How to Work with Patients Who Refuse Therapy

You work diligently to provide patients with therapy. However, there can be times when patients refuse therapy. This makes it virtually impossible for a patient to receive the best possible care and support.

Here are five things you can do to work with a patient who refuses therapy.


1. Find Out When the Patient Is Refusing Therapy

Get insights into why a patient does not want therapy. This allows you to understand the patient’s perspective. For example, a patient may want to forgo therapy due to financial concerns. Or, the patient may be fearful of the consequences if therapy does not go according to plan. Once you know the patient’s reasoning for refusing therapy, you can address this individual’s concerns.


2. Teach the Patient About Therapy

Explain why the patient is getting therapy in the first place. This ensures the patient understands the benefits of therapy. It also allows the patient to ask questions and weigh the pros and cons of refusing therapy.


3. Reach Out to the Patient’s Family

Contact any family members or caregivers who care for and support the patient. At this point, you can explain that the patient has refused therapy and share your concerns with these family members and caregivers. This ensures everyone who is committed to helping the patient can get on the same page in regard to therapy.


4. Document Your Efforts

Track how often a patient refuses therapy. This is crucial since it can protect you if a patient or their family tries to file a medical malpractice claim down the line. Organize any documentation relating to your efforts to get a patient to accept therapy. You should have no trouble accessing this documentation and sharing it with a patient, their family, or others as needed.


5. Keep the Lines of Communication Open

Continue to encourage the patient to undergo therapy. Reach out to the patient regularly and find out if this individual will reconsider their therapy decision. You can also stay in contact with the patient’s family and caregivers. If the patient decides to try therapy again, you can provide it to him or her upon request.


The Bottom Line on How to Work with Patients Who Refuse Therapy

Do everything you can to help a patient, even if he or she refuses therapy. Remember, you are committed to assisting patients and providing them with outstanding care and support. If you try to get a patient to accept therapy, you are doing what’s necessary to help this individual. And if a patient continues to refuse therapy, remain diligent. Because, there is no telling if a patient will change their mind at a later date.

Of course, if you find your job forces you to deal with patients who are too much to handle, it may be time to look elsewhere for work. At this point, you can search for healthcare jobs that align with your career expectations.

Anodyne is a leading healthcare staffing firm in Eastern Massachusetts. We make it easy for healthcare professionals to build successful careers in healthcare. To learn more, get in touch with us today.