Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Veterans are at increased risk for developing mental illnesses because of separation from families, distressing experiences in the military, and previous injury to the brain. Approximately 30% of U.S. veterans returning from war suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The incidence of acute PTSD is reduced when victims are aware of the condition and its associated factors. Through education and screening, the project bridged the gap between deployment of military veterans and treatment of PTSD in this population by addressing whether screening veterans and providing an educational process affected veterans' early PTSD recognition and treatment. The project study addressed the impact of staff education on identifying undiagnosed PTSD among veterans at the project site. The project was guided by the adult learning theory that was applied to fit the self-efficacy model. Data collection included screening of 99 veterans by clinic staff members using the PTSD checklist. Staff members also completed pretests and posttests before and after the education program. Results indicated that staff members demonstrated increased knowledge of the PTSD from pretest (50%) to posttest (93%). Of the veterans screened in the project, 30(30%) tested positive for PTSD and were referred to psychiatrists for treatment and medication to ameliorate the symptoms. Findings may be used to encourage implementation of PTSD screening and education in health care organizations ensuring positive social change by veterans suffering from PTSD and the care they need early in the progression of PTSD development.