It is impossible to pick up a newspaper, watch a news broadcast on television, or tune in to a radio program and not be assailed by some story of out-of control anger that has escalated into violence. Anger is expressed in many ways, from episodes of “road rage” that often end in tragedy to bursts of profanity in the workpalce. The media have coined new terms such as desk rage and air rage to described the increasing tendency of Americans to erupt and lash out (Thomas, 2003). Nurse researcher Linda Aiken used the phrase word age to described the epidemic of anger and frustration in hospitals (Bergstrom, 2001). Clients and families get angry at hospital personnel, nurses get angry at each other, and physicians get angry at nurses. It seems that there is an epidemic of anger.

Anger is difficult targets for nursing intervention, particulary if their focus is the nurse, because they imply threat and generate feelings of fear, hurt, and helplessness. Anger is an emotional response to the perception of frustration of desires, threat to one’s needs (emotional or physical), or challenge, and such anger is a normal response. Anger is the last two stages of a response that begins with feeling of vulnerability and then uneasiness. Clients often communicate their anxiety before escalating to anger. Nursing interventions for anger begin at these early stages, with accurate assessment of client’s behaviors, appropriate intervention, and care to reassess taht the intervention was effective.
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