My third placement was an elderly ward where I had to look after a male patient of 72 years. To keep the confidentiality I have just named the patient Mr B. As usual I began by introducing myself to the patient. The conversation was minimal because he was a non-English speaker. However, he seemed to understand me and managed to speak very few words in English.  

During one of the evening meals, the catering staff were serving meals. When Mr B was given his supper, he suddenly became furious and shouted to one of the catering staff. He stood up from his chair and nearly punched the staff. He was not stable on his feet when he stood up so he sat down again. Luckily, I was on the same bay. I went to him immediately and asked him to calm down. But he was not happy at all. I asked him what made him so angry. He pointed towards his meal and said ‘no’. I then realised he was not happy with his meal. I reassured the patient to calm down and I asked the catering staff what were the alternatives. The staff said they did not have alternative food of his choice that day because they were short of staff and were only able to make few choices which the patient did not like.  

My mentor came around and asked what the problem was. I explained the incident. Then my mentor reassured the patient by telling him from next time the staff will make sure he will have the meal of his choice. Although, I was also trying my best to calm him down, I was anxious and scared with the patient. My mentor asked him if he would prefer some cheese sandwich to which he agreed. I made him a sandwich and a drink which he liked and he settled down.

Reflecting back on this incident has helped to gain experience on dealing with aggressive patient. My primary focus would be to make patient as well as staff safe. I will have to try to react quicker, be calmer and prepare myself in dealing with different situations which I think comes with more experience.