OK. I used to be a travel nurse and I settled down into a wonderful hospital recently that I really enjoy. One of the things that made me want to become a staff member was the fact that my unit was a Pulmonary unit. It has tele beds, people on vents and all sorts of things I wasnt seeing much on on a basic M/S unit. I was ready to move out of M/S and this was a good step into a specialty, in my eyes at the time.
One thing I know about myself is (every nurse has their one patient population they would rather not care for) I'm not a fan of taking care of people with anxiety disorder. They come to the hospital, their stressed because they are sick, their meds are arranged differently and...........BAM, there you have it, anxiety disorder not being addressed and the pt. is showing it. People with anxiety disorder GO RIGHT THROUGH ME. Cant help them. Just cant.
So, why didnt it dawn on me that on a Pulmonary unit, with steroids being handed out like candy, I would see much more of this? I have 8 patients at night and, oh my, the panic attacks I've witnessed are................wow.
So, what do you guys do to help them. I'm not a new nurse, so I already know about checking if their breathing is OK and that part. But, when it is simply a matter of anxiety disorder and there is no ativan to give, what do you do to make the pt. more comfortable?
May 6, '09
I replied to your other post over in the Psych forum.
May 6, '09
Disregarding steroids, it has always been my experience that lung patients are anxious and demanding. I can't say that I blame them - being short of breath is one of the scariest feelings you can have. I find a firm hand (I am not a fan of those that bang on the bed rail to summon me, for example), along with reassurance +++++++ is required. Taking care of any physical issues, the psychological impact of lung disease just requires a sensitive person to make sure the patient feels safe.
May 6, '09
It is very hard when you can't breath and having had a severe asthma attack I can empathise with them. It is hard but I agree being firm with them helps and also try to get them to do some breathing exercises may help. Find out what triggers help them to relax and if possible see if they can be used to help them to relax.