Discussion:Nurses as Health Advocates
Military veterans face numerous health challenges after returningfrom combat. For example, service members are encumbered with mentalillnesses such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In fact,many military personnel have died due to suicide (Keane, Docherty,Jesse, Lee, McNurlen, & Zeller, 2013). Major depression hasremained largely untreated among returning service members.Additionally, some military veterans have experienced traumatic braininjury (TBI). Substance abuse has also emerged as a significanthealth concern among returning service members (Jackonis, Deyton, &Hess, 2008). Therefore, an effective health advocate must manifestautonomy, accountability, assertiveness, and persuasiveness to caterfor the needs of military veterans.
An effective health advocate should work independently with minimalsupervision (Milstead, 2013). Autonomy will also become evident whenthe professional shows personal interest in military veterans(Begley, 2010). In this regard, it is important to uphold privacy andconfidentiality. Hence, the clients will muster the courage to revealtheir problems and seek treatment.
In addition, a healthcare professional must display advocacy whendealing with medical needs for returning service members (Milstead,2013). Military veterans and their families encounter plenty ofchallenges due to the stigma associated with seeking care (Jackoniset al., 2008). Therefore, a health advocate must work to influencelawmakers to enact better safeguards for returning service members.
Besides, health advocates need to display accountability infulfilling their duties (Milstead, 2013). In this respect, theyshould assume responsibility for their actions. Health advocates mustacquire knowledge of the available resources that could benefitmilitary veterans. Consequently, they can enlighten the families ofservice members to take advantage of such opportunities.
Heath advocates should also be assertive when pursuing the rights ofmilitary veterans (Milstead, 2013). In many instances, returningservice members receive minimal services after seeking treatment forPTSD. The physical injuries sustained during war may also haveemotional and psychological effects. Therefore, an effective healthadvocate must be confident and self-assured to ensure that militaryveterans receive adequate care.
Indeed, health advocates must be assertive, accountable, independent,and persuasive to handle the medical needs of returning servicemembers and their families. Military personnel require competent helpto overcome mental disorders, major depression, and PTSD. Healthadvocates can ensure that their clients receive sufficient medicalcare.
Begley, A. M. (2010). On being a good nurse: reflections on the pastand preparing for the future. International Journal of NursingPractice, 16(6), 525-532.http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1440-172X.2010.01878.x
Jackonis, M. J., Deyton, L., & Hess, W. J. (2008). War, itsaftermath, and US health policy: Toward a comprehensive healthprogram for America`s military personnel, veterans, and theirfamilies. The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 36(4),677-689. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1748-720X.2008.00322.x
Keane, T. M., Docherty, J. P., Jesse, R. L., Lee, J., McNurlen, J., &Zeller, E. (2013). Mental health needs of returning veterans. TheJournal of Clinical Psychiatry, 74(10), 20-20.http://dx.doi.org/10.4088/JCP.12071tx2c
Milstead, J. A. (2013). Health policy and politics: A nurse’sguide (Laureate Education, Inc., custom ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jonesand Bartlett Publishers.