Theprimary health needs of returning veterans typically entail mentalhealth needs. A large proportion of returning soldiers often facedire mental and behavioral health problems due to the carnage andstress of war. These include problems such as Poast Traumatic StressDisorder, substance abuse, depression, and other adjustmentdisorders. Another health need required by returning veteransconcerns long term comprehensive care. Soldiers are prone to seriousinjuries often caused by bullet, blast, and shrapnel wounds.Furthermore, soldiers who would have died in battle typically comehome as amputees or with traumatic brain injuries.
Itis only fitting for a nurse to advocate for recognition of the healthneeds of veterans and their families. The founder of modern nursing,Florence Nightingale, was known as “The Lady with the Lamp”during the Crimean War as she would make nighttime rounds to tend tothe injured and sick [ CITATION Kra15 l 1033 ].There are a number of ways that as a nurse, one can advocate forveterans’ health needs. The first way may involve incorporation ofmilitary and veteran health issues in nursing curricula.Additionally, one can also volunteer with military and veteranspecific organizations both formally and informally.
Sinceadvocacy involves the ability to successfully support an interest orcause on one’s behalf, there are a number of specific skills thatwould be beneficial including collaboration, influence,communication, and problem solving [ CITATION Tom12 l 1033 ].
Withregards to the responsibility of nurses in advocacy, this is clearlystated within the American Nursing Association (ANA) code of ethicswhich states in Provision 3 that the nurse has an obligation topromote, advocate for, and strive ato safeguard the safety, healthand rights of the patient [ CITATION Sla15 l 1033 ].
Krause-Parello, C. A. (2015, April). Nurses answer the call to enhance veteran and military health. American Nurse Today, 10(4). Retrieved from https://www.americannursetoday.com/nurses-answer-call-enhance-veteran-military-health/
Slate, M. K. (2015). Nurses Code of Ethics. Retrieved from RN.org: http://www.rn.org/courses/coursematerial-177.pdf
Tomajan, K. (2012). Advocating for Nurses and Nursing. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 17(1). Retrieved from http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/766818_3