Taking The HEAT - Dealing with Emotionally Charged Situations

1.0 Continuing Education Credit Hour

Category: Professionalism

Even people who might function in a perfectly reasonable manner in other settings may display behaviors well outside "reasonableness" in an emotionally charged hospital setting. This module will help you build skills for this environment, through lessons that provide insight into responding with empathy, using the HEAT Model, setting boundaries, tips for dealing with difficult situations, and much more.


Richard D. Potts II

Mr. Potts is the Director of Customer Service for The Ohio State University Medical Center. He has fifteen years of management experience in healthcare quality management; and has worked for five years as an Examiner for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award managed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, a non-regulatory federal agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce. In addition, Richard was an Examiner at the state level for the Ohio Partnership for Excellence for four years. He also is a faculty member at Franklin University in Columbus, Ohio. Richard has a Masters Degree in Hospital and Health Administration with an HR emphasis and is a Doctoral Candidate in Management and Decision Sciences with a focus on service quality.


  1. Gain awareness of the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey questions about providers established by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and learn how to access those ratings on the internet.
  2. Recognize and understand the value of using empathy in dealing with high stakes emotionally charged situations.
  3. Learn the HEAT model for dealing with an upset or angry person.
  4. Understand a positive model for setting boundaries with patients and families
  5. Understand the importance of staying calm during and leaving a positive emotional wake after an interaction.
  6. Recognize the value of tools for dealing with profanity, deflecting, paraphrasing, what not to say and other tips for dealing with difficult situations.

Online Module

When completing the on-line module you will be presented with learning objectives, brief cases, questions for reflection (not scored), and interactive lessons with hyperlinks to engage you along the way. Once you complete the lessons, you will be presented with the Post Test (which requires a score of 80%) and then the Module Evaluation, followed by the opportunity to print your Continuing Education Certificate. Modules remain available for your future reference once you have completed them.