Nursing During The Vietnam War Essay

870 words - 3 pages

Nursing During the Vietnam War

The Vietnam War was the longest war ever fought by U.S. military forces. U.S. personnel were engaged from 1961 until 1973. Approximately 10,000 U.S. military women served in Vietnam during the war. Most were members of the Army, Navy, and Air Force Nurse Corps. All of the Army nurses were volunteers who attended a six-week basic training class, and then were assigned to one-year stunts in Vietnam hospitals and mobile army surgical hospital (MASH) units. Most of these nurses were fresh out of nursing school, some with less than six months of clinical experience. These nurses were not prepared for the physical and emotional wounds that they would have to heal.
Clearly the role of women stationed in Vietnam was quite different from that of the fighting soldier. In primarily medical positions, their major duties were to heal and provide nurturing to severely wounded and/or dying combat soldiers. This function was made more complicated by the fact that the nurses, many of whom were straight out of nursing school, were only a few years older than the wounded they cared for. These nurses were looked up to and took on the role as a "big sister" with their patients, providing psychological as well as medical comfort. The nurses were expected to be emotionally strong as well as physically strong. "Somehow, it was considered a lack of competence if they felt psychologically devastated by particular events of the accumulation of experiences related to the terrible wounds and deaths with which they had to deal" (Scannell-Desch, 2). This created the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that was a common disorder shared between the Vietnam nurses.
Besides clinical inexperience being a major problem causing insecurities, the nurses were being overwhelmed with casualties. "Some nurses were so inexperienced. Some had barely seen an operating room, let alone worked in one" (Scannell-Desch, 4). Along with the lack of experience, to make things worse, the nurses would receive 20 to more than 100 patients within a few hours. An army nurse recalled, "The day I arrived in the O.R., we had a 'mass-cal', 185 casualties. They came in Chinooks (large helicopters). They were on the floor, all over. Every Chinook was overloaded…I just remember that every ward in Nam was full. We had body bags lying around the hospital and the morgue was full" (Scanell-Desch, 4).
The nurses experienced so much trauma in such a little time, that most suffered from PTSD. The experiences that brought on this PTSD was the shock of conflict in Vietnam, the problematic return to a...

Find Another Essay On Nursing During the Vietnam War

The Importance of Drug Use During the Vietnam War

1196 words - 5 pages by 4% of the Vietnam veterans (Robins). Drugs during the Vietnam War era were popular among the Vietnam soldiers and the hippie counterculture. The drugs that were used can be listed as: LSD, cocaine, Quaalude, Darvon, opium, mescaline, Valium, (Robins), and methamphetamine (Wesson). The drugs affected the cultures negatively because the long term effects of the drugs. Many of the drugs damaged motor functions, physical features, and personalities

Advancing the Peace Movement: Music During the Vietnam War

1502 words - 6 pages with the peace movement came music. Unlike any other war in history, the artists of the Vietnam era used their music to influence political beliefs and to unite the protesters. During the Vietnam War, the music became integral to the peace movement. The peace movement arose from opposition from the young adults in the nation. According to the staff, early in the Vietnam War, college campuses were the main site of protests. Local

Effects of Agent Orange During the Vietnam War

1068 words - 4 pages knowledge of Agent Orange, the United States and Vietnam are still cleaning up the herbicidal mess that could have been avoided (Magnuson). Decades later, scientific evidence proved that the use of the dioxin herbicide Agent Orange was linked to many physical and neurobehavior disorders (Poremba). Agent orange became popularized during the Vietnam war when president John F. Kennedy sought radical solutions dealing with Guerilla Warfare (Poremba

Counterculture During the Vietnam Era

1167 words - 5 pages Counterculture During the Vietnam Era With a country in shambles as a result of the Vietnam War, thousands of young men and women took their stand through rallies, protests, and concerts. A large number of young Americans opposed the war; with a common feeling of anti-war, thousands of youths united as one. This new culture of opposition spread like wild fire with alternative lifestyles blossoming, people coming together and reviving their

The Significance of Television as a Propaganda Tool During the Vietnam War

2112 words - 8 pages , as many journalists especially when considering the Vietnam War did not wish to be branded anti-American or communist. This can equally be said for the news companies that the journalists worked for. But this self-censorship and pressures from people who worked higher up in news companies would never truly represent the same levels of censorship that was achievable during the Second World War. This ease of transmitting a message via television

What were some of the experiences Australians had during the Vietnam war?

