Can't tell you the number of times that I've been able to calm down "problem" patients by sitting down and talking to them for a few minutes. I always try to go that route first, even though it's devilishly difficult due to the time constraints we're all familiar with. It really is remarkable how far a little TLC can go with an anxious patient. Just drawing up a chair, sitting down, giving them your full attention for five minutes, speaking kindly, slowly, and calmly, offering reassurance, then coming back in 15 minutes to check in on them and see what else you can help with. I mean... this strategy is like magic for your run-of-the-mill "omg I'm in the hospital and no one will talk to me and I don't know what's going on" anxiety. It's a different story when you have someone with psych issues who needs their PRN valium, of course. But taking a minute to talk and connect is, IMHO, way safer and kinder than just throwing anxiolytics at the patient and walking away. The problem is that it takes some time, which is at an absolute premium for any healthcare worker.
I wish I could go back to being a student and having time to just sit and chat with my patients! And I wish there was a way for practicing nurses to do that regularly - whenever I get a chance to do it, I usually walk away from my shift feeling like I really made a difference instead of feeling like I just ran on a hamster wheel, slinging meds and talking to providers all day. It really makes a difference, and it stinks for patients and nurses alike that we can't give them that type of time.