Veterans and Nursing Ethics Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

1. Veteran Health Needs

Returning veterans and their families need early identification and treatment, as well as continuity of care. Early identification of mental health issues is critical, but needs to take place within a veterans’ healthcare system responsive to and understanding of the issues that arise during and after deployment. The veterans’ health care system should become more robust, seamlessly integrated with the mental and physical health services delivered during deployment.

Both veterans and their families need early intervention. Reunification with families is a critical period, and needs to be addressed as a situation that could present specific risks for exacerbating underlying mental health issues. For example, separation of family members during deployment creates “boundary ambiguity,” and role member ambiguity in families, and reunions can be traumatic (State of Rhode Island, n.d.). Depending on the length of time of separation, the reunion of the family can be strained, and rates of divorce are high. Mental health issues are a core concern, as rates of PTSD and suicide are high (State of Rhode Island, n.d.). Returning veterans and their family members suffer from high rates of mental illness including substance abuse, Domestic violence may also be a critical concern for veterans and family members (State of Rhode Island, n.d.). Therefore, returning veterans and their families need structures, programs, and interventions that offer social support systems and methods of coping with the strain of reunions. Mental health assessments should be regular and ongoing, and also normative.

In addition to early identification of psychological and family health needs, veterans and their families also require continuity of care at the structural level. Jackonis, Deyton & Hess (2008) point out the need for “an integrated health care financing and delivery system to ensure a continuum of care for service members, veterans, dependents, and other family members,” (p. 677). Communication among members of the care team can be facilitated by a more robust health informatics system, linking different health care providers. Because veterans and their families move around frequently, continuity of care remains a core concern for nurse advocates.

To effectively advocate for veterans and their families, I would strong leadership and organizational skills to establish early intervention and continuity of care programs. Cultivating leadership prowess involves working diligently and directly with the veterans’ community. All nurses working with veterans and their families have a responsibility to serve as an advocate of the community, helping all veterans and their family members access mental and physical health care…

Sources Used in Document:


Begley, A.M. (2010). On being a good nurse. International Journal of Nursing Practice 16(6): 525-532.

Jackonis, M.J., Deyton, L. & Hess, W.J. (2008). War, its aftermath, and US health policy. Journal of Law and Medical Ethics 36(4): 677-689.

Melroe, N.H. (1990). Duty to warn vs. patient confidentiality. Nurse Practitioner 15(2): 58-60.

Slate, M.K. (2015). Nurses code of ethics. Retrieved online:

State of Rhode Island (n.d.). How will we welcome them home? Retrieved online:


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