2.50
Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10755/163785
Category:
Abstract
Type:
Presentation
Title:
The Lived Experience Of Women Military Nurses Serving In The Vietnam War
Author(s):
Scannell-Desch, E.
Author Details:
Elizabeth Scannell-Desch, Nursing Coordinator Hudson Valley, Adelphi University, Poughkeepsie, New York, USA, email: escannell@adelphi.edu
Abstract:
There is a scarcity of research examining the experiences of women veterans in war. Although much has been studied about male war experiences, similar literature about women is almost non-existent. The purpose of this study was to describe the lived experience of women military nurses who served in Vietnam during the war. Purposive sampling yielded a sample of 24 women nurses who served in the Army, Navy, or Air Force in the Vietnam theater of operations. Four data generating questions guided in-depth interviews: How would you describe the circumstances surrounding your assignment to Vietnam; what word, image, or words come to mind when you hear the word 'Vietnam'; what advice or guidance would you give to the next generation of military nurses who may have to go to war; and what was the essence of your Vietnam experience for you? The research methodology was phenomenology, incorporating data analysis procedures of Colaizzi, Lincoln and Guba, and Van Manen. Findings revealed that some volunteered for duty in Vietnam for reasons of patriotism, adventure, or to combat feelings of professional stagnation. Others were not volunteers, but reluctantly answered their Country's call. Images of Vietnam contrasted the beauty of the countryside with the stark realities of war: limbless soldiers, aircraft ferrying patients, and the death of young men. The sounds of Vietnam were the universal whine of helicopters and the concussion of artillery. Advice to the next generation of nurses included guidance about realistic training, use of support systems, understanding their role as military nurses, and journaling their experiences, thoughts, and feelings. Caring for young severely injured soldiers was a significant hardship and many nurses struggled with the moral dilemmas inherent in mass casualty situations, triage policies, and the practice of returning recovered soldiers to combat. Most nurses relied on personally proven strategies to reduce or buffer the effects of hardships, whereas some discovered and used new strategies. Nurses described the culture of war nursing as an austere, dangerous, exhausting environment where they attempted to re-create home through sporting events, forming a chapel choir, and decorating their primitive living quarters. They described a deep and special bonding with their patients and colleagues, and found personal and professional growth to be the essence of their experience. Many described their tour in Vietnam as the most rewarding experience in their careers. There are several important implications for nursing practice. Remembrance of images and other sensations of war last a long time after the war, and these memories may be painful and disruptive for years. Training for war and disaster response should be as realistic as possible, emphasizing lessons learned from the past. Curricula to meet the clinical and psychological challenges of war and disaster nursing will better prepare those who serve, and will lead to a more realistic understanding of situational demands and expectations.
Repository Posting Date:
27-Oct-2011
Date of Publication:
27-Oct-2011
Conference Date:
2001
Conference Name:
ENRS 13th Annual Scientific Sessions
Conference Host:
Eastern Nursing Research Society
Conference Location:
Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA
Note:
This is an abstract-only submission. If the author has submitted a full-text item based on this abstract, you may find it by browsing the Virginia Henderson Global Nursing e-Repository by author. If author contact information is available in this abstract, please feel free to contact him or her with your queries regarding this submission. Alternatively, please contact the conference host, journal, or publisher (according to the circumstance) for further details regarding this item. If a citation is listed in this record, the item has been published and is available via open-access avenues or a journal/database subscription. Contact your library for assistance in obtaining the as-published article.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.type.categoryAbstracten_US
dc.typePresentationen_GB
dc.titleThe Lived Experience Of Women Military Nurses Serving In The Vietnam Waren_GB
dc.contributor.authorScannell-Desch, E.en_US
dc.author.detailsElizabeth Scannell-Desch, Nursing Coordinator Hudson Valley, Adelphi University, Poughkeepsie, New York, USA, email: escannell@adelphi.eduen_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10755/163785-
dc.description.abstractThere is a scarcity of research examining the experiences of women veterans in war. Although much has been studied about male war experiences, similar literature about women is almost non-existent. The purpose of this study was to describe the lived experience of women military nurses who served in Vietnam during the war. Purposive sampling yielded a sample of 24 women nurses who served in the Army, Navy, or Air Force in the Vietnam theater of operations. Four data generating questions guided in-depth interviews: How would you describe the circumstances surrounding your assignment to Vietnam; what word, image, or words come to mind when you hear the word 'Vietnam'; what advice or guidance would you give to the next generation of military nurses who may have to go to war; and what was the essence of your Vietnam experience for you? The research methodology was phenomenology, incorporating data analysis procedures of Colaizzi, Lincoln and Guba, and Van Manen. Findings revealed that some volunteered for duty in Vietnam for reasons of patriotism, adventure, or to combat feelings of professional stagnation. Others were not volunteers, but reluctantly answered their Country's call. Images of Vietnam contrasted the beauty of the countryside with the stark realities of war: limbless soldiers, aircraft ferrying patients, and the death of young men. The sounds of Vietnam were the universal whine of helicopters and the concussion of artillery. Advice to the next generation of nurses included guidance about realistic training, use of support systems, understanding their role as military nurses, and journaling their experiences, thoughts, and feelings. Caring for young severely injured soldiers was a significant hardship and many nurses struggled with the moral dilemmas inherent in mass casualty situations, triage policies, and the practice of returning recovered soldiers to combat. Most nurses relied on personally proven strategies to reduce or buffer the effects of hardships, whereas some discovered and used new strategies. Nurses described the culture of war nursing as an austere, dangerous, exhausting environment where they attempted to re-create home through sporting events, forming a chapel choir, and decorating their primitive living quarters. They described a deep and special bonding with their patients and colleagues, and found personal and professional growth to be the essence of their experience. Many described their tour in Vietnam as the most rewarding experience in their careers. There are several important implications for nursing practice. Remembrance of images and other sensations of war last a long time after the war, and these memories may be painful and disruptive for years. Training for war and disaster response should be as realistic as possible, emphasizing lessons learned from the past. Curricula to meet the clinical and psychological challenges of war and disaster nursing will better prepare those who serve, and will lead to a more realistic understanding of situational demands and expectations.en_GB
dc.date.available2011-10-27T11:13:47Z-
dc.date.issued2011-10-27en_GB
dc.date.accessioned2011-10-27T11:13:47Z-
dc.conference.date2001en_US
dc.conference.nameENRS 13th Annual Scientific Sessionsen_US
dc.conference.hostEastern Nursing Research Societyen_US
dc.conference.locationAtlantic City, New Jersey, USAen_US
dc.description.noteThis is an abstract-only submission. If the author has submitted a full-text item based on this abstract, you may find it by browsing the Virginia Henderson Global Nursing e-Repository by author. If author contact information is available in this abstract, please feel free to contact him or her with your queries regarding this submission. Alternatively, please contact the conference host, journal, or publisher (according to the circumstance) for further details regarding this item. If a citation is listed in this record, the item has been published and is available via open-access avenues or a journal/database subscription. Contact your library for assistance in obtaining the as-published article.-
All Items in this repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.