The Best Way to Treat Overly Anxious Hospital Patients

Aug 24, 2016

anxious patient

Patient anxiety during hospital stays is a common concern for medical staff. Nurses find that overly anxious patients are hard to treat, and some patients have such traumatic experiences during their stay that the mere memory of them can trigger episodes of PTSD.

The Inevitable Link

Patient anxiety and satisfaction are ultimately linked, as anxious patients are far more likely to consider their stay at a hospital as unsatisfactory.

Because of this, nurses face the uphill battle of keeping patients calm and comfortable during hospital stays in order to increase HCAHPS scores.

In order to treat anxious patients, we must first have a complete understanding of where this anxiety stems from.

Why Patients are Anxious

Patients often do not know what to expect when they enter a hospital setting. On top of being diagnosed with a condition or disease that they do not fully understand, they often do not know what to expect from the required treatment.

Many of the questions that go through a patient's mind are:

  • How long am I going to be here?

  • Why am I taking this medication?

  • How many other medications will I have to take?

  • What procedures need to be done and when?

  • Who are my care providers?

  • When can I eat?

  • When can I see my family?

The list can go on, and it's a lot for anyone to take in all at once.

Heading off Anxiety Before it Begins

The best way to combat patient anxiety is open and frequent communication. When patients understand what is going to happen and why, they are far less likely to succumb to their anxiety.

Patient whiteboards are a proven tools that significantly improves communication between patients and nurses. In a study conducted earlier this year, as many as 80% of patients noted that whiteboards were an effective coping tool, and 88% even indicated that hospital whiteboards helped them feel less tense about their treatment.

When patients feel knowledgeable and in control of their treatment, they are significantly less anxious; the same study noted a drop of 2.65 points in their anxiety levels.

Creating a Better Treatment Environment

Virtually every hospital room in the country is a suitable place for a whiteboard, and the effect they have on patient anxiety levels, satisfaction scores and quality of care make them a must have for care teams. To learn more about our the customization options of our whiteboards, contact our team today.