Nursing Intervention for Anxiety

Nursing Intervention for Anxiety

1) Assess patient’s level of anxiety and determine how the patient copes with it. This can be done by interviewing the patient.
This assessment helps determine the effectiveness of coping strategies currently used by the patient.
2) Acknowledge awareness of the patient’s anxiety.
Acknowledgement of the patient’s feelings validates the feelings and communicated acceptance of those feelings.
3) Establish a working relationship with the patient through continuity of care.
4) Orient the patient to the environment, procedures and people as needed.
5) Maintain a quiet environment and keep “threatening” equipment out of sight to reduce sensory stimuli.
6) Assist patient to reduce present level of anxiety by:
  • Provide reassurance and comfort
  • Stay with the patient during severe anxiety.
  • Don’t make demands or request any decisions.
  • Speak slowly and calmly, convey a willingness to listen.
  • Attend to physical symptoms.
  • Give clear, concise explanations regarding impending procedures, include patient in decisions related care when feasible.
  • Focus on present situation.
  • Identify and reinforce coping strategies patient has used in the past.
  • Discuss advantages and disadvantages of existing coping methods.
  • Discuss alternate strategies for handling anxiety such as exercise, relaxation techniques and exercises, stress management classes, directed conversation (by nurse), assertiveness training.
  • Set limits on manipulation or irrational demands.
  • Help establish short term goals that can be attained.
  • Reinforce positive responses.
  • Initiate health teaching and referrals as indicated.
  • Support family or S.O. in coping with patient’s anxious behaviour.
7. Instruct the patient in the appropriate use of anti-anxiety medications.