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The Department of Veterans Affairs & Me
Opening statement about my experiences with the Department of Veterans Affairs:Over the past 10 years I have worked with many people within the VA, for the most part they have been worthwhile experiences and the personnel really try to help. In the very few exceptions to this rule that has lead me to start this section of PTSD Support Services. A recent news article by the Associated Press that details how the VA Misses Symptoms in Some Exams.
Only once did I have a doctor make a comment that I should not complain about the "Free Health Care" that I was given. I took the subsequent actions:
Historical overview of Medical service to veterans
The Department of Veterans Affairs Overall!Even today veterans are running into difficulties. It comes in the form of lack of funding support for basic medical/dental care after spending a year in a combat area of operations (Iraq/Afghanistan and other locations).
This is true for many veterans that need more care above a physical/mental evaluation and discharge to return to a normal life or employment. Look at these pages too. Up to date and still missing the mark!
The one major benefit to health care today is that in many cases, the VA uses the skills of "Up-to-Date" Intern or Resident physicians from a medical training University.
But we get the latest care methods from someone who is interested in learning from working on us. I do not consider us Ginny Pigs for these rookies because I personally feel we are getting the latest treatment programs. The only shortfall that I see is in the area of medications. These doctors are up-to-speed on new meds but that are not available to the VA yet because of costs.
In the earlier days it was not uncommon for the VA to use what I called "Recycled" doctors. Someone who had retired, could not keep up with modern medical techniques, or for any of a number of reasons. This still be true but I go to the Denver Regional Hospital and what I have found today is that doctors from the University Of Colorado Health Science do their training working on us under supervision of a senior doctor.
Get a general understanding of what is known as your GAF Score! This is an evaluations tool used by many VA organizations and personnel to subjectively measure how you are doing in the "Real World" on the day of our appointment. This Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) Scale helps to analyze how you are functioning mentally, emotionally and your interactive skills. Although if format is supposed to be no longer in used, documents received when making an appointment still shows that a "New GAF Required." Believe what you see, NOT what you hear from any Department of Veterans Affairs personnel!
SO, that is where we are at today's Veterans Administration and Veterans support in general! Please find phone numbers, the VA NOW program, lets look at what the processes are and how to work within the VA assistance system. You can also find much more information within Combat PTSD Adobe file.
The following information is for your use in working within the VA with the objective of making you a knowledgeable patient when you need to talk to VA staff member. Many time you will feel like a number within the system so you must prepare for each of your meetings BEFORE they take place.
Recent Department Of Veterans Affairs Communications:Incident Report #1:
Taking a fall during X-ray procedure. Comments to Shrink
Incident Report #2 Medical Procedure puts me "In Harms Way!"
Do you have these feelings? (Personal Note)
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