Nursing students learn to handle abuse

PHOTO: Nursing students learn to handle abuse

Nursing students here are trained to handle abusive patients, said polytechnics which offer nursing diplomas.

Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) and Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) said they have modules on how to provide advice, manage conflicts and handle sensitive situations tactfully.

For example, NP student nurses undergo a module called "communication in nursing practice", in which they learn how to deliver news and update patients and caregivers professionally.

Those who are attached to the Institute of Mental Health are also briefed on the dos and don'ts when communicating with mentally impaired patients, an NP spokesman said.

In these cases, clinical facilitators and liaison officers are on hand to keep an eye on the student nurses.

At NYP, student nurses undergo a module called "psycho-social perspectives in nursing", where students learn about how patients move from wellness to illness.

NYP also has a module on mental health where students learn the principles of mental and psychiatric nursing care, and how to manage aggression and mood disturbances in patients.

Their students are also taught how to recognise verbal and physical abuse, as well as how to remain calm and in control during these tense situations.

An NYP spokesman said: "While health-care workers empathise and sympathise with these feelings, any form of abuse is unacceptable."

Said Roxanne Suberano Gonzales, a third-year nursing student at NYP: "I just need to remember to stay calm and listen to what the patient has to say.

"Sometimes, just having someone listen calms them down."