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Mar 12, 2020

In this first episode of Stimulus, we learn from two masters in the art of de-escalating those who are agitated and upset.  Jose Pacheco, RN, known affectionately to his co-workers as ‘The Drunk Whisperer’, has a specific sequence to this approach, which he’s going to walk us through, step by step. The good news is that verbal de-escalation is a tool that can be learned by almost anyone. To that end, we’re also joined by Dan McCollum, emergency physician at Augusta University, to talk about conflict resolution that evolved from the martial arts principal of using your opponent's energy to resolve conflict, rather than simply butting heads. The name for this method? Verbal Judo.

We discuss:

  • Ways to de-escalate and defuse [00:50]  
  • “Verbal Judo” is teachable and learnable. [03:31]
  • McCollum’s de-escalation sequence [06:35] 
  • Empathy can absorb tension [14:18]
  •  Universal Upset Patient Protocol [22:30]
  • “We treat people as ladies and gentleman not because they are, but because we are.” [32:52]
  • You can’t control how an upset person is going to respond to conflict, you can control how you respond. [34:43]
  • Seeing a situation from the other person’s eyes. [35:40]
  • Sword of Insertion technique [36:58]
  • Active listening [38:38]
  • Jose Pacheco’s tips for interacting with difficult patients in the ED. [41:15]
  • Non-verbal cues [51:46]


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