Understanding and managing the health needs of veterans
Danielle Fullwood Darzi Fellow, Health Education South London, London, England
Military service has many possible consequences for an individual’s health. However, the health needs of veterans are not well understood by healthcare professionals. A veteran may present with overlapping symptoms of mental and physical ill health. Problems such as hazardous levels of alcohol consumption and aggressive behaviour may be evident alongside anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain and disfigurement. Female veterans may present with other complex health issues, such as military sexual trauma. The author suggests that pre-registration curricula for all healthcare professionals should include learning on veterans as a vulnerable patient group. Primary care settings often have first contact with veterans and their families, and every new patient should be asked about their employment history. Collaboration between healthcare professions is vital in assessing and managing the health needs of veterans.
Nursing Standard. 30, 10,37-43. doi: 10.7748/ns.30.10.37.s46Correspondence
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Received: 02 February 2015
Accepted: 07 July 2015