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Anxiety is a universal human phenomenon defined as a strong feeling of fear or dread with an unknown cause. In hospital settings, all clients and their loved ones are vulnerable to feeling anxiety as they seek care for medical problems. Everyone may feel anxiety at times especially when facing an unknown situation like starting a new job. Under normal conditions, this discomfort is short-lived and may be helpful for problem solving.
Anxiety is part of the human reaction to stress. Most people respond to anxiety by using coping skills that are learned external behaviors or internal though process consciously used to decrease discomfort.
Anxious persons show physical, emotional, and cognitive manifestations according to their level of anxiety. A person experiencing mild anxiety has increased pulse and blood pressure, has a positive affect, and has an alertness that can solve a problem and that can prepare to learn information. In moderate anxiety, a person has elevated vital signs, tense muscles, and diaphoresis (excessive sweating). The person is tense and fearful. His or her attention is focused on one concern – which may able to concentrate with direction. During severe anxiety, a person manifests fight – or – flight response, dry mouth, and numb extremities, distressed emotion, and decreased sensory perception which can focus only on details and unable the person to learn new information. Lastly, when a person reaches the panic level – is very overwhelmed – ignores external cues, focuses only on internal stimuli, and is unable to learn. This type of person may need to have medical examination and evaluation.
In order to decrease the anxiety of the clients, there are some interventions or management you could do. This could be nonverbal or verbal actions or services. Nonverbal interventions include listening with full attention, looking at the client with unbroken eye contact, maintaining a calm and unhurried approach, speaking slowly in a clear, firm voice, offering or using touch – and if possible – decreasing the noise and bright light. On the other hand, verbal interventions include answering questions honestly, explaining all procedures in simple terms, acknowledging the client’s anxiety, repeating directions patiently if necessary, and encouraging him or her to explore the reasons – including family members in discussion.
In relation to my experiences, me too experiences anxiety especially at times when I do certain things that are new to me. I usually manage it by drinking lots of water or by just inhaling and exhaling. Sometimes, another person’s touch, giving of reassurance and encouragement can decrease my anxiety. Lastly, I can say that all of us experience anxiety but it depends on how we manage it.