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Stoicism is a timeless virtue for men and women in uniform. Soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines learn two principles when facing a problem: First, no whining. And second, suck it up and deal with it.

Such concepts work well in the armed forces, but they can be obstacles when a military veteran is a patient receiving medical care.

“Sometimes it’s hard for a veteran to admit they are in pain or to tell a nurse that he or she is having challenges,” said Ron Ulberg, a professor at BYU’s College of Nursing.

Ulberg and his fellow BYU nursing professor Kent Blad could aptly be called “bilingual”—they’re fluent in both nurse- and soldier-speak. Both men are nurses and military veterans. So they understand, firsthand, the unique culture nurses sometimes face when trying to provide the best care possible to a veteran-patient.

To help their students, Ulberg and Blad created a first-of-its-kind “veterans’ care” course at the Church-owned school. The class has become a template followed by nursing schools across the country.

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