Defuse Angry/Aggressive Patients, Tactics for Your Entire Team

Date: Wednesday, February 15, 2023 1:00PM ET Length: 60 Minutes Expert: Jonathan Westall, FACHE

Failing to respond correctly to an angry patient can make an already difficult situation spin out of control. A simple misstep can easily enrage a patient and lead to hostile or violent behavior.

Unfortunately, dealing with an angry patient is part of everyday life when you work in a healthcare practice. Regardless of your role (Doctor, Practice Manager, Nurse, Biller, Receptionist, etc.), successfully dealing with these patients is a learned skill. One you don’t typically learn before you are in the firing line.

The good news is you can successfully head off everything from a harmful online review to a violent patient response by utilizing proven de-escalation tactics designed specifically for practice-based situations. Whether on the phone or in person, how you respond to an angry patient can have a significant impact on the outcome (both positive and negative).

This is where practice management expert, Jonathan Westall, FACHE, can help. On Wednesday, February 15th at 1pm ET, Jon will show you EXACTLY how to turn around even the angriest patients. This training will walk you through EXACTLY what to say and how to say it. You’ll learn how to quickly take control of these challenging situations to ensure the safety of both your staff and patients.

Here are just a few of the proven tactics you’ll receive during this expert-led training that will help you head off the dangers of dealing with an angry patient:

  • Quickly build rapport to reduce tense patient situations in an instant
  • Spot top indicators of patient escalation before they become a problem
  • Master voice tone techniques to calm even the angriest patients
  • Get a patient to stop yelling every time with these proven tactics
  • Simple patient questions to figure out really why they are upset
  • Get an angry patient to leave the waiting room without causing a scene
  • Successfully get a patient to stop using profanity with a few simple words
  • Stop yourself from yelling back at a patient even when they get personal
  • Neutralize tense patient situations quickly by making patients feel heard
  • Avoid body movements that can trigger aggressive patient responses
  • Control potentially aggressive patients with several key phrases
  • Identify non-verbal cues and head them off before they intensify
  • Stay calm and use empathetic listening techniques to soothe stressed patients
  • Pin down when it is time to exit the situation and call for assistance
  • And so much more…

IMPORTANT: According to OSHA, hostile and aggressive patients are the biggest source of workplace violence in a healthcare setting. Although these disastrous situations don’t happen every day, how they end up can significantly depend on the training your staff receives.

Angry, agitated patients can pop up anywhere in your practice, from your front desk to your exam room. Sometimes a simple hiccup can send an angry patient over the edge, and you are left to deal with it. All it takes is for the right series of events to occur, and your staff can be faced with a potentially dangerous situation. But you can take control and defuse these serious situations – if you know how.

The skills your entire staff will learn by attending this upcoming training will help them protect themselves, your other team members, and your patients. Access to this online session is limited to ensure the expert presenter can answer all of your questions. Accordingly, sign up today to guarantee your access to this must-attend online training.

Meet Your Expert

Jonathan Westall
FACHEVice President at MLK Jr. Community Hospital

Jonathan is currently the Vice President of Ancillary Services at MLK Jr. Community Hospital in South Los Angeles. He previously held multiple positions at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena including Manager of Security, Director of Security, and finally Director of Support Services.

Prior to working in the acute care setting, Jonathan oversaw Security, Emergency Response, and Parking operations for Sony PlayStation and its subsidiary groups across the United States. Jonathan spent 8 years working in various Federal, State, and local correctional facilities where he oversaw security operations for an incarcerated population.

Jonathan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice w/ a minor in Sociology from Upper Iowa University and a Master’s degree in Law Enforcement Administration from Grand Canyon University. He is also a graduate of ACHE’s Senior Executive Program.

He is a volunteer leader with IAHSS and was the LA/OC Chapter Chair for 3 years, and served on the International Board as Vice-Chair. He also chaired The Hospital Association of Southern California’s Safety and Security Committee from 2018 to 2020 and remains an active member. He is currently Treasurer for ACHE of SoCal.