Questions key to diagnosing soldiers, vets

Nov. 12, 2012 at 12:07 AM
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AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 11 (UPI) -- Asking the right questions of veterans and military service members can help identify debilitating conditions caused by the stress of war, U.S. nurses say.

Angela Golden, president of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, said the group is sharing with healthcare providers nationwide a simple and effective tool for identifying health problems among veterans and military service members.

The effort is part of AANP's commitment to Joining Forces, a comprehensive national campaign led by the White House, Golden said.

"Many veterans choose to see health providers in their own communities rather than at VA centers where personnel are specially trained to recognize issues associated with military service," Golden said in a statement. "AANP urges healthcare providers to take the time to ask important questions of their patients who are returning veterans, members of the military or military family members ... ."

Among the key questions are:

-- Have you or a member of your immediate family ever served in the military?

-- What was your military experience?

-- How has military service affected you?

-- Did you see combat, enemy fire or casualties?

-- Were you or a buddy wounded, injured or hospitalized?

-- Did you ever become ill while you were in the service?

In the past month have you:

-- Had nightmares about a traumatic experience or thought about it when you did not want to?

-- Tried to avoid situations that reminded you of the traumatic experience?

-- Been constantly on guard or easily startled?

-- Felt numb or detached from others, activities or your surroundings?

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