I used to think I had a gift for handling angry patients, well lately my charm has been tested. It turns out my gift was my ability to form a strong pharmacist-patient relationship which in turn avoids conflict. It is now very difficult to build a pharmacist-patient relationship while am hopping from one community pharmacy to another (my current dilemma ).
After 3 terrible experience consecutively I had a light bulb moment. It is time to search and dig deep. What are the effective ways of dealing with an angry patient? How do I ensure the anger does not escalate and I get called names? How do we all stay peaceful and enjoy our customer facing roles to the fullest. Read along and see what I discovered.
1. Pay Attention: the idea is to be alert and identify when the anger is escalating. if you recognise the warning signs (increase voice tone, body language) you are then able to prevent an outburst.
2. Be calm: it is so easy for me to jump on defense mood, “my credibility is being questioned I must defend myself”. It turns out two wrongs can’t make a right. Make a conscious effort to stay calm in all situations.
3. Consultation Room: Don’t forget to use the consultation room, it will help diffuse the situation. Apologise for the inconvenience and show empathy as required.
4. Listen: in other to help the patient resolve the problem you must be able to listen and understand the cause of the problem. Set aside your personal feelings and put on your professional hat.
And if all fails make sure to stay at a safe distance.
How do you deal with angry patients? Leave a comment below and share your experience.