Ward Class

An Online Resource Site For Student Nurses


Ward Class is an online resource for student nurses. Created with the aim of helping student nurses cope with the demands of nursing school and clinicals, it offers free downloads, notes, sample NCPs, sample drug studies, study aids, news and updates, and practical tips to its users.

Site Announcement

The December 2012 PRC Nursing Board Exam Result is already available here at Ward Class and at Pinoy R.N.

Understanding Crisis Intervention

A crisis is any serious interruption in the functioning of an individual, family or group. A problem may sometimes be so serious that the client's usual problem-solving mechanisms fail. During a crisis, the client is in a state of emotional turmoil and this temporary state of high anxiety may disrupt overall functioning.

There are three types of crisis and they are as follows:
  • situational crisis--> refers to extraordinarily stressful life events such as loss of loved ones, loss of investment, or losing one's home to a fire.
  • maturational crisis--> refers to events that are normal processes of growth and development, examples are adolescence, birth of first child, and retirement.
  • adventitious crisis--> refers to extremely stressful events that are catastrophic, unplanned, and accidental e.g. war, hurricanes, terrorist attacks, rape (note: some reference books do not include adventitious crisis and so rape is listed under situational crisis)
Most crises are short in duration lasting 24- 36 hours, are self-limiting, and usually do not last longer than 6 weeks (note: usually asked during boards). During this critical period, however, the client experiences feelings of anxiety, guilt, shame, anger, and helplessness and may manifest self-destructive and dangerous behavior (usually 3 days after the life-changing event).

To help the client cope with a very stressful crisis situation, mental health practitioners utilize crisis intervention. Crisis intervention is an active but temporary entry into the client's life to support the client, help client resolve existing crisis, restore the client to precrisis level of functioning, and to facilitate the client's attainment of a higher level of functioning.

During crisis intervention, a nurse must have the ability to make the necessary assessment of the client's emotional and physical needs while providing emotional support and gaining the client's coopration. The roles of the psychiatric and mental health nurse includes assessment of the severity of the crisis (with safety in mind) and client's perception of the problem, determination of and enlisting available situational supports, exploration of previous coping behaviors and helping the client acquire more effective adaptive behaviors, and providing encouragement while working with the client during the crisis intervention process.

Related Downloads:
Crisis and Crisis Intervention Quick Facts (NEW)
Phases of Crisis (NEW)


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