NUR448 COMMUNITY HEALTH NURSING CARING FOR THE PUBLIC’S HEALTH
Module 4 Discussion
DQ1 Family Health
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.
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 wife’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 ‘jumpy’.
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 nurse’s assessment are as follows:
Jennifer is 33 year- old woman who enlisted in Reserve Officers’ 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. Jennifer’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 ‘safe’ 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 veterans is limited and the family continues to struggle.
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 veterans’ health issues.
Describe the political advocacy role community/public health nurses have in addressing veterans’ health disparities.
Today the definition of family has undergone multiple changes from the more traditional image of father, mother, and children. Reflecting on one’s own definition of family and comparing this with other’s provides a new lens through which to view “family”.
In this discussion:
Present your own definition of family.
Compare and contrast your definition with other definitions presented by your classmates.
Discuss how an awareness of backgrounds, definitions, and attitudes about families might influence nursing care of families.
Reflect on this experience and what you have learned from this.
***We all may have different definitions of family. Please be caring and open to learning about diverse lifestyles, even they do not coincide with your value system.
DQ3 Student Learning Experience (SLE) Mentor Information
Please use this link to submit your Student Learning Experience Mentor Information (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. If we do not receive this completed form, your mentor will not be able to complete your performance feedback form at the end of this course, which will affect your grade.