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Communicating with Challenging Clients

  • Pauline Irving
  • Diane Hazlett
Chapter
Part of the Community Health Care Series book series (CHCS)

Abstract

The issue of working with challenging people is one which will be familiar to all community nurses. It is a truism that some clients are more difficult to help than others, due to diagnosis, personal characteristics or poor interpersonal skills, but it is surprising that there is very little in the literature that directly addresses this issue. The guidance that does exist tends to be rather anecdotal in nature and focuses on two areas: first, types of difficulties are delineated and, second, the communication skills thought most appropriate are identified and discussed. This approach is typified, in the business context, by Markham (1993, p. 9) who states:

‘There is no way you can make difficult people change and suddenly become sweet and amenable. Such change can only take place when the individuals concerned desire it and work towards it. So, if you can’t change them, the only thing you can do is change your own reaction to them.’

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Copyright information

© Pauline Irving 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pauline Irving
  • Diane Hazlett

There are no affiliations available

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