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How would you handle it if a patient refused care?


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Tanavi’s Answer

This happens more often to me as I work in a hospital setting... It is important to educate the patient on the benefits of your services and harmful effects of refusing the same. Listen to your patients... sometimes they are just tired, scared or frustrated. Remember they feel like they have lost all control over their health sometimes... so try to empathize with them.. If nothing works then you need to respect their decision and right to refuse care

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Wael’s Answer

Based on a personal experience with my Mom, try first to understand the reason why the patient is refusing care. Most of the time it is fear of knowing what they have or the treatment procedure for example a potential surgery. Work with them to overcome their fears and concerns first.

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Erinn’s Answer

Being a radiologic technologist, I have had a couple of patients flat out refuse care. It’s usually based off of fear or feeling that they have zero control. When someone comes in flat out saying “I’m not having this done” I answer by saying “okay, that’s fine. It’s your right to have this done or not.” Usually at that point they relax because they feel they have some control back. We then chat about what is going to be and risk vs benefits. Usually by the end they leave having the exam done bc they have made the decision. And sometimes the exam hasn’t been done because we both agree that there is no point to it.
I think you always do your best to empathize with a person and try your best to understand where they are coming from. And then do your job in trying to explain the benefits vs risk. But at the end of the day the person has a right to refuse the exam.

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Jason’s Answer

When I was working as a firefighter/EMT patients refused care all the time. We would advise them not to refuse and do our best to explain why we think they need to be treated or transported and give them consequences of refusing. Ultimately, if they were stable and alert enough to make sound medical decisions it was their right to refuse. We would have them sign an AMA form (Against Medical Advice) and always inform them they can always call us back if they needed.

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