August 1st 2005
Many physicians who work in the emergency department (ED) consider the agitated patient the bane of their existence. These patients are frequently difficult to deal with, are uncooperative, and can bring an already busy ED to its knees. Although it is easy to understand why severely agitated patients are commonly placed in restraints or seclusion, it is essential that cooler minds prevail when an agitated patient presents to the ED. The patient should be treated with dignity, respect, and understanding. Because these patients often cannot express their feelings adequately, many who work in the ED do not realize that these patients do not like the feeling of being out of control.