Essay Sample: Advocating for the Healthcare Needs of the Veterans by Nurses

Published: 2022-05-13
Essay Sample: Advocating for the Healthcare Needs of the Veterans by Nurses
Type of paper:  Report
Categories:  Health and Social Care Nursing care
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 840 words
7 min read

There are various healthcare needs for the returning war veterans and their families. First, the veterans require access to healthcare services to cater to their serious physical wounds and injuries that were sustained during the war. According to Olenick, Flowers and Diaz (2015), 82 percent of war veterans in the United States alone complain of chronic pain, therefore, proper diagnosis and treatment are essential. Nurses and physicians should carry out a comprehensive evaluation of the pain felt by the veterans then administer effective treatment with a careful prescription of opioids as they can increase the veteran's risk of developing substance use disorders (Reeves, Parker and Konkle-Parker, 2016).

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The second healthcare need is a strong social support since a huge percentage of war veterans return home having witnessed traumatic experiences during war thereby developing PTSD (Stewart, 1953). The American Psychiatric Association claims that PTSD is based on symptom categories such as intrusive symptoms whereby the patient suffers flashbacks of the traumatic experience, avoidance of reminder that is characterized by isolation, negative thoughts whereby the patient does not trust people around him or her, and arousal symptoms (Olenick, Flowers and Diaz, 2015). Therefore, for veterans that show signs of PTSD, treatment should be done in the form of therapy and the families of the veterans should give social support to enable them re-enter society (Milstead, 2004).

Advocating for the Needs of the Veterans

The best way of advocating for the war veterans is to lobby for policies that aim at ensuring that the war veterans and their families have access to proper healthcare services and facilities. As a health advocate for the veterans, I would educate the public about the health issues that the veterans face and hold campaigns to raise awareness about the healthcare needs of the veterans and why it matters. This would help to increase the funding for Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare programs thereby ensuring that all the veterans have immediate access to healthcare and social support due to the awareness campaigns. I would also explore various partnerships with private doctors and therapists to ensure that every veteran is assigned a doctor to cater to his or her various needs.

Advocacy Skills

The first skill is negotiation and media skills that would help in holding discussions with the healthcare officials to seek collaborations that would ensure that every veteran is assigned a doctor and a therapist. The media skills would help in crafting the messages and developing a media case that would be used in raising awareness for veteran affairs. I would develop both media and negotiation skills by studying and seeking mentorship from media moguls. Secondly, problem-solving skills are crucial in the identification of the issues that hinder the provision of proper healthcare to the veterans and then addressing them by developing an action plan that aims at organizing the advocacy efforts to meet the set goals. I would develop the problem-solving skills by prioritizing the needs of the veterans and then practicing how to be a problem solver by using mock cases. Moreover, I would have to be influential in order to spark any change using the awareness campaign, a skill that I would develop by learning to sell the benefits of my arguments to other people.

The Responsibility of a Nurse in Being an Advocate

A nurse has to preserve human dignity in order to be regarded as an advocate. Every patient has the right to be treated with honor and respect and, therefore, since the patients and their families are usually confused and full of anxiety at the hospital, they are often in need of an advocate that would help them in navigating the unfamiliar health facility and then enhance communication with other caregivers ((Reeves, Parker and Konkle-Parker, 2016). The nurse, therefore, acts as an advocate for the patient and his or her family and caters to both the emotional and physical needs of the patient.


Nurses play a crucial role in advocating for the healthcare needs of veterans and their families. Therefore, the nurses have to influence the formulation of policies that are geared towards the improvement of veteran affairs and development of an effective health program that helps the returning veterans in their transition to society. Since the veteran population keeps increasing, it is important to include veteran-specific content into the curricula of the nurses to help in understanding and addressing the healthcare needs of the veterans.


Milstead, J. A. (2004). Health policy and politics: A nurse's guide. Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Olenick, M., Flowers, M., & Diaz, V. J. (2015). US veterans and their unique issues: enhancing health care professional awareness. Advances in medical education and practice, 6, 635.

Reeves, R. R., Parker, J. D., & Konkle-Parker, D. J. (2016). War-related mental health problems of today's veterans: new clinical awareness. Journal of psychosocial nursing and mental health services, 43(7), 18-28.

Stewart, I. M. (1953). the education of nurses. New York, NY; The Macmillan Company as quotes in White paper on the Role of the Clinical Nurse Leader (2007), American Associations of Colleges of Nursing, Retrieved from

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