The number of healthcare services that are available to veterans is growing now, and more attention is being paid to the effectiveness of these programs. Now, the most important nursing groups for veterans in the United States, such as the Veterans Healthcare Association, are campaigning for the preservation of veterans’ and their families’ health care rights (Karpf et al.).
When compared to civilians, the prevalence of mental problems among veterans is much greater. According to the findings of the 2019 Canadian Service Survey (Sweet et al.), the rates of diagnosed mental health conditions are significantly higher in Veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces than they are in Canadian civilians of the same age and gender who live in Canada. These conditions include major depressive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder (Sweet et al.). There are significant rates of problematic alcohol consumption among Canadian Veterans as well, however these rates are comparable to those seen across comparable civilian populations in Canada (Sweet et al.). The difficulties brought on by the pandemic may produce situations that set off mental illness, exacerbate the symptoms of mental health issues, and/or raise the number of people who need assistance and services related to mental health (Asmundson et al.). Access to essential services and supports, as well as a significant reduction in social interactions, have been hampered as a result of public safety guidelines. This is a source of particular concern for veterans, as they may already be constrained in their ability to participate in social activities. In addition, even before the epidemic began, the most significant sources of stress for Veterans were estimated to be job insecurity and financial concerns. These problems might become much more severe as a result of the pandemic, which would be made worse by the rising prevalence of mental diseases and the accompanying need for mental health services. When seen as a whole, the accumulation of weaknesses and dangers may have an especially devastating impact on veterans.
Additionally, the pandemic had a significant impact on the way in which healthcare was delivered. Telehealth, which includes treatment provided by cellphone or videoconferencing, has replaced traditional in-person methods of providing physical and mental healthcare across the whole of Canada. Mental health telemedicine (Turgoose, Ashwick, & Murphy) may be as successful as face-to-face treatment, but it can also present difficulties in terms of adoption and adherence to key aspects of psychotherapy, such as those meant to diminish avoidant behaviors. It is possible that more conventional types of psychotherapy, such as the trauma-focused psychotherapy that’s often utilized with Veteran populations, may need to be modified in order to be delivered through telehealth. When providing trauma-focused treatment virtually, clinicians have the additional responsibility of evaluating both the risks involved and the logistical challenges this presents. When taken as a whole, these significant shifts in the manner in which healthcare is provided may have an effect on the degree to which veterans feel satisfied with their use of available services and on their general health.
The ability to communicate effectively is one of the most critical advocacy skills that nurses need to have. The ability to rapidly connect with sick veterans and win their trust via effective communication is essential for nurses, who must ensure that patients think the treatment they get from nurses will aid in their recovery (Laureate Education). The ability to problem-solve is another crucial advocacy skill that nurses need to have. This involves the identification of health issues affecting veterans and the search for potential solutions to those health issues. As a result, it is the responsibility of the nurse to discover a remedy for each and every one of the patient’s health issues (Davis-Alldritt). To be effective as advocates, nurses must have both operational and intellectual abilities, since they work with and care for veterans and their families on a daily basis and must make critical choices based on the current scenario in order to help them heal as quickly as possible for their injuries.
There was an immediate effect on Veterans’ mental health and healthcare use as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic, according to the J. Don Richardson. The findings indicate that more than half of the veterans who were questioned (55.9 percent) believed that their mental health had deteriorated as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. This is considerably higher than the results of a recent poll of the general population in Canada, which found that fifty percent of the people questioned in Canada believed that their mental health had worsened as a result of the epidemic (MHCC). When compared to the 2013 Canadian Service Survey on Canadian Veterans, the prevalence of self-reported symptoms of mental health disorders was much higher in this most recent survey. Veterans who were polled did not attribute at least half of their issues to the pandemic, which might indicate that they already had mental health issues connected to their military experience.
The data also provide information on how well telehealth is received in society as a whole. Prior to the pandemic, there were a limited number of research that investigated the acceptance and preference of telehealth. The epidemic prompted an urgent need for the use of telehealth, but there was little thought given to overall satisfaction and choices. The research revealed previously unknown information on the use of telehealth. Most Veterans who utilized telemedicine during the pandemic reported that they would like to continue getting their psychological treatment through telehealth even after the epidemic ends (Shanafelt, Ripp, & Trockel). Accessing healthcare from the comfort of one’s own home may relieve some of the strain and worry that accompany traditional methods of treatment for many veterans. Telehealth may also give an option to get therapy for mental health without the extra stigma of visiting a mental health clinic in person (Shanafelt, Ripp, & Trockel). The significance of the role that nurses play as advocates for the treatment of veterans is emphasized throughout the nursing code of ethics. They play an essential part in the development of the veteran healthcare program, have significant input into the formation of legislation pertaining to this program, and provide comprehensive medical treatment to veterans and the relatives of veterans.
In conclusion, veterans need funds and healthcare for their future life to overcome difficulties. The transition back into civilian life may be difficult for a lot of veterans once they retire. It may be difficult for them to adapt to civilian life, and they may experience feelings of disillusionment, isolation, and alienation as a result. It is not easy to get back in touch with one’s family and community. The inability of many veterans to transfer their talents to other occupations is an additional obstacle that makes the job hunt an intimidating undertaking. In a market that is very competitive, one of the obstacles that one may face is coming to terms with variances in the pace, organization, and culture of the workplace. In addition, especially those veterans who live in more remote or less populous locations may not always have easy access to the resources they need. Therefore, the authorities need to provide funding for veterans, and there is a requirement for enhanced assistance for family members and/or careers in the form of improved financial compensation. We would want to see the government provide monetary compensation to veterans depending on the amount of lost pay and the degree of impairment that the veteran is suffering from. In addition, funding is required for temporary care for patients.
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Sweet et al., Well-being of Canadian regular force Veterans, findings from LASS 2019 survey, 2020, Edited by Canada VA. Charlottetown, PEI: Research Directorate-Veterans Affairs Canada.
Asmundson, Gordon J.G. et al. “Do Pre-Existing Anxiety-Related And Mood Disorders Differentially Impact COVID-19 Stress Responses And Coping?”. Journal Of Anxiety Disorders, vol 74, 2020, p. 102271. Elsevier BV, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.janxdis.2020.102271
Turgoose, David et al. “Systematic Review Of Lessons Learned From Delivering Tele-Therapy To Veterans With Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder”. Journal Of Telemedicine And Telecare, vol 24, no. 9, 2017, pp. 575-585. SAGE Publications, https://doi.org/10.1177/1357633×17730443
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