Understanding the impact of war zone experiences: a primer for civilian nurses.Pa Nurse. 2010 Sep; 65(3):20-2.PN
As the United States continues to fight the war on terror in Iraq and Afghanistan, the number of personnel deployed to war zones and transitioning back to the home front increases. After nine years of intensive experience, military nurses have learned much about the needs of wounded warriors in critical care settings and in acute phases of recovery. Several articles have been published about the lessons learned and skill sets needed by military nurses in critical care settings. The unique nature of the volunteer military, along with the deployment of reservists and contractors to war zones, has created a sub-population of individuals who have transitioned or are transitioning back into their civilian world. Nurses involved in primary care and emergency nursing can learn much from the experiences of those nurses who have worked with traumatic brain injuries (TBI), posttraumatic stress disorders (PTSD), alcohol abuse and substance abuse as ineffective coping mechanisms and risks of suicide. The purpose of this article is to share some of the lessons learned by military and veterans administration healthcare workers with civilian nurses.