Thursday, 11 June 2015

Health Problems of Military Staff

Adem Parlak
Sedat Devele
Gulhane Military Medical Academy

Nehir Parlak

Etimesgut Public Hospital

We are very interested in the article by Elliot (2015) on military nurses' experiences returning from war. In this article psychological problems of military nurses after their missions are mentioned. We think that this article makes a significant contribution to the literature because it mentioned problems which military medical staff face because of their duties, unlike other health professionals.

Although education levels of nurses are not specified in the study, we can understand from the age of participants that they were experienced. It is also understood that staff served several times in Afghanistan and Iraq in the scope of their duties. In our country military medical staff take active positions as indicated in Elliott’s study or in response to the casualties occurred after terrorist attacks. In this context, we would like to share our experiences. Disorders which Elliott has mentioned are observed in almost every geographical area in military medical personnel undertaking heavy duties. Doctors and nurses carrying out military health services in our country are trained by a faculty particularly experienced in this regard. Therefore, to cope with conditions which they may face with, doctors, nurses and non-commissioned officers dealing with military health services are informed and trained by apprenticeship, military drills and simulated military operations. In these trainings experienced staff play key roles by sharing their experience. However, by assigning staff to areas with the possibility of military operations, they gain experience that will reduce the likelihood of encountering psychological problems. Maintenance of a supportive environment is also be useful in solving the problems staff faced (Schok et al. 2010, Gibbons et al. 2012). The educational institutions of participants in Elliot’s study or their training for combat conditions were not specified. We consider that this could affect the have enhanced the study. However, we thank to Elliott for her contribution.


Elliott B. (2015) Military nurses’ experiences returning from war. Journal of Advanced Nursing 71, 1066–1075.

Gibbons S.W., Hickling E.J. & Watts D.D. (2012) Combat stressors and post-traumatic stress in deployed military healthcare professionals: an integrative review. Journal of Advanced Nursing 68, 3–21.

Schok M.L., Kleber R.J., Boeije H.R. (2010) Men with a mission: veterans meanings of peacekeepingin Cambodia. Journal of Trauma and Loss 15, 279–303.

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