567 words - 2 pages Australia's presence was in Vietnam from 1962 to 1972. It first began with the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam (AATTV) who served in infantry, artillery and armoured divisions. Later in the war, when Australia sent more troops (because conscription was enforced), Australian task forces were given an area called Nui Dat which was within the Phuoc Tuy Province. In Vietnam Australians had to survive in terrible conditions and against an enemy

A three page paper covering the massacre at My Lai during the Vietnam war. (Bibliography included)

724 words - 3 pages One of the American military's darkest wartime activities ever, the rape, torture, and murder of hundreds of innocent Vietnamese civilians within a one day period. It was an occurrence, which was initially called a massacre, then tragic and finally nothing more than an incident, which occurred during a time of war. It was a futile invasion of a small settlement in Vietnam where there were no enemies present. The soldiers, known primarily as

The Vietnam War

2411 words - 10 pages as when the war ended the US no longer took money away for the war and also gave back the funding and everything went back to normal, but at the time it certainly had a huge impact on what society and the Government thought about the war. In Vietnam 4 million people died during the war, including civilians. This affected Vietnam massively in the short term as a lot of farmers had been killed and therefore Vietnam was short on food and other

The Vietnam War

2262 words - 9 pages in a war that it could not win and could never forget. However, during this war the power of television provided a positive impact on Americans. The Vietnam War became known as "the living room war," the first war to be televised daily to the American public (An American Ordeal [DeBeneditti Charles] pg1). The majority of us have come to know the Vietnam War by its television coverage. Seeing that it was the first truly

The Vietnam War

1481 words - 6 pages War and the spread of communism outside the USSR, perceived as a danger for the interests of the "free world."Soon after WWII, Vietnam wanted its independence after centuries of occupation first by China, then France in the late 19th century, and Japan during WWII. In 1945, the Vietnamese forced the Japanese army out, but France wanted to regain all of its three colonial territories in South East Asia. After WWII, France was a country in ruin and

The Vietnam War - 1028 words

1028 words - 4 pages then they felt that the U.S. involvement was becoming a burden socially and economically they also believed that the United States needed to pull out of Vietnam. The other group of people thought that we should not leave Vietnam until the United States job was complete. A draft was instituted for the first time during the Vietnam War, men and women from the Baby Boom era were eligible to be sent out for war which Americans questioned the United

Similar Essays

Music During The Vietnam War Essay

960 words - 4 pages , peace, and individuality. So naturally, hippies would disagree with the Vietnam War. They adopted the slogan “make love not war,” which summed up their beliefs on peace. During the hippy movement, draft cards and American flags were burned as a presentation of their discontent with the American government and its ideals. They also showed their rebellion to the war by protesting and singing anti-war songs at the rallies. Students, along with

Policies Enacted During The Vietnam War

1742 words - 7 pages The Vietnam War was unlike any other war the US and its allies had ever fought in during its course of history. 50 years ago during the time of the cold war, the confrontation between communism of the United States and the capitalism of the soviets was a simple fact of life. (Frankum, 2003).The Vietnam conflict began in 1959 and ended in 1975. It started when communist leader of North Vietnam Ho Chi Minh invaded South Vietnam in an attempt to

Ethical Journalism During The Vietnam War

1898 words - 8 pages Ethical Journalism During the Vietnam War During the Vietnam War, a rift between government officials and journalists emerged. The American government felt the need, for various reasons, to censor many war developments. In an attempt to act ethically, the press fought the censors, trying their hardest to report the truth to the general public. Despite claims of bias and distortion by several prominent government officials, these journalists

The Historical Events That Occored In During The Vietnam War.

832 words - 3 pages It's January 27th, 1973 and the Vietnam War is over. Peace agreements were signed in Paris by the South Vietnam Communist forces, North Vietnam, South Vietnam and the United States. The meeting lasted for several hours and in that time they agreed on many objectives, including: that U.S. troops would gradually withdraw from Vietnam and all prisoners of war would be released, South Vietnam had the right to choose their own future (whether or not