How to write a complete Nursing Care Plan for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – PTSD

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Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a condition that develops when a person has been exposed to a serious situation such as a natural disaster, serious accident, death of a loved one or life-threatening event. This condition causes debilitating symptoms that, depending on the severity, can negatively affect relationships, communication and daily activities. PTSD affects all ages from childhood to senior adult and symptoms may flare up without any known trigger. Aside from emotional difficulty, clients may experience physical manifestations such as chronic pain and headaches and can lead to drinking and drug addictions as well as physical abuse.


Diagnostic Criteria:

Exposure to death, threatened death, serious injury or actual or threatening sexual violence. Direct exposure (personally witnessed), repeated exposure, or indirect exposure (i.e. first responders, child victim advocates, law enforcement, etc.)

Intrusion or persistently re-experienced stressors in at least one of the following ways: recurrent memories, traumatic nightmares, flashbacks, prolonged distress following traumatic reminders, significant physical symptoms after exposure to stressors

Avoidance of distressing trauma-related stressors after the event in at least one way

Negative alterations in mood and cognitions that began or got worse after the initial event. Must include 2 of the following: Inability to recall key features of the event, persistent or negative beliefs, persistent distorted blame, persistent negative emotions, significant lack of interest, feeling of alienation, inability to experience positive emotions

Alterations in reactivity since the traumatic event. Must include 2 of the following: aggressiveness, self-destructive behavior, hypervigilance, exaggerated startle response, difficulty concentrating, sleep problems

Duration of symptoms must be greater than one month

Functional impairment from symptoms

Attribution – not related to medication, substance use or other medical illness


Client will be able to identify triggers. Client will learn and utilize positive coping strategies. Client will demonstrate control of emotions and relaxation techniques. Client will be free from injury.

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