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US Military Nurses: Experience of Coming Home after Iraq and Afghanistan

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Final rept. 1 Sep 2010-30 Aug 2013

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Purpose The specific aims were to 1 explore lived experiences of military nurses coming home from a combat deployment to Iraq andor Afghanistan, 2 examine the potential impact the reintegration experience may have had on their lives, and 3 review the content of the transcripts for similarities and differences among the military nurse branches. Design Existential phenomenology and purposive sampling were employed to answer the research questions. Methods Face-to-face, digitally recorded interviews were conducted and an approved consent script was utilized. The interviews began with the broad question, What stands out for you when you think about your experience of reintegration and coming home from deployment Sample 22 U.S. Army nurses, 4 Air Force nurses, and 1 Navy nurse were recruited from three military sites, C.R. Darnall Army Medical Center CRDAMC, Brooke Army Medical Center BAMC and Womack Army Medical Center WAMC. Analysis The interviews were transcribed and de-identified. Five themes were identified, and similarities and differences between the Army, Air Force, and Navy nurses reintegration and homecoming experiences were noted. Findings Five themes emerged from the initial interviews with U.S. Army nurses 1 Command Support, 2 reintegration briefings as Check the Blocks, 3 Stress of Being Home, 4 They Dont Understand if they havent deployed and 5 It Just Changes You. The outcomes of this study support the previous findings pertaining to the difficulties of reintegration and homecoming as expressed by combat warriors. Implications for Military Nursing This study relates to military nurses who recently served during deployments as combat support personnel and have now returned home. Reintegration and homecoming concerns are noted as a priority by the Military Nurse Corps Chiefs. Nurses in this study felt that the current reintegration process was not meeting their needs for a smoother homecoming.

Subject Categories:

  • Psychology
  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations

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