The Difficult Patient: A Qualitative Investigation Exploring the ”Labels” set by Hospital Nurses

Introduction: Sometimes nurses have to deal with patients with a variety of reactions, including defensiveness, anger, fear, demandingness, hysteria and other behaviors. Aim: This study aimed at exploring the concept of the «difficult patient» and to identify unfavorable factors that may obstruct routine clinical nursing delivery. Material and Method: A descriptive exploratory qualitative design was adopted and semi-structured interviews with a purposeful sample of 11 nurses. Results: Eight categories emerged and factors that lead nurses to characterize a patient as ‘difficult;, including patient age, psychological state, disease severity, degree of disability, personality and behavior, visiting carers, working conditions and personal life of nurses. Nurses often label a patient as ‘difficult’ in terms of physical symptoms, mood, behavior and age. Conclusion: Nurses must realize that labeling patients is unprofessional and that often the ‘difficult patient’ is the one that may need us most.

Category: Volume 60, N 1
Hits: 53 Hits
Created Date: 20-04-2021
Authors: Dimitrios Theofanidis , Antigoni Fountouki