In cognitive-behavioral therapy, the emphasis is put mostly on trainer-to-client interaction. The trainer, at that, serves as a medium between the client and their stress self-assessment, helping the client to adequately evaluate their condition and guiding them to coping enhancement. Thus, one of the ways to educate clients to manage stress is getting them to acknowledge their condition and discuss – non-judgmentally – what actions they perform to cope on their own (Jaremko & Meichenbaum, 2013). Another way is to teach the client to recognize what triggers stress. Stress cues can come in a variety of forms, and the nurse’s task at that is to exemplify and demonstrate the ways these cues can be reconceptualized. Finally, the client should be able to sustain the skills they have acquired; at this stage, their learning style and needs have to be determined. Some of the clients might benefit from video clips and follow-up written tests while others thrive on computerized materials used at home post-discharge (Jaremko & Meichenbaum, 2013).
Cognitive-behavioral therapy would be effective, for instance, for clients with PTSD, especially in the early post-trauma stages. Patients experiencing stress after a vehicle accident trauma can be taught to acknowledge their stress. Next, the triggers can be identified and reconceptualized. At that, the patients replace the thoughts that might take them to re-experience the accident with less harmful thoughts. Finally, the clients have to be able to rehearse the coping skills and stress management tips they have learned. For that sake, they can be provided with materials by their learning style. The nurse could either take advantage of technology or provide the client with written materials such as articles or checklists for them to study and fill in.
The tools of client education are plentiful, providing nurse practitioners with the choice. On the other hand, the client’s situation must be assessed by the practitioner. The RN should make sure the patients understood the tasks and can perform them. Thus, to educate the clients effectively, the RN should consider their limitations, if any. For instance, a client with impaired vision would benefit from large print or detailed verbal instruction. After the limitations were assessed, the RN can choose the ways of client education. Through discussion, the client’s stress triggers can be identified. It helps identify the causes of stress, stimulates the client’s interest, and helps them assess the extent and reasons they are stressed.
The demonstration is another way to educate clients on coping. For example, the RN can provide a narrative or engage the client in a group discussion where the solutions are speculated on and evaluated collectively. Also, the RN should pay attention to the instructions upon discharge. Print materials concerning the diet and activity levels, the ways of relaxation, and replacing stressful thoughts are as necessary as some contact information on who to refer to in case of acute stress outbreak (Schutte, 2013). For instance, a population of students who are likely to be stressed could be assisted using these education techniques. The triggers, such as work overload, procrastination, and lagging can be singled out in discussions. A group discussion can help the students understand the ways others cope and project them on their situations. Finally, a friendly reminder of the clients’ tasks in coping should be availed to them when they are discharged to enhance their coping.
Jaremko, M., & Meichenbaum, D. (2013). Stress Reduction and Prevention. Berlin, Germany: Springer Science & Business Media.
Schutte, A. (2013). Patient Education and Management: Practices, Challenges and Outcomes. New York, NY: Nova Science Publishers.