Being that there are various types of people and phlebotomists have to deal with all of them, they may come across a situation when they need to handle difficult patients.
Even though this may appear to an entry-level phlebotomist as an impossible task, it is just a part of the daily challenges.
A phlebotomist is among the first people these difficult to handle patients see in case they have to do multiple tests done.
So, a phlebotomist’s attitude toward them, while trying to handle rude patients is considered an art.
There are some patients whose attitude is negative, as well as those who are just nervous and acting out.
Both of these reasons are not good enough so that they allow a patient to degrade you or your profession.
Even if this is occurring, part of the phlebotomist’s job is to make sure the patient is comfortable and safe, so a professional attitude is required.
Once you become a certified phlebotomist, you will be working with all kinds of patients and most of them will be polite, and kind.
But, our aim with this article is to tell you how to better deal with those patients who are rude and impolite.
Different Types of Rude Patients in Phlebotomy
As we have already mentioned, some patients may be rude or disrespectful, which is very easily noticed, and there may be those who will yell, curse, and try to cause a scene.
It is true that it is difficult to handle them, but the first thing that is important is to be aware of your patient’s attitude so that you can know what to do.
We would like to emphasize several common reasons that you can consider and find out why a patient becomes rude or disruptive.
They include the following:
- The patient does not appreciate their care
- Mental health conditions
- They feel that they are not being heard
- They have been waiting a long time
Certainly, there may be many other possibilities, but the most significant step when dealing with a difficult patient is to understand the reason why they might feel so.
How to Handle Rude Patients in Phlebotomy
Having in mind that this task is a part of a phlebotomist’s daily job, dealing with difficult patients will be included in your phlebotomy training.
Still, having to face a patient with a rude attitude in person is a completely different situation.
The most important thing is to never lose your professionalism and complete your job the best you can do.
We have gathered a few tips that can be useful when working with a rude patient.
These tips are there to help you manage to finish the job easier while at the same time help the patient calm down.
Don’t Take It Personally
Our main suggestion is never to take their offenses personally.
You should not feel personally attacked, due to the fact that your patient is seeing you for the first time.
So, it is necessary that you understand that they have nothing personal against you and that their negative attitude is a consequence of other factors related to their specific circumstance.
Sometimes phlebotomists just focus on the medical and scientific side of this job, without showing any sign of compassion to their patients.
So as to calm down a patient, if you are a great phlebotomist, you should show compassion to your patients.
This included listening and answering all their questions, especially if they appear to be nervous.
On most occasions, you will be able to calm down a difficult patient, making the experience better for both of you.
You can also show your understanding towards the position of your patient, by asking them what is wrong, what makes them so nervous and listen to their answer.
Never Be Judgemental
You will also learn throughout your phlebotomy training that a professional phlebotomist has to put feelings on hold when dealing with a patient, having in mind the fact that some people are very intuitive and can react wrongly when treated improperly.
This has to be suppressed as you will be working with a wide variety of people on a daily basis.
It is worth mentioning that patients will come from every type of class and no matter which problem they have, a phlebotomist must treat every patient with the same kindness and respect.
Be Aware of Your Own Safety
You also must expect that certain rude patients can turn into troublemaking patients.
First, you have to do your best to avoid this kind of situation.
You should do this by staying calm and not getting into conflict with a patient.
There were situations when patients want a phlebotomist to argue back, and this collective nature makes them even angrier.
Our suggestion is to always think about protecting yourself and consider your safety.
Furthermore, you need to consider the safety of other staff members and patients.
If a patient turns violent, appropriate action must be taken and you should call a security office.
They exist in most medical facilities and are trained to handle these situations.
If a situation is so serious, you should contact your facility’s security department.
What Can You Learn from Patients with Poor Manners?
Working with a rude patient is not always taken as a bad experience, being that you can take it as a learning opportunity.
It is a fact that working with calm and receptive patients is the best you can get, but once you finish dealing with the one with poor manners, you should think about what can be learned from the situation.
You may have used a few different calming techniques for patients that worked and you will be prepared for future situations.
Do not let the idea of dealing with rude patients in phlebotomy make you nervous and upset, but consider how you can grow from these difficult situations.