How Can You Help Your Nurses When Patients Are Non-Compliant?


A non-compliant patient can really test the patience of even the most seasoned nurse. You may know exactly what can help them or relieve their discomfort, but if they are stubbornly refusing to cooperate, it can be easy to feel like throwing in the towel. As a manager, how can you best help your nurses when patients are non-compliant regarding their care? Here are a few things you can do to help expedite the process.

Determine a plan to talk to the patient.

Having a plan of action in place can help ease the burden of trying to corral a non-compliant patient. You can create a plan that can be plugged into almost any situation to help your nurses, and you, handle the process intelligently and efficiently. This can include strategies to defuse the patient when they become frustrated with the process.

Consider the questions you can ask.

There will often be a trigger question that can help calm a patient down or get them to comply with the request. The challenge is determining exactly what that is and how to ask it. By creating a list of questions that are common, you can provide the tools your nurses need to get to the bottom of the issue.

Create a documentation procedure.

In situations like this, it is important to make sure that you document everything, including statements made by the patient and the nurse. When a patient is non-compliant, it can quickly turn into a bigger issue so ensuring that this information is recorded can help diffuse any issues that come up as a result of the patient’s behavior.

Create a discharge procedure.

Finally, it is important that you have a proper discharge procedure available for both the patient and your nurses. If a non-compliant patient struggles while in your unit, they are likely to struggle once they are home. You need to ensure that you’ve done everything you can to enforce proper attention, regardless of the actions your patient takes when they’re out of your care.

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