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Need to Know, June 22, 2012: Homecoming for veterans

This week's host, Scott Simon. Photo: Will O’Leary

This week’s Need to Know examines how long-term care for veterans wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan is placing a growing strain on America’s health care providers. As a result, nurses are now playing an increasingly prominent role in the treatment of wounded vets and in the education of their spouses.

The “American Voices” essay features Lt. Commander Pam Wall, a psychiatric nurse. Scott Simon anchors.

What’s on this week:

Nursing the wounded

To understand the myriad ways nurses are already working in veterans care, NTK recently visited the large Veterans Affairs hospital in San Diego and profiled three nurses.

Interview: Sonja Batten

Dr. Sonja Batten, Deputy Chief Consultant for Specialty Mental Health for the Department of Veterans Affairs, on how the VA is handling the psychological needs of our veterans.

American Voices

This week, we hear from Lt. Commander Pam Wall, a Jonas Veterans Healthcare Program Scholar and psychiatric nurse.

The Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence is dedicated to improving healthcare by advancing nursing scholarship, leadership and innovation.

Watch more full episodes of Need to Know.


  • John Baer

    why is no one looking at the Fight or Flight Therapy successfully used by Dr. Stuart Tessler in Denver?  It’s a proven technique that requires no Prozac or psychotherapy.  You can look it up on  Do it!
    John Baer, veteran

  • Annchart

    One veterans complaint of emergency room staff joking that they had PTSD represents a common attitude among VA staff that my husband experienced in the OKC VA. It was also demonstrated by a staff member in anger management that stated she thought if a Vet didn’t like the care, leave.
    VA staff training needs to be expanded to include addressing the lack of respect, empathy and understanding that is sorely lacking in the emergency rooms staff. 
    I hope Dr. Sonja Batten hears this. 
    Ann Hart OKC, wife of veteran

  • Katemplin

    Excellent program showing nurses in a vital service to veterans.

  • Katemplin

    I am so sorry to hear that your husband had this experience. As a former VA nurse and now a nurse educator in a university, I am very alert to reminding nurses to treat patients as they would want their family members treated.

  • Chris

    I just received my ratings on applications for multiple disabilities, none of which were positive.  The statement  by one of the nurses in this video, gave me some ammo to use in my appeals. I was not in combat role, but surely had some close calls on DaNang’s Monkey Mountain. She said that you don’t have to be in combat to feel the stress points.  If any veterans were rejected for disability due to not being in combat, you can appeal. My proxy is with the DAV and they have helped with the paperwork and all were very friendly.
    Fight On!