According to Dernocoeur, ‘one way to assist in diffusing anger is to acknowledge a person’s right to it’ (Dernocoeur 1996, p. 43). Therefore, in this situation, you may say to Bernie ‘I understand why you’re angry… but can you give us an opportunity to try and help you?’
According to Sanders therapeutic communication is ‘a planned, deliberate, professional act that uses communication techniques to achieve a positive relationship and shared understanding of information for desired patient-care goals’ (Sanders 2001, p. 344).
Effective listening and feedback includes: ‘silence, reflection, facilitation, empathy, clarification, confrontation interpretation, explanation and summarization’ (Bledsoe 2000 p.470). Silence refers to giving Bernie the time to gather his thoughts and add to what he has said. Reflection means to check your understanding of what Bernie has had to say. Facilitation refers to encouraging Bernie to provide more information when it is required. Empathy requires allowing your body language to show that you understand, so that the patient feels accepted and more open to talking. Clarification means asking Bernie about anything you don’t truly understand. Confrontation refers to focusing the patient on one particular factor of the interview. Interpretation means that you state your interpretation of the information Bernie has supplied. Explanation means to share the importance of facts within the information related; and summarization means that the pre-hospital care worker re-phrases statements made by Bernie to ensure that he/she fully understands the message.
Verbal de-escalation is where you offer the patient time to state his or her concerns; react in a non-judgemental way, explaining your desire to help sort out their current difficulties. Attempt to ascertain the cause of the violent behavior and try to calm the patient by responding calmly and evenly. Do not become aggressive or threatening in response.