Nursing care plan for anxiety related to surgery

Nursing care plan for anxiety related to surgery


Anxiety has the potential to disrupt a successful recovery from surgery. It can frustrate medical personnel,patients and their families as they strive to make calm, sensible decisions throughout the preoperative process as well as in the operating room and postoperative periods. Nursing interventions provide emotional support to help reduce anxiety related to a surgical procedure.


A comprehensive assessment of the patient should be done during the preoperating period. The nurse needs to:

  • Evaluate the patient’s current level of anxiety.
  • Identify causes of external stressors.
  • Understand the patient’s previous experiences with similar procedures.
  • Determine the patient’s coping mechanisms.
  • Recognize any fears that may need to be addressed such as death.

Nursing Diagnosis

Based on the assessment results and formulation of observations, thenurse should formulate a nursing diagnosis. Diagnoses to consider include:

  • Stress Response related to surgical procedure(pain, unfamiliar environment).
  • Anxiety related to threat to body image.
  • Fear related to pain/ discomfort.


After implementing interventions, patient should be able to demonstrate the following outcomes:

  • Verbalize understanding of procedure and its risks and benefits.
  • Demonstrate reduction in negative feelings like fear or anxiety.
  • Recognize ability to use self-help techniques to manage anxiety.
  • Demonstrate comfort and relaxation.


The nurse should develop a plan for managing preoperative anxiety. Depending onthe individual, strategies for managing anxiety may include the following interventions:

  • Provide accurate, detailed information about the nature of the treatment and its side effects.
  • Encourage the expression of anxiety.
  • Arrange for staff to provide preoperative and postoperative psychological support.
  • Encourage the use of relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, focused attention and guided imagery.
  • Reassure the Patient that caregivers are available and attentive to their needs.


The goals and purposes of each intervention are the following:

  • Providing accurate information and education reduces fear of unknown.
  • Allow the patient to express anxiety learned from personal experiences, family and social circles.
  • Psychological care reduces tension, promotes coping, and promotes continuing care after the procedure.
  • Relaxation techniques reduce symptoms of anxiety and promote positive attitude.
  • Reassurance that caregivers are available increases self-esteem and cooperation.


The effectiveness of nursing interventions should be evaluated by determining if the Patient’s anxiety is reduced. Patients can be asked questions to determine:

  • Rate their comfort level.
  • Discuss any fears they have and how they were dealt with.
  • Identify any coping skills that helped to reduce anxiety.
  • Recognize any relaxation strategies they used.


Nursing interventions play an important role in reducing patient preoperative anxiety. Nurse’s should assess each patient’s individual risk factors for anxiety as well as provide comprehensive patient education and psychosocial support. Through these guidelines nurse will be able to improve patient outcomes through proper management and reduction of anxiety.


  1. What is nursing care plan?
    Nursing care plan is a set of actions and decisions that a nurse follows to ensure optimal patient care. It includes interventions, rationales, goals and outcomes.
  2. How Can Anxiety Related To Surgery Be Managed?
    Anxiety related to surgery can be managed through interventions such as providing accurate information, expressing anxieties, psychological support, relaxation techniques and reassurance from caregivers.
  3. What Types Of Nursing Interventions Can Help Reduce Anxiety?
    Nursing interventions such as providing accurate information, expression of anxieties, psychological support, relaxation techniques and reassurance from caregivers can help reduce anxiety.
  4. What Are The Effects Of Preoperative Anxiety?
    Preoperative anxiety can disrupt a successful recovery from surgery,can frustrate the medical personnel, patient and the family and it may hinder in making healthy decisions during preoperative process and postoperative period.
  5. What Is The Effectiveness Of Nursing Interventions?
    The effectiveness of nursing interventions should be evaluated by determining if the patient’s anxiety is reduced. Questions can be asked to determine the level or comfort, any fears, coping skills or relaxation strategies being used.

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