Introduction for Nursing Diagnosis
Transfer Stress Syndrome is a nursing diagnosis proposed by NANDA-I (North American Nursing Diagnosis Association International). This diagnosis can be defined as an individual’s inability to cope with the stress of moving from one clinical setting or situation to another. It can be caused by any kind of transfer, such as between different parts of the hospital, or from being discharged from the hospital. The complex nature of Transfer Stress Syndrome needs to be addressed in order to prevent any potential problems that may arise due to the patient’s inability to cope with the transfer stress.
NANDA Nursing Diagnosis Definition
This nursing diagnosis defines Transfer Stress Syndrome as “a state in which an individual is unable to tolerate the stress of changing from one clinical setting/environment to another”.
- Expresses feeling of anxiety about leaving one environment for another
- Describes feelings of disorientation and confusion when changing environments
- Reports feelings of helplessness and lack of control about transfer
- Demonstrates restlessness
- Displays difficulty in initiating activities
- Experiences decreased ability to cope effectively in new environment
Transfer Stress Syndrome can be caused by a variety of factors. These include, but are not limited to: personal and environmental changes that occur during the transfer process, fear of the unknown, lack of knowledge of the new environment, need for unfamiliar care routines, abruptness of the transition, need to adjust to the new rules governing the new environment and a lack of social support.
Patients at highest risk for Transfer Stress Syndrome are those who are elderly, chronically ill, disabled, do not have strong family or friend networks, or those who regularly experience large changes, such as frequent hospital transfers.
The symptoms of Transfer Stress Syndrome may lead to a variety of problems, such as: increased risk for falls, medication non-adherence, increased risk for depression and anxiety, feelings of isolation and withdrawal, and decreased ability to cope with other stressors.
Suggestions of Use
Nurses can use a variety of techniques to help patients cope with Transfer Stress Syndrome. Some of these include providing verbal reassurance, focusing on the positives of the new environment, focusing on the patient’s strengths, providing meaningful activities, introducing the patient to the new staff, providing education about the process of transferring, and providing opportunities for rest and relaxation.
Suggested Alternative NANDA Diagnoses
The following alternative NANDA diagnoses are suggested to compliment Transfer Stress Syndrome:
- Activity Intolerance
- Coping, Readiness for Enhanced
- Risk for Falls
- Risk for Decreased Cardiac Tissue Perfusion
- Risk for Infection
When using this diagnosis, it is important to keep in mind that transfer stress can manifest itself differently in different populations. It is also important to recognize that the transfer stress can be exacerbated by the physical environment; if the environment is unfamiliar or uncomfortable, this can add additional stress to the patient’s experience.
The following are some results that are typically associated with Transfer Stress Syndrome:
- Psychological Adaptation: Patient is able to adapt psychologically to a changed environment.
- Coping: Patient is able to successfully deal with stress associated with transferring environments.
- Self-Care: Patient is able to independently care for himself or herself during the transfer.
- Physical Mobility: Patient is able to move around their new environment safely and efficiently.
The following are some interventions that are typically associated with Transfer Stress Syndrome:
- Reassurance: Provide verbal and physical reassurance to the patient during the transfer process.
- Environmental Adaptation Instruction: Provide instruction on how to adjust to the physical environment of the new setting.
- Orientation: Provide orientation to the new environment, including directions, rules and existing routines.
- Emotional Support: Provide emotional support in the form of listening, encouraging, expressing empathy and providing comfort when appropriate.
Conclusion and FAQ
It is important for nurses to understand and recognize the signs and symptoms of Transfer Stress Syndrome, as well as the associated risks and interventions. By identifying and addressing the risk factors associated with Transfer Stress Syndrome, nurses can help patients have a more successful transition to their new environment. Furthermore, nurses should be aware of potential alternative diagnoses that may accompany Transfer Stress Syndrome, in order to provide an appropriate treatment plan.
If you have any questions about Transfer Stress Syndrome or any other nursing diagnosis related to changing environments, please reach out to your healthcare provider. They will be able to provide answers to any of your questions.