Veterans As Patients – Establishing the Best Working Relationship
Nov. 12, 2015
Working with veterans can be deeply rewarding, but this important job is also distinctly different. Health care workers must take a unique approach to their interactions with veteran patients, many of whom suffer from traumatic brain injuries alongside other health conditions.
The medical assisting, practical nurse, registered nurse, and other health care education programs at Concorde Career College prepare students to work with veterans while promoting a greater understanding of and sense of empathy for the nation’s valued veteran population.
COMMON VETERAN HEALTH CONCERNS
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an increasingly prevalent condition among veterans. The primary cause of TBI is external mechanical force, such as a blow to the head. According to the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center, 25,111 service members suffered TBI in 2014. Although the effects of TBI typically disappear after a few weeks or months, severe cases may result in long-term symptoms.
THE ROLE OF THE MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
When treating veteran patients, health care workers must address not only their current physical ailments, but also any lingering mental health issues. If asked about mental health concerns, some veterans may become defensive; as such, medical professionals must approach this sensitive topic with care. Mental health issues related to combat or its aftermath can arise years or even decades after a veteran has returned home, so it is vital for health care workers to continue to monitor veterans for changes in behavior and overall health.
Medical professionals who work with veterans should be aware not only of the many unique health issues faced by these individuals, but also the pressing concerns they may face at home. Unemployment is of particular concern, as it may further contribute to already problematic mental health issues.
The key to success in working with veterans is an in-depth understanding of the issues today’s veterans face. This can only be gained by carefully studying the veteran population to determine which concerns are most prevalent. Upon graduating from Concorde, health care workers must approach all interactions with veterans with a combination of compassion and respect. In doing so, they can truly make a difference for the valued veteran population.
Learn to treat your patients with respect and sensitivity. The health care programs at Concorde have just the right touch.