Nurses During The Vietnam War

1492 WordsApr 13, 20156 Pages
Nurses that served in the Vietnam War experienced a tremendous amount of horrific tragedies and stressful events. They are commended for all of the time they served and the dedication to their country, along with the advice they brought home with them. All of the nurses who signed up for the war were volunteers. Approximately 7500 US military nurses served in Vietnam during the war (Scandell 600). Women volunteered for a number of reasons such as to begin a military career, acquire more nursing training, or to pay for a nursing education. Patriotism and a sense of duty were ultimately the motivating factors behind their decision. An army nurse summed up these reasons for volunteering when she said, I had a very good friend die in Vietnam and another friend severely injured. How could I say, “Oh no not me,” when the men my age were going. What I thought I should say was, “How come not me. ** From earlier in their lives, girls learned the responsibility of caring for others. While boys played baseball outside, girls played house inside. They viewed themselves as mothers, sisters, and friends- not as individuals (Norman 7). Nursing then became the logical career choice for women. Once they arrived in the war zone, Army, Navy, and Air Force nurses experienced professional strains of working with young, severely wounded casualties who were often younger than them. A Navy nurse recalled, All our patients suffered multiple traumas, but what were most difficult were their

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