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Dealing with Difficult Patients and Healthcare Personnel

How to effectively communicate in the healthcare industry

Continuing Education Credits: CEU: 0.6 

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1-Day Seminar


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The skills needed for the challenges you face

The healthcare environment will always be extremely challenging, but you can change the way you approach it. Learn the skills that will allow you to go back to work with a fresh outlook and make it possible for you to experience a return to the sense of fulfillment, satisfaction and empathy that brought you into the healthcare field in the first place. This seminar equips you with the strategies and communication skills you need to survive and thrive in your demanding, high-stress healthcare position.

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Benefits of this program

In one day, you and your staff will learn to …

  • Be sensitive to the reasons difficult people act the way they do
  • Gain the trust of patients ----- even those who initially don’t want to put their faith in you
  • Set limits without creating barriers for patients, managers and staff members
  • Say and do the right thing to smooth out a rocky situation and set the relationship back on course
  • Bring out the best in even the most trying personalities
  • Maintain your composure and control ----- even when someone gets ‘‘in your face’’
  • Cool down heated situations and put patients and families at ease
  • Win people over with your newly acquired nonverbal skills


Understand what makes difficult people tick

  • Techniques that provide insight into difficult people's motivators
  • Why complainers complain — and how to move them quickly into problem-solving mode
  • How to read and interpret other people's body language — what are they really saying?
  • The "wrong side of the bed" syndrome — why some people start out badly and just get worse as the day goes on
  • How to recognize when you are being a difficult person
  • What your difficult person wants and how you can provide it
  • The secret to making others feel valued, important and comfortable — especially when they are ill

Bring out the best in all kinds of people

  • How to interpret odd behavior in a healthcare setting
  • How (and why) you can only fix situations — not people
  • Three ways to increase your personal diplomacy skills so you positively affect negative situations and people
  • The kind of feedback that brings the best and fastest results
  • The four behavior styles, and how to communicate with each personality type for best results
  • Expect the best — the self-fulfilling prophecy that works equally well with physicians, patients and colleagues
  • Steps you can take to bring out the best in others in every situation

Improve your listening and nonverbal skills

  • How to listen, not for what is being said, but implied, by a problem person
  • "Charging Rhinos" — how to keep these loudmouths from dominating conversations
  • Simple reminders to help you stay attentive to the person talking
  • What you can do — without saying a word — to demonstrate your interest to a speaker
  • How to be sure your verbal and nonverbal messages are consistent
  • Body language to use in dealing with specific kinds of difficult people — it can be more powerful than your spoken words

Project poise and confidence, regardless of how you feel inside

  • The most powerful and effective response to sarcasm
  • Specific techniques to help you stay calm under attack
  • How to use positive language to steer conversations with difficult people in a more productive direction
  • Ways to say "no" and stand your ground without alienating colleagues or patients
  • How to increase your personal strength through flexibility
  • Why no one — not even the most trying person — can make you feel hurt. Learn how you can choose positive and productive emotional responses
  • What you can do immediately to defuse a hostile situation

Communicate more effectively, credibly and assertively

  • The first and best thing you can do when patients or colleagues blow their tops
  • How to respond to put-downs — keep your self-esteem intact without making the situation worse
  • Five easy steps that cut through anxiety and tension — and get your point across
  • How to re-establish trust when the staff has "blown it" with a patient
  • What you can do to help coworkers stop the envy, resentment and back-stabbing so you enjoy more honest, nurturing relationships with colleagues
  • How to help people solve their own problems, instead of expecting others to find the solution

Negotiate better agreements and resolve conflicts easily

  • A proven method for uncovering the unspoken issues behind interpersonal conflicts
  • When it is essential to stand your ground and when you should walk away
  • The unique challenges of negotiating in a medical environment
  • A strategy for getting even the most difficult patient or family member to see things from your point of view
  • What to do when a colleague or patient "digs in" and won't budge
  • The secret to maintaining emotional composure in the presence of an irate person
  • How to survive a conflict with all egos intact