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5 Steps for Personal Support Workers Dealing with Difficult Patients

Nov 13, 2017 1:50:42 PM

Updated June, 2021.

Personal support workers play a central role in the lives of their clients. They provide the assistance patients need to maintain independence, cope with debilitating medical conditions, and achieve the highest possible quality of life.

PSWs help with important everyday tasks, like administering medication, providing assistance with grooming, planning and preparing healthy meals, coordinating social activities, monitoring changes in condition, and supervising prescribed therapeutic exercises.

The PSW-patient relationship is, by definition, close and personal. And as with all close relationships, conflicts can arise.

How should PSWs deal with patients who push them away or resist help? How can you maintain professionalism and serve your client's best interests, when faced with disruptive and upsetting behavior? 

Start with these 5 steps. These are the approaches front-line health care providers often use when dealing with difficult patients.