Anger experienced post-operatively can be related to a new diagnosis, prolonged and complicated hospital stays, treatments, the unknown, poor relationships with health care providers, or stress.

To help alleviate anger seen in patients, the nurse can:

  • Acknowledge the patient. Do not ignore the patient.

  • Encourage patient to identify and verbalize real sources of anger.

  • Confront patient with empathetic stance and set limits on unreasonable demands.

  • Establish limits and rules for behaviour.

  • Discuss with patient what is reasonable to expect.

  • Ensure that patient receives consistent messages from all health care team members.

  • Be consistent — schedule enough time to work with patient so neither of you feel pressured. If assistance is required, consult with the Enterostomal Therapy Nurse, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Social Work, Psychiatry.

  • Teach difference between good nursing care and catering to excessive demands.

  • Consult psychiatric team if agitation continues and is not responsive to verbal interventions.

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