Nursing Care Plans For Anxiety
Nursing care plans for patients with anxiety can be challenging and should not be overlooked. Patients may experience many different types of anxiety, such as fear and concern of healthcare staff, other patients, the unknown, lack of knowledge or familiarity with healthcare environment and procedures, disruption of normal routine or disruption in communication patterns. Nurses must use special techniques to help alleviate anxiety in their patients.
Anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear. It’s a normal human emotion that can be caused by real or perceived threats. Anxiety is often the result of repeated exposure to a dangerous or threatening situation.
Anxiety, fear and concern of healthcare staff.
- Patient may be afraid of the healthcare staff.
- Patient may have fear or concern about being in the hospital, or fear of medications or tests.
The nurse should explain to the patient that they are in a safe place, and let them know what is going to happen to them. The nurse should also reassure the patient that they will be given pain medication if needed and that they need not be afraid of getting shots during procedures such as taking blood samples or giving IV fluids if they choose not to have these done while awake (for example, due to fear).
Anxiety, fear and concern of other patients.
The patient may be fearful of being in the hospital due to what other patients or staff might think of him/her. The person may feel that he/she is being judged negatively because of the way other patients or staff view him/her (such as the way they look, act).
The patient may be concerned about what others will say about him/her if they find out that he/she is in a hospital setting. For example, he or she might worry about what his family members will think about his treatment plan and progress.
Fear of the unknown.
- You may be afraid of the unknown, such as what will happen to you and your family.
- You may be afraid that you are going to die.
- You may also fear pain or being alone.
Lack of knowledge of or familiarity with healthcare environment and procedures.
- Lack of knowledge or familiarity with the healthcare environment and procedures.
- Patients may be unfamiliar with the healthcare environment, including staff members, equipment and supplies. They may also not know what to expect from their treatment or how to communicate their needs effectively.
Disruption of normal routine or disruption in communication patterns.
- Reassure the patient that he or she is in safe hands.
- Explain what is happening and why, including any physical procedures to be done.
- Explain what to expect, e.g., pain, discomfort or gagging during examinations, when treatments will occur etc.
- Emphasize that the nurse will be here throughout the procedure and answer any questions the patient may have.
If the patient becomes anxious while undergoing treatment: * Remind him or her that everything is OK and being done for his/her benefit (and safety). * Encourage him or her to relax by breathing deeply into a paper bag if necessary; after all, deep breathing helps us feel calmer! * If necessary explain again what is happening; encourage him/her to ask questions if these arise at this time – it shows interest in their care which encourages cooperation with others involved in their treatment plan such as doctors and physiotherapists etcetera!
Alteration in feeling safe and secure.
- Patients with anxiety frequently have a sense of impending doom. They are anxious about not being able to take care of themselves and their loved ones, but they also worry that harm will come to them from others.
- As a result, patients with anxiety may demand reassurance that everything is going to be all right. They need it often and in many different ways:
- “Please tell me again what’s going on.”
- “Tell me why you need this test.”
- “I’m afraid we’re going to be late for our appointment!”
- In addition, these patients also require information about the procedures they’re undergoing so that they can relax and let go of their fear while undergoing treatment or testing procedures. This includes knowing what will happen during an exam or procedure (e.g., how long it will take) as well as being told who will be present during the exam/procedure (provider plus assistants) along with where exactly one will go during the visit (i.e., room number).
Patients with anxiety require special attention to avoid exacerbating their condition
- Patients with anxiety require special attention to avoid exacerbating their condition.
- Patients with anxiety may be afraid to ask for help.
- Patients with anxiety may be afraid to talk about their condition.
- Patients with anxiety may be afraid to ask for pain medication.
It is important that healthcare professionals understand the nature of anxiety, how to recognize it in patients and how to intervene when necessary. Nurses have an important role in providing care for these patients because they are often the first line of contact with people who are dealing with this condition.