Wound Care Articles and Insights

5 Tips for Managing Non-Compliant Patients

5 Tips for Managing Non-Compliant Patients

Read Part One: Strategies For Staying Safe With Aggressive Patients

Non compliant patients are all too familiar in the healthcare industry, and often leave a dark spot in clinical workers’ days. In a recent study conducted by the Learning and Development department at Wound Care Advantage, it found that 71% of clinical workers agree that non-compliant patients are becoming more prominent. 

Even though in the moment, it can be extremely frustrating to deal with these patients, it’s important to remember that non-compliance can be the result of many different aspects going on in the patient’s life; Even stemming as far back as their adverse childhood experiences. Although there is no fix-all solution that will solve all of the problems faced with a non-compliant patient, understanding what can help, or not help in a situation with a difficult patient can turn what could have been a negative experience into a positive healing one. 

Following tips can be easier said than done, especially if they are coming from someone who has never stepped foot in the clinic. Which is why the following recommendations for dealing with noncompliant patients are from real nurses working with real patients within the WCA network:

  1. Offer patients more than one treatment option
    • When a patient can choose between treatment options, it will allow them to feel like they are involved in their treatment plan. 
  1. Always keep educating your patients 
    • Throughout the entire process of their healing journey, make sure that they understand every step of their treatment. This includes offering handouts and extra reassurance.
  1. Complete a total patient assessment every visit
    • Those who are suffering from chronic wounds are also battling other underlying conditions that could make it difficult to focus on their healing process. Always make sure to assess the entire person, and not just the wound.
  1. Be consistent when communicating 
    • Try to be consistent when communicating and treating your patient. The information and assessments given to the patient each visit should support one another, and not contradict. Patients respond best when they know what to expect. 
  1. Find your mission
    • Find your mission in every patient and truly hear them. Even the most difficult of patients still deserve a champion, and finding your mission in helping each patient will show them that you see not just a wound, but a person. 

Although these recommendations might not work on all non-compliant patients, treating patients with the best care possible is always the goal, even in our most challenging ones.