Module F: Difficult Individuals

CE Credits: 2.0


Unfortunately, dealing with difficult people is a regular part of a case manager’s job, and this module covers how to deal with a variety of them. First, the module explores how treating any person with respect will help foster reciprocal respect. Then, it details how CMs can defuse negative interactions with patients or families, how to take cultural differences into account, or how to stick with facts (which is particularly helpful when dealing with difficult doctors). Last, the module covers how practicing patience and looking for win-win situations can defuse difficult situations with third-party payers and durable medical equipment (DME) providers.

Learning objectives: After completing this module case managers will be able to:
» Discuss the management of difficult individuals
» Describe coping with difficult patients and families
» Identify strategies to work with difficult physicians
» Discuss interacting with difficult non-physician transdisciplinary team members
» Review strategies to cope with difficult people and issues with external organizations


Advance your professional practice: Dealing with difficult people is both physically and psychologically draining, and case managers can’t help others if we don’t know how to care for ourselves, too. By dealing with difficult people in constructive ways, we can find more positive outcomes for everyone and preserve our own positive attitudes.

Improve organizational performance: Difficult people—from patients and families to coworkers and other providers—can have a negative effect on the morale of our entire team, causing a loss in productivity, absenteeism and a lack of collaboration. When we learn how to deal with difficult people and situations better, we can focus more on delivering the most effective services to patients.