How to Manage Pushback Against Masking

Updated 11.16.2020

Written by Denver Health
Updated over a week ago

How to Manage Patient/Visitor Pushback Against Masking, Visitor Policies

Denver Health is issuing general guidelines and talking points (below) for staff who may encounter patient and/or visitor frustrations with our Visitor Policy or safety measures on masking and social distancing. Please familiarize yourself with these communication methods and reminders to better help navigate these conversations.

  • Set the tone: Communicate what to expect for patients and visitors proactively and with compassion (if patient raises his/her/their voice, continue to keep calm and use a respectful tone). Use clear and caring language that conveys both what individuals need to know before arriving at the care setting and the “why” behind the restrictions (see “Visitor Guidelines FAQ”).

  • A reminder: Hospitals nationwide (including Denver Health) are taking measures to ensure the safety and well-being of patients, staff and the entire community. Apologize for the inconvenience; the policy is in place to protect our vulnerable patients as well as staff taking care of sick and infected patients.

  • For the Visitor Policy: These are temporary measures for allowing visitors in a way that supports the need for physical distancing and minimizes the risk of transmission.

  • For the Masking and Social-Distancing Policy: Mask wearing and social distancing is considered a necessary step in COVID-19 infection control and is required in all healthcare settings.

  • If the patient or visitor becomes aggressive or you feel threatened, contact Security at x67444.

  • If patient/family/friends demand to speak with someone above you, contact your supervisor or manager.

  • Staff Reference and Reminder: Visitor Guidelines can often change during the pandemic, but the most updated version is always found at

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