I have occasionally treated veterans in the SNF where I work and have found that simply saying "Thank you for your service to our country." helps to open comminication with these individuals.
I worked with active duty services members for over 2 years. The work I did and the progress I saw these young men and women make was remarkable. It my passion and I poured my heart and soul into 'serving those who have served for us'.
I am practicing at a TBI clinic at Ft. Drum NY. That provides services for active duty soldiers who have not recovered from TBI for one reason or another. OT in this setting is all about helping soldiers find health promotion techniques to alleviate symptoms, how to cope with symptoms and carry-on with their lives as a active duty soldier or as a civilian. Our clinic host a 4 week outpatient interdisciplinary program and today our OT staff took the soldiers to the farmers market for community re-integration practice! I love what I do and it's a proviledge to help those who have served!
I began my OT career in 1965 as a 2LT, Brooke Army Medical Center, TX. Being an Army Brat, this environment was not totally strange. However, the subsequent professional and personal experiences I benefitted from have been exceptional. Lessons learned from our Viet Nam veterans/patients/families continue with me today. My present practice is in retirement communities: WWII, Korea, Viet Nam veterans and their spouses. their motivation to "be all you can be" continues. I also am now an Army mother and grandmother, continuing to experience the challenges of today's soldier and families with multiple deployments, stressors and catastrophic injuries. I am continually impressed with the strength, resiliency, ethics and sense of duty and honor lived out every day by our military and their families. The honor to serve them continues for me.
It is time that we Occupational Therapists get motivated and do something for our vets.Finally After 10 years involvement in two wars our Government is investing in a healthcare system that is addressing the real health problems that will affect our nation well into the future. It is my belief that all military personnel who were in combat duty will suffer from PTSD whether a mild form or severe form. I am honored that Occupational Therapists are finally stepping up front and center to help these veterans live life to the fullest.
I am a military spouse. My husband has served 23 plus years. It presents many challenges in our life and in the life of our son, he is only 5 months old. I would not give up the friends I have made and the experiences that we have had. We also volunteer with the wounded warrior project and an constantly awed and impressed with the strength of these warriors and their families.
Yes, I work occasionally with both the veteran in home health and the student of veterans deployed. The students move around a good deal and have crises often when parent leaves and comes back from deployment. In home health, it is a favorite topic of veterans to discuss their experiences as a veteran especially in the elder years. I have also received autobiographies from veterans. I have worked with a few veterans with TBI. My experience is that these pts are motivated more than other patients with TBI to overcome their challenges.
I have worked with several veterans in the past in long term care. It is interesting because you must evaluate and treat holistically and not just the person's present deficit. Treatment must include dealing with PTSD along with medical diagnosis. It was a pleasure to assist these persons to return to their active lives.
Yes I have and do occasionally work with children of military parents. The kids and their parents are fantastic - I really enjoy working with them and try to provide what support I can when a parent is deployed.
Thank you everyone for these comments! Keep them coming - we love hearing about your experiences with vets, service members, and their families.
I am a professor of OT at the University of New England and an employee without compensation (WOC) at the James A. Haley VA Hospital in Tampa, Florida. After an approval process of several years, we are finally in the data collection phase of a very exciting project to try to determine several things in veteran with PTSD and mild TBI: the prevalence of sensory processing disorders, and how sensory processing disorders correlate with basic psychological parameters. The project also has a feedback session open to any participant which explains sensory processing, and discusses intervention based on their particular scores and preferences. We are very pleased with the positive responses we have gotten from the veterans who have participated.
I retired recently. For 15 years, I worked overseas for the Navy working with children of military families in Early Intervention and in the Department of Defense schools. Parents were frequently deployed for months, sometimes both parents were deployed. I think of the children all of the time.
Thank you very much for your support of our veterans and the spotlight on the issues relating to PTSD and TBI. As military Occupational Therapists we are privileged to treat Service Members in theater and in garrison. There is an incredible program currently on-going in Afghanistan where O.T.s are managing Concussion Care Centers dedicated to help service members involved in concussive events who require immediate attention.
Also, I have a son who is career military. He is now on his second tour in Afghanistan. It gives me a whole new perspective and enriches me professionally as I "establish rapport" with my current caseload of patients.