Effects of Anxiety Reducing Interventions on Performance Anxiety in New Graduates
Repository Posting Date2012-01-11T11:18:01Z
Author(s)Washington, Georgita Tolbert
Author DetailsGeorgita Tolbert Washington, PhD, RN-BC, MSN
(41st Biennial Convention) Every new nursing graduate is challenged to transition from student to professional nurse. This stressful situation�can bring about performance anxiety which�occurs when an individual is the focus of attention,�is in fear of being humiliated or embarrased, and has a�fear of interactions with others. These feelings occur only in certain situations such as when the new graduate is the focus of attention and is constantly being evaluated. The need to interact with other health care professionals, patients, and families can also create anxiety about performance. No studies were found to have examined this concept in graduate nurses. This session will describe the results of research designed to reduce performance anxiety. Use of cognitive behavioral therapy concepts, progressive muscle relaxation, and reflective journalingh as been shown to decrease performance in musicians and actors, but there have been no studies in new graduates, or with this combination of interventions. Peplau's theory of interpersonal relations suggests that relationships play an important role in mediating anxiety. Because the preceptor model is used very frequently, it is likely that relationships with preceptors and the perceived level of social support could influence the success of transition and managing performance anxieyty. Using a quasi-experimental, mixed methods design, the sample was drawn from 2 classes of new graduates from a 6-month nurse residency program. Participants self-administered instruments that measured performance anxiety, perceptions of social support from preceptors, and preceptor relationships. They were also asked to journal weekly. This study verified the presence and level of performance anxiety in this sample. Results revealed a decrease in performance anxiety in both the control and treatment groups. There was no significant influence of relationship or perception of social support on the level of performance anxiety. Performance anxiety did not appear to have a�negative�affect on the transition of these new graduates.