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How to Handle Upset Patients in Your Alternative Medicine Office


upset patient speaking to doctor


When you have a patient get upset, it’s important to handle the situation well. Especially during a time like this, your patients’ emotions are going to be more sensitive. For example, if they walk in your office and are unhappy with being asked to have their temperature taken or wear a mask, how do you handle it?

Here are a few tips to help the staff in your alternative medicine practice work through these issues. 

1. Move a Patient to a Private Area

If you have a patient that is upset in a common area of the office, ask them to follow you to a private place. You can seat them in the consultation room, guide them to an open operatory, or sit them in the doctor’s office. Just be sure that wherever you seat them, there isn’t patient information on the computer screens or sitting out on the desk. 

Especially in the current environment we are living in, it’s important to give a patient the privacy they need to express their frustrations. When you take them to a quiet place in the office, they know you are interested in having a real discussion. 

2. Postpone the Conversation if it is Not Going Well

If you are in a situation where the patient is just growing in their anger and frustration, find a way to postpone the conversation. For example, if you are on the phone with them, ask if you can go do look into their concern and get back to them. Patients that are sitting in your office, tell them you need to go check on a few things and come back. 

Sometimes if you are in a heated conversation, it can really help to take a breather. This is to your benefit and to your patient’s benefit, because it gives you both a chance to calm down and think. The problem doesn’t necessarily have to be solved right then and there. 

3. You Are Not The Right Doctor For Every Patient

As much as you want to help everyone that comes into your office, you are not going to be the right doctor for all patients. No matter how much you’ve explained your policies or how you do things, you will have some that are continually frustrated. If a patient is coming into your practice and always irate, abusing the team, or causing a scene, it may be time to dismiss them. While it is difficult to make that decision, you may need to. 

This is not to say that some patients are bad, but it is to say that not everyone is going to be a good fit for your practice. There is another alternative medicine practitioner that may work better with them. 

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