to respond to inquiries regarding personal attributes of staff - Part 2

Jan 30, 2018 | Treasure Ransom | @transom

Utilize empathic strategies and partnering language

  • Start with an empathic reflective listening statement: “From your perspective Mrs. Jones, you’re concerned about Dr. _____ caring for your child. I’d like to share Mayo’s perspective on this …”

Establish a therapeutic relationship and explore the patient/family request/demand:

  • “Help me understand why you don’t want (person’s name) to care for you?”
  • “What are the things that you’re concerned about?”
  • “Tell me what you’re afraid of.”
  • “Why? What concerns you?”

 Agree in truth or in principle with the statement:

  • “You’re right. You’re different than me and what’s important is that you’re here seeking care and I’m here to help you.”
  • “You’re right. You’re different than me. I’d like to get to know you. Tell me what’s important to you.”

If there is a persistent issue or request:

  • “Mrs. Smith, it sounds like this is extremely important to you. It’s also important to us that we support our patients and staff in the best manner possible. I know this is not what you want to hear, but based on the reasons I have already discussed with you, we will not be able to accommodate this request. If you are willing to accept an assigned provider, and you are willing to be respectful of this decision, we can proceed. Otherwise, you are welcome to receive care at another facility.”
  • “Mayo hires the best and brightest people to care for our patients regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, etc.”

If patient displays inappropriate conduct or will not accept our decision to not accommodate:

  • “Since we can’t reach an agreement on this, I’m going to ask you to seek care at another healthcare facility.”
  • If necessary, follow procedures for managing abusive patients including a verbal warning, behavioral contracts, contacting security, and/or termination of patient care.
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