Health Policy And Veterans Creative Writing

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Speaking Truth to Health Policy: Helping Veterans Readjust Every day, at least 20 combat veterans commit suicide in the United States, or one veteran every 65 seconds (Shane & Kime, 2016). This alarming trend is attributable in large part to the symptoms that many people suffer from after experiencing traumatic episodes in their lives. Drawing on the sources of power enumerated by Mason, Gardner, Hopkins Outlaw and O'Grady (2016).This paper provides a current description concerning the health policy adopted by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in response to this nation-wide problem to determine how the situation could benefit from having nurses speak truth to power. Finally, a summary of the research and important findings concerning this issue are presented in the conclusion.

The condition currently known as posttraumatic stress disorder is certainly not a new construct. In World War I, the condition was termed "shell shock" and in World War II it was referred to as "battle fatigue." When clinicians were finally able to classify this disorder formally, it became known as posttraumatic...

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Unfortunately, current estimates of the number of veterans who take their own lives may be severely flawed, due in large part to the types of behaviors that combat veterans engage in following discharge from active service. As Bare (2015) points out, current estimates of veteran suicides are fundamentally flawed. For instance, according to Miller (2013), "Army studies that show how more soldiers have taken their own lives than have died in combat in Afghanistan. How different would these numbers be if high-risk behaviors linked to PTSD, such as drunk driving deaths were also included?" (p. 92). Given that the problem is well documented, it remains unclear why so many veterans continue to take their own lives every day, especially since the VA has been tasked with identifying the antecedents of suicide. As Miller (2013) emphasizes, "PTSD is much more widespread and serious than many care to admit. Although there have been key steps forward, the present measures are not yet as effective as they should be" (p. 93).
"Not yet effective as they should be," though, is a poor apology and an inadequate excuse -- the problem is clear and growing in intensity every day yet tens of thousands of veterans are sacrificed on the altar of the national consciousness each year. Because the VA is the largest healthcare provider in the United States today,…

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References

Bare, S. (2015, June 2). The truth about 22 veterans suicides a day. Task & Purpose. Retrieved from http://taskandpurpose.com/truth-22-veteran-suicides-day/.

List of nursing organizations. (2016). Nurse.org. Retrieved from http://nurse.org/orgs.shtml.

Miller, J. (2013, May-June). Veterans on trial: The coming court battles over PTSD. Military Review, 93(3), 92-94.

Shane, L. & Kime, P. (2016, July 7). New VA study finds 20 veterans commit suicide each day. Military Times. Retrieved from http://www.militarytimes.com/story/veterans/2016/07/07/ va-suicide-20-daily-research/86788332/.


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