A patient with antisocial personality disorder suddenly gets angry at a staff nurse for not being allowed in the staff lounge. How should the nurse respond?


• The nurse may encounter much resistance from a patient with antisocial personality disorder. It is best not to engage this patient in power struggles or debates about the rules. Redirection to another activity (such as watching TV or going to the recreation room) may help avoid an argument at the nurse's station.

• Consistent limit setting is necessary, but this should be done in a non-confrontational way when possible. Showing patience and willingness to explain rules and consequences will help to establish a functional and therapeutic relationship.

• Actions such as calming the patient and leading them to their room will not be effective in patients with antisocial personality disorder. They often show acting-out behavior and can be manipulative or aggressive if they feel threatened. 

• PRN anxiolytics are not the appropriate first action for an argumentative or distressed patient and should be reserved for after other methods of problem solving and coping skills have been utilized.

Visit our website for other NCLEX topics now!