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Managing Aggressive Behavior in a Nursing Home

4 min read
Managing Aggressive Behavior in a Nursing Home

While it requires an immense level of tact, diplomacy, and compassion, working within the aged care sector can be quite rewarding. Due to the results of pain, therapy, drugs, and indeed illness itself, mental states of residents in a nursing home are likely to be unstable and changeable, with many of them suffering from dementia, depression, and delirium. Therefore, aggressive behavior is quite common.

It can be indeed challenging to handle the mental, physical, and emotional demands of each resident as an aged care nurse. However, things can be more natural by forming a bond with them or taking the time to get to know the individual. It may be possible to recognize the signs early enough before problems occur when you can figure out some incidents or situations that can ultimately trigger aggressive behavior in that individual or when you understand what makes them tick. However, what should you do since there are times when aggressive occurs without warning?

Your Direct Experience with Aggression

It is vital to deal with the situation in a non-confrontational fashion when you have to deal with an aggressive resident. Try to behave in an empathic and friendly manner and remain calm. If you have been involved with them in a way that could have been the catalyst for the aggressive behavior, including encouraging them to eat their food or taking their blood pressure, then stop and keep your distance from them immediately.

Also, make sure you remove anyone or anything that could worsen the issue. This could be equipment, people, or even noise. And don’t forget that they may be feeling confused or frightened. It’s helpful you follow these steps so you won’t aggravate the issue, which could lead to being blamed for nursing home abuse.

You may want to change their focus onto something different if you think an element of dementia may be involved. You can do an unusual activity, suggest a walk, walk away, return with an upbeat smiley approach, or offer something different to drink or eat. Contacting an experienced attorney like Fetterman & Associates for a free consultation can provide you with peace of mind and also help you understand your options in case you have a concern about those conditions.

What You Can Do When the Behavior Persists

You will need to seek the help of the family, the medical officer, or senior staff if the aggressive behavior persists. For the short term, mechanical restraint or restraint in the form of medication may be necessary. Call on your facility’s security staff immediately if there appears to be a real threat of danger.

After the Event

You must report every incident of resident aggressive behavior to be appropriately investigated instead of brushing aside this kind of behavior as nothing. Your company must consider minimizing the risk of it happening again while they place all efforts in place to understand the cause of the aggressive outburst. You can achieve this by working in pairs to minimize risk and reviewing pain management and medication.

The use of a behavior chart will go a long way in helping to understand what may have caused it and track events leading up to the incident. Don’t leave out events like how did others respond, what behavior occurred, and also what leads to the disturbance. Review and examine actions that happened before the incident like a nurse raising her voice to wake up the resident or holding his arm to take his blood pressure.

There may be so many other behavior patterns that could have played a part in the incident, and you need to see if you can find the event triggering the aggressive response. It could be as a result of fatigue or perhaps frustration. The action could be because of bad vision or a loss of hearing, or a change of routine that the resident is not familiar with. Alternatively, the resident may be merely bored or attempting to tell you that they feel unwell.

Mutual Support

Ultimately, a manager has to continually arrange a time to discuss with the nurse involved about how they felt and their part in the proceedings. It can be quite frightening for anybody to be involved in aggression, and when managers support and consider their emotional needs, it will raise the morale of the staff.

You must be protected if you are seeking to report abuse or neglect in a nursing home. Fetterman & Associates have the experience necessary to ensure that you are duly protected. The efficient and reliable attorneys working with the law firm are ready to get started helping you when you request a free consultation today.

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