Alderson Broaddus University Professor of Nursing Dr. Gina Maiocco, APRN, CNS-BC, served as lead researcher on a recent internationally published article in the Journal of Clinical Nursing titled “Care of veterans in a non-veteran health administration hospital: What is the status of nursing practice after continuing education?” Dr. Maiocco has a track record of funded research on the care of veterans in non-VHA health care facilities.
The purpose of the research for this article was to identify how civilian nurses care for military veterans and to describe challenges nurses face in the provision of that care. The article summarizes the uncertainty nurses face in delivering care to veterans and documents current practices, to include frequency of documentation of veteran status in the electronic medical record system.
As a veteran herself, Dr. Maiocco understands the unique health care issues veterans face on a day-to-day basis, and her research serves as a “bridge” between veterans and nurses in civilian hospitals.
“Being an officer in the U.S. Air Force, I have a direct connection to fellow veterans who become hospital patients,” said Maiocco. “We are a family, and I understand how to treat a veteran simply because I lived that life. Veterans take care of veterans.”
“Many nurses are unsure of the methods they should use to treat veterans properly. The point of this research was to see what we can do to improve the overall care of our veteran patients, and the knowledge and safety of our nurses,” said Maiocco.
She explains that by documenting a patient’s service history, relevant patient outcomes are monitored so that educational programs, clinical processes, and work safety initiatives can be considered and implemented to support both the veteran and the caring nurse.
To further assist nurses in non-VA facilities, Dr. Maiocco founded and continues to volunteer for the Veteran-to-Veteran program. It is a program that supports veterans and their families during admission to a civilian hospital and helps to educate nurses on veterans’ physical and mental health needs.
“My passion is helping others, and helping fellow veterans is close to my heart,” says Maiocco. “Their care is so specific, and if we can help tend to the needs of veterans of all ages as well as keep our nurses safe, then we are taking a step in the right direction.”
Maiocco’s Veteran-to-Veteran program is gaining national attention. Since publishing an additional article about the program in The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, other hospitals across the country have expressed interest in starting a Veteran-to-Veteran program as well.
Dr. Maiocco is a Weston, W.Va. native and a 1981 graduate of Alderson Broaddus University, where she received her bachelor’s in nursing. During military service in the U.S. Air Force, she earned a master’s degree in critical care/trauma at the University of Maryland, and a Ph.D. in nursing at the University of Utah. While in the Air Force, Dr. Maiocco performed many duties to include flight nurse, hyperbaric nursing, flight clinical coordinator, critical care clinical nurse specialist and chief of emergency services. In West Virginia, Dr. Maiocco holds an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) licensure as a clinical nurse specialist, only one of 26 in the state.
For more information about the Veteran-to-Veteran Program, or assistance with veteran care, contact Dr. Gina Maiocco at: firstname.lastname@example.org