I have one more exam to take then I'm done with the online portion of the Nursing Refresher course. The last two tests have challenged my critical thinking skills. In other words, I had to think through the questions to arrive at the answers. (Hopefully the right ones!) The tests are open book, but most of the questions, to me anyway, did not have obvious answers.
I thought it would be a good day to do a post on Stress. This information is right out of the mouth of my closest companion over the last eleven weeks, that is my Nursing Textbook, Basic Nursing, Essentials For Practice, 6th Edition by coauthors, Patricia A Potter PhD, RN, CMAC, FAAN and Anne Griffin Perry, EdD, RN, FAAN
REACTION TO PSYCHOLOGICAL STRESS
The GAS (general adaptation syndrome) activates indirectly for psychological threats, which differ for each person and influence a variety of responses to stress. Lazarus (1999) maintains that a person experiences stress only if the person evaluates the event or the circumstance as personally significant. Evaluating an event for its personal meaning, or primary appraisal, happens very quickly and automatically in a person's mind. If primary appraisal results in the person identifying the event of circumstance as harm, loss, threat, or challenge the person has stress. Following the recognition of stress, secondary appraisal focuses on possible coping strategies.
A person manages psychological stress by coping. (Lazarus, 1999) Effectiveness of coping strategies depends on the individuals needs. For this reason no single coping strategy works for everyone or for every stressor. The same person copes differently from one time to another. In stressful situations people use a combination of problem-focused coping and emotion-focused coping. In other words, when under stress, we obtain information and take action to the stress. In some cases we avoid thinking about the situation or change the way we think about it, without changing the the actual situation itself (Lazarus, 1999).
After I finish my last exam tomorrow, I'll write more about the GAS and give you some excellent textbook examples on how to adapt to our stressors.