Equiping Nurses to understand + recognize PTSD, TBI and offer resources to Veterans

  1. From: American Nurse Today
    Issue Date: April 2012 Vol. 7 No. 4
    Author: Cynthia Saver, MS, RN

    Every nurse should be equipped to understand and recognize the signs of PTSD, TBI, depression, and suicide risk and to know where to send our service members and veterans for help.

    Nurse leaders, Dr. Jill Biden, and First Lady Michelle Obama join forces to announce new initiative to help veterans and their families

    To mark the one-year anniversary of Joining Forces, national nursing leaders, Penn Nursing Science faculty, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden met on April 11 at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia to announce an initiative to prepare nurses to care for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), depression, and other mental health issues....

    ...More than 500 nursing schools and 160 nursing organizations have pledged their support for the initiative, and the American Nurses Association (ANA), which been in the forefront of the nursing response to the initiative, has created a special webpage for this work (http://www.anajoiningforces.org) where nurses and nursing organizations can sign a pledge and access valuable resources on PTSD and TBI. ...

    ...This month, ANA is highlighting two organizations' practice guidelines for TBI: American Association of Neuroscience Nurses ("Nursing Management of Adults with Severe Traumatic Brain Injury") and the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses ("Care of the Patient with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury")....

    We invite you to join forces with us, around these criteria:

    • Educate America's future nurses to care for our nation's veterans, service members, and their families facing post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, depression, and other clinical issues.
    • Enrich nursing education to ensure that current and future nurses are educated and trained in the unique clinical challenges and best practices associated with caring for military service members, veterans, and their families.
    • Disseminate the most up-to-date information as it relates to TBI and psychological health conditions, such as PTSD.
    • Grow the body of knowledge leading to improvements in health care and wellness for our military service members, veterans, and their families.
    • Lead and advance the supportive community of nurses, institutions, and health care providers dedicated to improving the health of military service members, veterans, and their families.

    What you can do Every nurse can participate in this initiative by:

    • Learning about PTSD and TBI
    • Learning about free resources useful to you, patients, and families
    • Sharing knowledge with other nurses, patients, families, and the community

    Examples of resources:

    American Nurses Association website (www.anajoiningforces.org)

    American Association of Colleges of Nursing (http://www.aacn.nche.edu/joining-force)--includes resources for schools and information about a free four-part Webinar series May 2, 7, 9, and 14

    American Psychiatric Nurses Association (http://www.apna.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageID=4403)--includes a military and PTSD resources

    Veterans Crisis Line (www.VeteransCrisisLine.net)--this is a toll-free, confidential resource that connects veterans in crisis and their families and friends; you can download resources.
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