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Nursing groups Announce PTSS, TBI Training

As roughly one in six veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq suffer from PTSS (Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome) and TBI, diagnosis and treatment are of utmost importance to military service members, veterans, their loved ones, and our country. With post-traumatic stress syndrome, traumatic brain injury and other unseen war wounds evident in alarming numbers among our nation’s Veterans, and given that the majority of veterans receive care outside the V.A. system, private health care practitioners often have less experience and knowledge with these issues. Nursing schools and medical organizations are currently making plans to step up the training for more than 3 million nurses on how to recognize and respond to the needs of these patients.

The announcement comes on the heels of news that leading medical colleges will also be expanding their curricula to cover war-related injuries. Representatives from the American Nurses Association (ANA) believe that the new initiative should have an immediate impact on veterans care. With today’s information highway, the dissemination of information quickly and easily translates to professional development courses, medical journals and other nursing resources. The goal, according to ANA chief nursing officer Amy Garcia, is to “ raise awareness of these issues, teach nurses to recognize the signs and symptoms, and help reduce the stigma of seeking care.”

First lady Michelle Obama highlighted the fact that more than 50,000 veterans and military spouses have found jobs through the White House’s Joining Forces campaign, which she and Jill Biden launched to highlight the sacrifices and struggles facing our nation’s returning heroes and military families. The campaign has also done wonders to attract the attention of thousands of charities and individuals, encouraging them to reach out and help those who have served and their families.

“This effort is about making an impact,” she told a crowd of supporters at the White House. “It is about repaying our debt to our veterans and military families. It’s about giving these heroes the opportunities they deserve.”

As part of the effort, the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) has developed continuing education courses online that focus on pain management, sleep disturbances and PTSS issues specific to women veterans.

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