By Shawn Kennedy, AJN editor-in-chief
I’m always humbled when I speak with veterans or families of veterans. The commitment to duty of the military and the sacrifices their families make—long periods of being single parents; nerve-racking times wondering after the well-being of a spouse or child; missed birthdays, graduations, and milestones—never cease to amaze me.
Last October, nurse Linda Schwartz, at the time commissioner of Veterans Affairs for Connecticut, spoke at the American Academy of Nursing (AAN) meeting about the health needs of veterans.
As we pointed out in a blog post about the meeting, she emphasized “the importance of knowing whether a patient has a military service history because many health issues may be service associated. For example, toxic effects from depleted uranium and heavy metals such as those found in ordinance or from exposure to agents like Agent Orange may not manifest themselves for years.” Read the rest of this entry »