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Establishing Structure for Addressing the Disruptive Patient and Family Members

April 6, 2016


Healthcare professionals understand that we frequently encounter patients and families under the most stressful and vulnerable of circumstances. As such, caregivers skillfully navigate these situations with grace and compassion on a daily basis in an effort to maintain the overall well being of the patient and their family.

Unfortunately, in today’s environment, we are seeing an increase in demanding, abusive and, at times, threatening behaviors from patients and families. In a time of heightened safety concerns, an enhanced set of skills and structure is necessary to contain these dangerous and sometimes explosive situations.

This webinar will walk you through a best practice which demonstrates an effective protocol for managing disruptive behavior among patients and families. Participants will receive tools and resources that can be used to implement/enhance a process in their own facility.

By the end of this webinar participants will be able to:

  • Identify levels/severity of disruptive behaviors for use in action planning
  • Recommend effective strategies for limit setting with disruptive patient and/or families
  • Develop Process Flow to ensure the appropriate staff involved at the essential time
  • Identify staff behaviors that challenge established behavior plans


Kate joined the field of Patient Advocacy within the hospital setting in 2001 and SHCA in 2002. She Manages the Patient Relations and Interpreter Services Departments at Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. Kate has been active in the Illinois Chapter of SHCA where she served several terms on the Board of Directors including the role of President. Kate is the President-Elect on the Board of the Society for Healthcare Consumer Advocacy and has served as chairperson for two different committees that advance the patient advocate profession.

Having begun her career as a crisis therapist working with homicidal and suicidal adolescents, the transition to Patient Advocacy seemed natural and even a little less stressful. As a therapist, the establishment of healthy boundaries and limits is crucial to the therapeutic relationship. As a patient advocate, Kate is passionate about sharing her lessons learned from previous roles and education to prevent the abuse and mistreatment of caregivers serving disruptive patients and/or families.

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