School of Nursing Augments Training in Veteran Care
Positioning itself to better meet the unique health needs of service members, veterans and their families, Miami Dade College’s School of Nursing joined a coordinated, nationwide movement to expand the education of current and future nurses attending to these segments of the population.
The effort recently was announced by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, who are leading the charge on behalf of the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense, along with several of the nation’s leading nursing associations. Dr. Valerie Browne, academic chair of Miami Dade College’s School of Nursing, was one of only 20 nursing school representatives from across the country invited to attend the announcement at the University of Pennsylvania.
Helping Those Who Served
The education campaign seeks to train nurses on how to recognize and care for veterans impacted by post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, depression and other combat-related issues, which are estimated to affect more than 300,000 troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
“Nurses are at the center of providing lifesaving care in communities across the country – and their reach is particularly important because our veterans don’t always seek care through the VA system,” Biden said. “This commitment is essential to ensuring our returning service men and women receive the care they deserve.”
MDC’s School of Nursing currently is revising its curricula to ensure that adequate time is spent helping students understand the significant and long-term consequences of these health conditions, said School of Nursing Dean Amy Pettigrew.
“Our students are witness to the symptoms every day as they care for veterans as patients at the VA hospital, as residents of the homeless shelter, those in the community who are not currently in treatment, and family members or friends who also are suffering the long-term consequences of combat-related issues,” she said. “Our goal is to ensure the highest quality care for our returning service men and women and their families.”