Are There Veterans Among Your Patients?

When vets get non-VHA health care, some issues may be missed.

Most U.S. veterans—and in 2014, there were approximately 19.3 million—do not get their health care from the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Overburdened facilities with long waiting times and the fact that many veterans live considerable distance from a VHA facility mean that many get their health care from local and private organizations.

And while this may mean more convenient and timely care, it also might mean that health issues related to their military service might be missed by providers who do not have experience providing care to service members and veterans.

This Saturday, November 11, marks another Veterans Day. It’s been our tradition to include content related to health care for veterans or active duty military in November. This year, we have an original research CE article, “Primary Care Providers and Screening for Military Service and PTSD.”

Few providers screen for military service.

The authors of this article sought to examine whether non-VHA primary care providers were screening patients for military service and PTSD. Based on their survey of providers in western Pennsylvania, they found that most did not ask patients about a history of military service—and of those providers who did, few screened patients for PTSD.

More on military and veterans health care.

You can read this article for free—and you’ll find other related articles in our collection on Military and Veterans Health Care (free until November 16). We also have several related blog posts as well.

Veterans—and their families—deserve our thanks and Veterans Day is a good day to stop and do that. And perhaps the best way we as nurses can honor them is to make sure we know how to provide the care they need. The first step is knowing who they are: Ask all your patients, “Have You Ever Served?


2017-11-10T10:21:53+00:00 November 10th, 2017|Nursing, nursing research|0 Comments
Editor-in-chief, AJN

Comments are moderated before approval, but always welcome.

%d bloggers like this: