Nursing Interventions for Reducing the Stresses

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Nursing Interventions for Reducing the Stresses Experienced by Mechanically Ventilated Patients Teresa Perkins McKendree University Nursing Interventions for Reducing the Stresses Experienced by Mechanically Ventilated Patients Mechanically ventilated patients may experience increased levels of stress due to various environmental factors in the ICU. These include equipment/alarm noise, invasive nature of treatments and the inability to communicate verbally. These stressors can cause non-favorable effects such as increased anxiety levels which can subsequently lead to somatic reactions such as tachycardia, dyspnea, increased blood pressure and patient-ventilator dyssynchrony. Prolonged anxiety levels can also induce psychological effects such as increased fear and inhibitions. This can ultimately affect the patient’s overall capacity to cope with difficult emotions and situations (Richart-Martinez & Perpina-Galvan, 2009). These effects can lead to the need for more sedation which can hinder weaning attempts. The longer a patient is mechanically ventilated the greater the risk of developing Ventilator Associated Pneumonia, (VAP), and Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). VAP is a pneumonia that develops 48 hours or longer after mechanical ventilation. It results from the invasion of the lower respiratory tract and lung parenchyma by microorganisms. Intubation compromises the integrity of the oropharynx and trachea and allows oral and gastric secretions to enter the lower airways. ARDS is a life-threatening lung condition that prevents enough oxygen from getting into the blood. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of stress reducing, non-pharmacologic interventions on mechanically ventilated patients when used in conjunction with pharmacologic interventions to decrease overall anxiety. Research efforts of the past

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