Navigating Angry Conversations

Journal Entries

About this document

Navigating Angry Conversations-1-1

At pertinent moments in the Bodyswaps experience, useful notes are added to the learner’s virtual journal as a memory prompt that they can refer back as and when required. 

In VR, learners access their journal by looking at their avatar’s left hand. On other devices, it can be accessed via a ‘burger menu’ in the top left corner of the screen. 

The full journal can be downloaded from our portal upon completion of the module, complete with relevant hyperlinks to online material, which cannot be accessed for practical reasons while in the VR simulation.    

This document collates the journal entries in relation to the individual activities.



Navigating Angry Conversations


Successfully navigate emotionally charged patient interactions


  • Recognise how different responses can diffuse or exacerbate anger
  • Identify anger signals
  • Remain calm in hostile situations
  • Move the situation forward with empathy
  • Apply these techniques to different situations

Topic 2

Identify signals and stay calm

Useful information

This scene is set in a ‘One Stop’ NHS Breast Clinic. 

The National Health Service (NHS) is an institution founded in 1948 to provide everyone in the United Kingdom with healthcare based upon their needs, and not their ability to pay. It encompasses hospitals, local GP (General Practitioner) surgeries, healthcare centres, dentists, some pharmacists and home healthcare services.

Common anger signals

Anger signals vary from person to person, but here are some common signs to look out for:

  • Angry facial expressions - jaw thrust, nostril flare
  • Speaking more loudly / shouting
  • Change in tone of voice
  • Change in language - e.g. swearing
  • Agitation - pacing, clenching fists, repetitive movements, pounding the table

One Stop Breast Clinic

This is an outpatient clinic where experts carry out detailed assessments on breast symptoms in a single visit. This usually includes: 

  • Initial assessment to find out full medical history, including any risk factors and an examination.
  • Imaging tests - ultrasound and, if needed, a mammogram (X-ray of the breast)
  • Further assesment - a fine needle aspiration or core biopsy of cells in any abnormal areas detected in the previous stages.

Hidden anger signals

Some anger signals are more difficult to notice because they are less direct, such as: 

  • Becoming withdrawn
  • Silent
  • Avoidant
  • Becoming more formal than usual

Topic 3

Respond with empathy and move forward


If you find yourself in a situation with an angry patient or family member, consider using this approach: 

  • Offer an apology - this doesn’t have to be an admission of guilt
  • Use perspective taking - try to see the situation through their eyes
  • Withhold judgement - focus on moving the conversation forwards, not correcting inappropriate behaviour
  • Name and validate the emotion - show that you’ve listened and understood
  • Be collaborative - make it a team effort