By Debbie Gregory.
The Veterans’ Health Administration has a series of programs which are part of a national series of learning management products on public health. Specifically, Military Culture: Core Competencies for Health Care Professionals is offered to community health care providers online, and is free of charge. This program is a four-module course to aid healthcare professionals to better serve the military population, increasing their knowledge of military ethos and its impact on psychological health issues and treatment. The stressors associated with military deployments are unique, and often unfamiliar to most healthcare professionals unless they, too, had served in the military.
The course is a part of the Training Finder Real-Time Affiliated Integrated Network (TRAIN), a segment of TRAIN National, which is a catalog of public health learning products. TRAIN National is a free service of the Public Health Foundation.
It is vital that healthcare professionals have a better understanding of the shared culture of service members, in addition to the impact their individual experiences have on them and their families. This creates a better relationship between client and practitioner, resulting in a more successful outcome.
Military Culture: Core Competencies for Health Care Professionals is a collaboration between the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense. The modules include video clips, assessment tools, treatment-planning tools, and printable reference materials on everything from military insignias and basic training to information on the children of military personnel and treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
“Service members, veterans, and their families cite lack of respect and understanding of their experiences as a major reason for not seeking mental health treatment or for leaving therapy,” noted the course developers. “The ability to understand and appreciate the military culture and to tailor clinical practices based on that understanding and appreciation is imperative for clinicians working with service members.”
The course can be found on the DoD’s Center for Deployment Psychology website, the newly-launched VHA TRAIN website, or TRAIN National, train.org.
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Military Connection: Online Course Helps Healthcare Professionals Serve Military and Veterans: By Debbie Gregory