A patient on a psychiatric unit approaches a nurse in the hallway. He is anxious, dizzy, and short of breath. The nurse should


• Using a relaxation exercise will reinforce the use of positive coping skills and promote self-empowerment. Taking the patient to a quiet area will help the patient to settle.

• The unit hallway is not an appropriate place to assess the patient. Guide the patient to the exam room or patient room to ensure confidentiality and to avoid upsetting other clients in the immediate area.

• Administering an antianxiety agent is not appropriate until the nurse has attempted non-pharmacological interventions first. Benzodiazepines and other anxiolytics can be effective but are also habit-forming and do not teach skills or solve the patient's problems, so other interventions should be attempted first.

• Getting other patients involved is inappropriate and may breach the patient's confidentiality.

• The patient may be encouraged to spend time away from the milieu if the activity there is found to be overwhelming or overstimulating, but unless the patient is being unsafe, it is not appropriate to tell the patient to leave the common area; sending the patient to his room without first assessing him is negligent.

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