Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Student Scholarship

Date Written

Summer 2015

Document Type


Course Number

NURS 5330

Course Name

Advanced Pathophysiology

Professor’s Name

John D. Chovan, James R. Cacchillo


Veterans, PTSD, Symptoms, Evidence-Based Treatment Plan

Subject Categories

Medical Pathology | Medicine and Health Sciences | Nursing | Psychiatric and Mental Health


Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can occur after witnessing or experiencing a terrifying event (Mayo Clinic, 2015). PTSD can manifest in a variety of symptoms including, nightmares, flashbacks, insomnia, irritability, and anger (Mayo Clinic, 2015). The extended combat engagement in Afghanistan and Iraq have caused many casualties for American service members, both physically and mentally. The Veterans Affairs (VA) stated that 476,515 people sought treatment for PTSD in 2011 alone (Veteran Affairs, 2014). The veterans returning home from combat require adequate services to support their transition to civilian life. Barriers may exist for those members with PTSD symptoms seeking treatment. The healthcare system must have an understanding of the unique set of psychological problems that veterans face to provide proper treatment. The disparity that exists between PTSD patients and treatment is a gap worth closing. The lack of identification of symptoms, availability of treatment, and overall failure to support veterans in need can have drastic results. A large population of the country knows of a veteran that has served in combat, or has served themselves. The author served as a United States Marine deployed in combat and also has family currently battling with PTSD and other psychiatric issues related to experiences in war. The treatment of veterans and others with psychiatric conditions, can be related by nursing staff in many different specialties. The acute psychosis seen in the emergency department or the overwhelming depression in the long term care facilities should be treated appropriately. Patient care will improve when healthcare providers and workers have a more knowledgeable understanding of PTSD.



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