What is a challenging situation?
Anything that interferes with a chiropractor’s ability to deliver quality patient care. Although the nature of the situation can vary, it is very likely that chiropractors will encounter challenging situations over the course of their career. This resource is meant to support chiropractors when dealing with challenging situations with their patients, patient family members or other health-care providers. While that is the intended purpose for these resources, they can also be applied to any challenging situation.
Challenging situations can arise from interpersonal conflicts like differences in values or expectations, availability of health-care resources or other factors. Different personalities can also contribute to how challenging a situation is. Regardless of these factors, chiropractors are in a position of authority and are expected to maintain a professional and respectful manner when managing challenging situations.
While these situations can cause concern for patients and chiropractors, it is important to remember that most interactions with patients will be positive. When conflicts do arise, they are often manageable with clear communication, expectation setting and clarity on values and priorities. This approach demonstrates patient-centred care.
The continuum of challenging situations
It may help to think of challenging situations as being on a continuum. While most situations can be managed with effective communication and clear expectations, some situations are more complex and thus, harder to manage.
How to use this guide
This guide outlines why conflicts arise, components of effective relationships, and introduces some communication and conflict management techniques.
If you are currently experiencing a challenging situation, follow these steps.