On working with veterans: What social work and nursing students need to know

Braden K. Linn, Lisa Butler, Susan Bruce, Katie McClain-Meeder, Mary Meeker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: Specialised care for veterans and military families is needed to respond to the unique health problems they experience. However, specific components of such training have yet to be examined. Purpose: This investigation aimed to gather feedback from social work and nursing students on their experiences in a veteran-specific clinical placement to determine content for a new inter-professional training program at a large northeastern US university. Materials and Methods: Two focus groups were conducted, one with master of social work students (n=8) and one with master's level nursing students (n=4), all of whom had recent clinical placements in a veteran-specific site. A semi-structured interview guide was followed. Results: Three broad categories of themes emerged from the data: challenges encountered (including challenges related to forming relationships with veterans and in working in the American Veterans Affairs healthcare system); strategies for responding to these challenges; and insights for training future clinicians. Conclusion: Clinical training programs should consider including content that will both prepare students to work with veterans and military families and to face the challenges that exist in healthcare systems. Specialised training that includes military culture and problems specific to the population may help improve outcomes for veterans and military families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-11
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Military and Veterans' Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

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