Vietnam Nurses (22 books)Saving
Nursing and Medicine in the Vietnam War
Their assignment was to train the local Vietnamese in modern nursing techniques to assist in the escalating civil war. These three were the first American service women to serve in Vietnam. As the U. Shirley A. Nurses in Vietnam ranged from the new to the seasoned, though the average age of service was While nurses were predominantly female, 21 percent were male, and the Vietnam War was the first war in which male nurses served as officers in the Army Nurse Corps. Long workdays were the norm in Vietnam.
But for the combat nurses who served there, the details remain as sharp in their minds as the needles they used to help patients heal. If we have incoming, the chicken wire will protect you from shrapnel!
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US army nurses vietnam 1966
Nearly all of them were volunteers, and 90 percent served as military nurses, though women also worked as physicians, air traffic controllers, intelligence officers, clerks and other positions in the U. In addition to women in the armed forces, an unknown number of civilian women served in Vietnam on behalf of the Red Cross, United Service Organizations USO , Catholic Relief Services and other humanitarian organizations, or as foreign correspondents for various news organizations. The great majority of the military women who served in Vietnam were nurses. All were volunteers, and they ranged from recent college graduates in their early 20s to seasoned career women in their 40s. Members of the Army Nurse Corps arrived in Vietnam as early as , when they were tasked with training the South Vietnamese in nursing skills. As the American military presence in South Vietnam increased beginning in the early s, so did that of the Army Nurse Corps.
Like many of the men going over to Vietnam to serve their country, young women from all over the nation volunteered to serve as nurses in the hospitals and medical facilities in South Vietnam. These women volunteered for a variety of reasons: to serve their country, to help the service men who were wounded, to receive training and an education, to further their military careers, to prove themselves or just to have an adventure. The nurses served in the hospital ships of the Navy, the airlift helicopters and airplanes of the Air Force and the hospitals and field hospitals of the Army. They arrived in Vietnam with various levels of nursing experience, from newcomers to the field with barley six months of Nursing under their belts to experienced veterans of twenty plus years. Usually the more confident and experienced the nurse, the better they were able to cope with the stress and the sheer number of casualties they treated on a daily basis. The Vietnam War was the first major conflict to use the helicopter to transport wounded quickly to medical facilities; sometimes a man would be in the hospital receiving medical care barely half an hour after he had been wounded. This new medevac system saved the lives of thousands of men who in previous conflicts would have died in the battlefield waiting for medical assistance.
One of my goals was to put together an article featuring nurses in Vietnam. Among the American heroes serving in Vietnam were soldiers whose mission it was not to fight, but instead to comfort and heal. The number of military nurses serving in Vietnam rose steadily after to a peak of in They served as flight nurses, in hospitals throughout Vietnam, and on board the hospital ships USS Repose and Sanctuary. F rom the wife of a soldier who was wounded:. M ost of all thank you for the care you gave my husband when he was wounded in Vietnam. And, thank you for all you gave to those who needed your care so much, when you were in Vietnam.