Nurses in War: Voices from Iraq and Afghanistan

Nurses in War: Voices from Iraq and Afghanistan

by Elizabeth Scannell-Desch
     
 

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This unique volume presents the experience of 37 U.S. military nurses sent to the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters of war to care for the injured and dying. The personal and professional challenges they faced, the difficulties they endured, the dangers they overcame, and the consequences they grappled with are vividly described from deployment to discharge. In mobile

Overview

This unique volume presents the experience of 37 U.S. military nurses sent to the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters of war to care for the injured and dying. The personal and professional challenges they faced, the difficulties they endured, the dangers they overcame, and the consequences they grappled with are vividly described from deployment to discharge. In mobile surgical field hospitals and fast-forward teams, detainee care centers, base and city hospitals, medevac aircraft, and aeromedical staging units, these nurses cared for their patients with compassion, acumen, and inventiveness. And when they returned home, they dealt with their experience as they could.

The text is divided into thematic chapters on essential issues: how the nurses separated from their families and the uncertainties they faced in doing so; their response to horrific injuries that combatants, civilians and children suffered; working and living in Iraq and Afghanistan for extended periods; personal health issues; and what it meant to care for enemy insurgents and detainees. Also discussed is how the experience enhanced their clinical skills, why their adjustment to civilian life was so difficult, and how the war changed them as nurses, citizens, and people.

Key Features:

  • Describes verbatim the experiences of 37 nurses in two brutal, chaotic theaters of war
  • Offers poignant encounters with patients
  • Includes advice, clarity, and lessons learned about nursing in war
  • Offers a women's health perspective on working and living in a war zone
  • Demonstrates the dedication, expertise, and spirit of military nurses

Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Cynthia Lee Cummings, RN, MSN, EdD, CHSE (University of North Florida Brooks College of Health)
Description: This is a compilation of stories from nurses serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is unique and well worth the read.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a glimpse into what life is like for nurses in a war zone. This is a timely and inspiring book.
Audience: It is written for anyone interested in understanding what nursing is like in the military theater.
Features: The book begins with the history of nurses in wartime and then continues with stories of nurses serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. The stories and pictures are the best parts of the book. It seems to capture the experiences and feelings of nurses in this area.
Assessment: I loved the book — it is a quick read and truly inspirational. It makes one proud to be a nurse and helps one to better understand all that these nurses experience. I have only seen one other book of this type, but it was mainly pictures. The stories make this a touching book.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780826193841
Publisher:
Springer Publishing Company
Publication date:
04/23/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
296
Sales rank:
1,247,716
File size:
3 MB

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Scannell-Desch, PhD, RN, OCNS is Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies and a professor at Rutgers University, School of Nursing Camden, New Jersey. Her research focuses on women’s health and military nursing. She is a retired Colonel in the US Air Force Nurse Corps, having served 25 years on active duty, including eight years overseas. Her last military assignment was at the Pentagon as the Chief Nurse Executive for the entire Air Force Reserve. She was also Chairperson of the Nursing Division at Mount Saint Mary College, Coordinator for Graduate and Undergraduate Studies at Adelphi University, College of Nursing, Hudson Valley Center, NY, and a faculty member at Rutgers University, College of Nursing, Newark and New Brunswick, New Jersey. Dr. Scannell-Desch has many data-based publications in national and international peer-reviewed nursing journals, including The Western Journal of Nursing Research, The Journal of Nursing Scholarship, The Journal of Psychosocial Nursing, MCN: The American Journal of Maternal-Child Nursing, The Journal of Transcultural Nursing , and The Journal of Advanced Nursing. Much of her published research has focused on nurses serving in the Vietnam War, and the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. Dr. Scannell-Desch served as visiting faculty in the summer of 2001 at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Cluj-Napoka, Romania, and as military consultant to the Surgeon General for Nursing Research and for Oncology Nursing. She received the Rita C. Kopf Memorial Research Award from the Foundation of New York State Nurses in 2010 and the Sustained Professional Performance Award from the Foundation of New York State Nurses in 2012. Dr. Scannell-Desch is a reviewer for Military Medicine, and has presented her research nationally and internationally.


Mary Ellen Doherty, PhD, CNM, RN, is Professor, Western Connecticut State University, Danbury, CT. She teaches nursing students at the Undergraduate, Masters, and Doctorate levels. Dr. Doherty is also an active researcher specializing in women’s health and midwifery, although her most recent work focuses on nurses’ experiences in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and their reintegration. She has been a Certified Nurse-Midwife for over 30 years, working in both the public and private sectors. Dr. Doherty was the Founder and President of Concord Nurse-Midwifery Associates, a private midwifery practice with delivery privileges at Emerson Hospital in Concord, MA. Her research articles have been published in The Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health, The Journal of Nursing Scholarship, The Journal of Perinatal Education, The International Journal of Childbirth Education , MCN: The American Journal of Maternal-Child Nursing, and The Journal of Psychosocial Nursing. She is an active member of the American College of Nurse-Midwives, three chapters of Sigma Theta Tau, the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN), Lamaze INC, and the International Childbirth Education Association. In 2013, Dr. Doherty received the Norton Mezvinsky Award for Excellence in Research from the Connecticut State University System, Board of Regents. This was the first time the award was given to a nurse. Dr. Doherty is a reviewer for two maternal-child nursing journals and is an expert witness on maternal-newborn cases for the legal system. She has presented her research throughout the United States and in Ireland, England, Austria, and Denmark.

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