In the know: Working with a paranoid or frightened patient

Stressed Out Nurses Weekly, December 14, 2009

Psychotic patients need special care. Sometimes, these individuals can become paranoid or frightened, making it difficult to provide proper care. Here are some tips for working with a paranoid or frightened patient:

  • Don't argue. Find out what you can about the person's fears.
  • Clarify any misconceptions if the person is receptive to listening to you.
  • Use simple directions, if needed. For example, say, "Put the plate back on the table. No one wants to harm you."
  • Give the person enough personal space to prevent him or her from feeling trapped and surrounded.

For more advice, check out HCPro's book, Stressed Out About Difficult Patients.

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