Case Study Example: Jennifer S. is an Army veteran of Operation Freedom. Since returning home, Jennifer has suffered from recurrent headaches, ringing in her ears, difficulty focusing, and dizziness. In addition, soon after returning home, she began to experience moments of panic when in open spaces; flashbacks reliving the blast and the death of fellow soldiers; feelings of emotional numbness and depression; and being easily startled. She was placed on medical leave and diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and is currently being seen by a psychiatrist at the VA hospital. Her husband understands the concept of PTSD but is unprepared to handle his wifeâ€™s deteriorating condition. Recently, Jennifer was seen at the local urgent care center for recurrent headaches, complaints of shortness of breath, and chest pain. Her husband informed the urgent care nurse that for the past four weeks his wife has been unable to care for the children, remains in bed, complaining of headaches, and is very â€˜jumpyâ€™. The nurse assesses Jennifer knowing that returning veterans with PTSD and their families face an array of challenges, with implications for the veterans, their partners, and their children. The nurse considers referring them to: a social worker specializing in crisis intervention for veterans, a family counselor, the school nurse, a family health care practitioner. Key elements of the nurseâ€™s assessment are as follows: Jennifer is 33 year-old woman who enlisted in Reserve Officersâ€™ Training Corps (ROTC) in college, where she majored in Journalism. Upon graduation, she obtained a position in the Army as public affairs broadcast specialist. Her first assignment was at a base in upstate New York. Three years ago, she was relocated to the St. Louis, Missouri area. Jennifer has been married to her husband, Zane, for 14 years and they have two children ages six and ten. Cameron is ten years-old and entering middle school and Zeta is six years-old and in kindergarten. Zane works as a civil engineer in the St. Louis area. Both Jennifer and Zane come from large families who reside in the Boston area. Jenniferâ€™s family is Portuguese and Zane’s is Irish, they were both raised Catholic. While Jennifer was deployed, her mother moved in with Zane and the children to provide additional support and child care. One year ago, Jennifer was deployed to Afghanistan on a six month assignment to report on the events of the war: she thought she had a â€˜safeâ€™ assignment. While working on a story in the field an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) exploded near her: two soldiers and four citizens were killed including one child. Although she was unhurt, she was unable to sleep after this event. Upon returning stateside, she began experiencing vivid nightmares, sleeplessness, survivor guilt, and depression. She was recently diagnosed with PTSD and is attempting to find a support group and counseling. Unfortunately, she has found that treatment for female
The family is a major client system which community and public health nurses interact with to promote health and reduce health risks. The nurse assumes many roles in the provision of care to families across the lifespan, including facilitating inter-professional care to optimize health outcomes.
For this discussion,
Initial post: After reviewing the scenario above and reading and engaging with the
materials, answer the following questions:
- Describe the health disparities present in this family and the impact PTSD has had on Jennifer herself as well as her family and community.
- What members of the inter-professional team and/or community services might you refer Jennifer and her family to?
- Discuss a current state and federal legislation program which addresses returning veteransâ€™ health issues, and the role of nurses in advocating for policy changes for veterans’ health.
Clearly present your perspective and well-informed thoughts based on personal professional growth, new insights/ideas, ethical considerations, and citations from your text and other sources.