How To Convince a Patient To Take Medication They Refuse In The Hospital

How can I convince a patient to take medications they want to refuse in the hospital?  As a hospitalist I often come across patients who refuse to take the medications prescribed by their in-patient doctors.  Some patient refuse out of fear.  Some doctor told them years ago that taking insulin  would make them worse.  Some patients refuse out of ignorance of their disease process.  Most of the time however, they just don't understand why the medication is necessary.  Some patients just decline out of stubbornness while some patients may refuse for really good reasons.

However, when you're dealing with critical illness and the only thing that's going to save your patient's life is a treatment plan they are refusing, sometimes you have to be in their face  with reality.  So how do I handle situations with patients who have the capacity to make poor medical decisions but refuse life saving medications?  How do I convince my hospitalized patients to take their medications I've prescribed?
Happy:  The nurses tell me you are refusing to take the life saving medications that have been prescribed for your illness.  Is that right?
Patient:  I don't think I need them.  
Happy:  I'll tell you what, I'm going to ask the end of life doctor to come talk with you since I have nothing further to offer you.  They are going to take over your care since I have nothing further to offer you.  You are very sick and could die without the medications I've prescribed. 
Patient:  What?
Happy:  You're very sick.  If you don't want the medications I've prescribed, then you are probably going to die and I have no role in your care.    So I'll ask the end of life doctor to come talk with you.
Patient:  I'll take your medications.  You're the doctor.
For some people, the real fear of death can be a powerful motivator.  For some folks, that's what it takes to convince  hospitalized patients to take their medications as you've prescribed.  Now, please enjoy this original Happy Hospitalist ecard below, part of a complete collection on Pinterest.

"I wrote a script for my patient to be compliant for 30 days.  But they didn't fill it."

I wrote a script for my patient to be compliant for 30 days.  But they didn't fill it ecard doctor humor photo.


This post is for entertainment purposes only and likely contains humor only understood by those in a healthcare profession. Read at your own risk.  

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