Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Restricted Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Nursing (MAN)

Department

Nursing

Abstract

A spinal cord injury (SCI), defined as damage to any part if the spinal cord or nerves at the end of the spinal canal, changes a person's life. The consequences of a SCI may cause permanent physical impairment below the site of the injury. Each year approximately 17,000 SCIs that occur. In 2016, there were approximately 282,200 people in the United States living with a SCI and 42,000 are veterans. There are many secondary complications associated with a SCI. Veterans with a SCI are at higher risk for secondary complications due to predisposed combat trarima, substance abuse, and co-occurring mental health disorders. A Spinal Cord Injuiy and Disorders Health and Wellness program (SCI/D H&W program), based on Watson's Theory of Human Caring and the Veterans Affairs (VA) Wheel of Health, was developed to assist veterans with SCI to utilize different skill sets in their daily lives. The SCI/D H&W program offers services targeting various aspects of the SCI veterans' health and needs. Examples of these services include nurse health coaching, nutrition, psychology, recreational, physical, occupational, vocational rehabilitation, and health education. A pilot SCI/D H&W program will be initiated at a major VA Medical Center in the Midwest. If successful, the integrative health and wellness team plan to offer different program formats such as face-to-face, telehealth, and same-day admission for veterans with SCI living in rural areas and veterans tapering down or off of opioid medications.

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