Nurses encounter many people with anxiety disorders in community settings rather than in inpatient settings. Formal treatment for these clients usually occurs in community men-tal health clinics and in the offices of physicians, psychiatric clinical specialists, psychologists, or other mental health counselors. Because the person with an anxiety disorder often believes the sporadic symptoms are related to medical prob-lems, the family practitioner or advanced practice nurse can be the first health-care professional to evaluate him or her.
Knowledge of community resources helps the nurse guide the client to appropriate referrals for assessment, diagnosis, and treatment. The nurse can refer the client to a psychiatrist or to an advanced practice psychiatric nurse for diagnosis, therapy, and medication. Other community resources such as anxiety disorder groups or self-help groups can provide support and help the client feel less isolated and lonely.