Exposure to combat-related stress

Since the end of the year 2001, millions of US troops have been deployed for war in Afghanistan and Iraq. After repeated exposure to combat-related stress over multiple deployments, the physiological aftermath is alarming in comparison to the physical repercussions. According to research conducted by the Center for Military Health Policy Research, part of the RAND corporation more than 50% of U.S. service members who have returned from the war in Iraq have reported suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

As the number of veterans returning from war zones and reintegrating into civilian population increases, the nursing competence to treat this population needs to grow as well. Educational awareness on the proper assessment of symptoms, diagnostic criteria, and integrated interventions is the first step in a cohesive treatment approach. According to the Agency for Healthcare and Research Quality up to 56% of community healthcare providers don’t routinely ask patients if they have served in the military. Revised practice guidelines are needed, now more than ever, and every nurse has the potential to serve as an integral part of achieving this plan. How would you suggest the BSN prepared nurse achieve this goal? Explain your answer using at least two evidence-based resources.

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