Group Ideas for active duty?

  1. 0
    Greetings!

    I've been given an awesome opportunity to work with some active duty patients. Some have been on deployments but others are just out of boot camp. Some love the USMC others just want out. Some are dealing with PTSD, others don't like to take orders. In other words, it's wide open.

    With our usual population we have set groups that we do. In looking at our binder, I'm finding that many aren't appropriate. They feel too basic. These men and women have been through a lot and having them completing a worksheet seems like a cheap and easy way to say I did a group.

    We're supposed to cover topics like Life Skills, Self Expression, Living in Balance. Can anyone suggest topics or activities that might work with this population?

    Thanks!
  2. 6 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    You are right most active duty services members do not want to do alot of the activities you have listed. One reason is that we get enough of this already. Can not tell by your post if you are a student or if you are working as a nurse.
  4. 0
    Jeckrn,

    I am an RN in a private hospital that has had a wing contracted by the military for an extended period of time.

    Any ideas that would be appropriate? I did Sleep Hygiene yesterday, jazzing it up with different forms of media and examples of non-medication sleep aids which they seemed to appreciate but what next?

    Thanks!
  5. 1
    With out knowing what each individual is being treated for it is hard to say what will work for them. What I can say will not work for most is the feel good, one size fits all treatment will not work for most of them. Remember most of these vets have seen some horrible things to the human body. You will need them to get them to express how they feel but in a way that does not make them feel weak.
    Pixie.RN likes this.
  6. 0
    I have worked at a similar institution and since then have joined the service myself as a Navy nurse. I think it is important to acknowledge the post-deployment dilemma, no one back home has any idea what you just did and they never will. After acknowledging that I would move on to the 'now what?' The parts about how you continue to relate to you spouse, family, and friends.

    Another idea would be comparing what they do now to what it would look like in the civilian world. I think that reminded vets about all the opportunities they have can give them hope and motivation. There are so many resources available it's honestly hard to even be aware of them.

    Another activity would be education regarding substance abuse, I regularly update my enlisted personnel on news and things like: spice can lead to acute kidney injury-last year 6 men in their 20s had to be put on dialysis to recover. I also offer them the information on how many folks get kicked out of the Navy for drug use.

    Another activity is, where would you be without the military right now? For enlisted persons, sometimes their answers are flipping burgers, living at home, etc. For military nurses it's often working twice as much with less staff and no opportunity for career advancement.

    Hope that sparks some interest. Military culture is complex in nature.
  7. 1
    I myself suffer from PTSD. In all honesty, the programs set up by hospitals and the VA and even the active military are usually just a facade to make it seem like something is happening. I have been going to appointments for over a year now. I have yet to see the same therapist or doctor twice in a row, with one exception. I did see a therapist twice in a row, but the second visit was just so she could tell me she was leaving and asking if I had any preferences in any Doctors there. This may seem okay, right, because I am still seeing therapists or something, but it isn't because the first visit is always just a history/background.

    I can say from experience that is a solider has to make time to come to a PTSD related appointment, and that appointment entails a worksheeet, or maybe some "tips" on how to sleep, than from my perspective it is a waste of time. So far the best treatment I had was not within a treatment facility. It was with a friend of mine that had a military background. We went out to the woods, did a little fishing, and sat by a fire telling stories. What this does is make the soldier/marine/sailor/airman, feel a little normal for a little bit of time. I would say your best bet at making any headway, is to get a group session filled with like groups, and let them tell each other their stories, or at least just listen to some. When that happens, they start to see that there are others out there having this problem and they do not feel so alone.
    jeckrn likes this.
  8. 0
    "Another idea would be comparing what they do now to what it would look like in the civilian world. I think that reminded vets about all the opportunities they have can give them hope and motivation. There are so many resources available it's honestly hard to even be aware of them.

    Another activity would be education regarding substance abuse, I regularly update my enlisted personnel on news and things like: spice can lead to acute kidney injury-last year 6 men in their 20s had to be put on dialysis to recover. I also offer them the information on how many folks get kicked out of the Navy for drug use.

    Another activity is, where would you be without the military right now? For enlisted persons, sometimes their answers are flipping burgers, living at home, etc. For military nurses it's often working twice as much with less staff and no opportunity for career advancement." from previous poster.

    Problem is with this is we hear this same things over and over again. Most soldiers I know would thing that you are just trying to get them to re-enlist or stay off drugs. Don't get me wrong these are important things but after awhile we just turn off to it.


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