Brig. General Carol Ann Fausone (Ret)
In the coming years, veterans suffering from PTSD, TBI, and other unseen war wounds can expect 3 million more helping hands in their fight towards normalcy. White House Officials announced in early April that a coalition of nursing schools and medical organizations will begin to train their nurses on how to recognize and respond to veterans, and their specialized needs.
Although the veteran-savvy nursing infusion reported at 3 million strong, might be a couple years off, chief nursing officer of the American Nurses Association, Amy Garcia, views the announcement as having an immediate positive impact. Garcia believes that with this news, medical officials will be able to introduce lessons into professional development courses and medical journals, which can be published in weeks, not years. Garcia also noted that many nurses are already working with veterans in their communities and can put their new knowledge into practice immediately.
“Our goal is to raise awareness of these issues, teach nurses to recognize the signs and symptoms, and help reduce the stigma of seeking care,” Garcia stated.
The announcement comes in the midst of multiple events marking the first anniversary of the White House’s Joining Forces campaign, launched to bring attention to the sacrifices and struggles of returning veterans.
As officials from the campaign estimate that roughly one in six veterans returning from duty suffers from PTSD or TBI, the importance of these pro-educational steps cannot be understated. The American Psychiatric Nurses Association has already developed online continuing education courses that focus on PTSD, pain management, sleep disturbances, and issues related specifically to female veterans.
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