Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Nurses Face the Wounds of War

In a surprising and welcome announcement, 450 nursing schools have pledged to improve and expand training for nurses and nursing students on the "invisible wounds of war", including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), post-combat depression and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

Apparently, 150 medical schools made a similar pledge in January of this year, and Michelle Obama and Jill Biden are currently spearheading a campaign known as "Joining Forces", with a commitment to improving understanding and support from all sectors of society for military personnel and their families. 

It has been apparent for some time that the military and the Veterans Administration have been falling on their collective faces when it comes to providing proper follow-up and care for veterans who have suffered PTSD and TBI. In fact, a recent report shows that some military doctors downgraded the medical status of hundreds of soldiers, ostensibly to save the military money on retirement benefits that are much more costly when a soldier has a diagnosis of PTSD. Meanwhile, we have no idea how many other soldiers have been similarly downgraded without this nefarious practice being detected and fully investigated.

I would like to see close collaboration between medical schools and nursing schools on the development of assessment and treatment protocols for PTSD, post-combat depression and TBI. This may be wishful thinking, but bringing together the best minds in both medicine and nursing education when it comes to approaching these widespread conditions could have positive repercussions for both military and civilian applications.
Post a Comment