PTSD in Nurses

by Angela Brooks


What is PTSD? and Who gets it?

Generally, it is an anxiety disorder that develops after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical or emotional harm occurred or was threatened – *quoted from http://www.nami.org*

After the July 4th holiday and feeling blessed that I live in the USA. I also stop and thought about the ones that allowed me to have to have that option. Freedom is far from free – many lives have been taken to be able to hang a flag on my front porch and wear the red, white and blue colors as an American.

A few weeks ago I sat on the couch at the hospital and spoke with a 32 year old  man who has been back from the war for 3 years. He got off the plane to a brand new set of twins, a 3 year old and a super excited wife. When his feet stepped onto American soil he said the feelings he had inside were indescribable, many emotions all balled into one.

It was not until he had been home 6 months that he noticed he was starting to show signs of PTSD. The dreams were real, they were loud, and he felt as if when he woke up and opened his eyes he would be back in war zone. The anger was rising inside as he tried to deal with his own emotions.

What Causes PTSD?

Traumatic events that may trigger PTSD include violent personal assaults, natural or human-caused disasters, accidents, and military combat. – *quoted from http://www.nami.org*

As the time passed him by – he lost his job – struck his wife – scared his kids. Before going to war he would never have dreamed he would have done any of those things. He looked at me with sadness in his eyes and said "She is scared of me and she has reason to be. I am scared of myself."

The vision that stays in his mind was the very first person he shot at close range. Their eyes met at the moment of death. He recalls, "I can still hear the air go out of him as the bullets hit his chest."

As nurses, in the military see many things and the remains of what war offers. They too have potential for PTSD. The sights that arrive in the trauma unit to another human body will be embedded into their minds for years to come, the rush of a war zone trauma unit.

As a mental health nurse – I have dealt with many deaths. Not in a war zone but in a mental health environment. The memories that still show up from time to time in my own mind from the suicide that took place, I was the second on the scene. I was left to handle the feelings on my own – I was around 24 years old and had never seen anything like that in my life. To this day – I can still see the image. The boot strings – his boots – the smell – the numbness we all felt in that room – the sounds in the room were odd.

That was only one death – one event. I did not cause it or see it take place. After over 20 years later that event is very clear in my mind. As a soldier in an active war zone with many things happening at one time – coming home with your life is one thing to be thankful for, but how about their minds.

Where to Get Help for PTSD

If you are in crisis, please call 911, go to your nearest Emergency Room, or call 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) (Spanish/Español 1-888-628-9454). NOTE: Veterans, press "1" after you call — or Veterans can chat live with a crisis counselor at any time of day or night.

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Our  soldier in the war zone today Chief Warrant Officer Joseph B Rogers UH-60 Blackhawk Pilot Dustoff Unit.
Thank you, Joey for serving our country. We are waiting for you back home.

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Soldier's Psalm 91 Prayer

By Harriet Yoder

O Lord Most High, help me to dwell in your secret place and abide under Your shadow.

Help me to believe and say out loud for everyone to hear that You are my refuge and my fortress; that You are my God; and that in You I put my trust.

O Lord God Almighty, please deliver me from hidden traps and diseases.

Father God, cover me with Your camouflage; hide me under Your wings; and let Your truth be my shield and buckler against the fiery darts—the lies—of the enemy.

Lord Jesus, help me not to be afraid of terrorists' attacks in the night; or weapons that fly by day; or sicknesses that walk in darkness; or destruction that wastes at noonday.

O Holy God, though a thousand fall at my side, and ten thousand fall at my right hand; please let it not come close to me and my companions.

O Lord Most High, let me live to see the reward of the wicked, because You are my refuge and my home. Let no evil conquer me and let no plague come into my house or near my family.

O Lord, my Strength and my Redeemer, please set angels over me to keep me in all Your ways, to bear me up in their hands and to keep my feet from stumbling.

Father God, help me to tread upon the lion and adder and trample the young lion and the dragon under my feet.

Lord Jesus, I love you with all my heart and I know Your name. Deliver me and lift me on high to soar with the eagles. I call upon you to be with me in times of trouble to deliver and honor me because I know Your name.
Please show me Your salvation and satisfy me with a long life.

I ask this prayer in the name of Jesus Christ

Amen.



Angela Brooks is a retired nurse after 25 years in mental health. She used her lunch breaks to build her business part time on the night shift. Her car became a mobile university as she listened to business training, coaching calls on CD and phone webinars. She blogged while she was at her sons' baseball practices.

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