Professional Role Development

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A Review of: And If I Perish Frontline US Army Nurses in World War II By Dennis M Jack, RN D’Youville College NUR 609 Professional Role Development And If I Perish Frontline US Army Nurses In World War II (Monahan & Neidel-Greenlee, 2004) is a compelling story of the courageous female registered nurses, as male registered nurses were forced into infantry duty rather than their trained profession, that volunteered for service in the US army along with other medical professionals and their patients during the battles of world war II throughout the European and North African theaters of war. The many stories of caring for the wounded allied and enemy troops made it a difficult but mesmerizing read. From the training they received…show more content…
The bitter irony that Adolf Hitler, leader of the German empire, in a final testament expelled top members of his administration for their “disloyalty to the Reich and their Furher” (Monahan & Neidel-Greenlee, 2004, p. 452), did what most consider a cowardly and dishonorable act by committing suicide as the allied troops were closing in on his capture. To dwell on the final days of the war doesn’t do the book justice, there were so many heroes written about, from nurses and surgeons to the infantry that they served, too many people whose lives were forever changed by war. All the influences and change prompted by the necessity of war weren’t negative, to see the role of the registered nurse evolve from the stereotypical assistant and “hand-holder” to the sole anesthesiologist in an active frontline battle zone was exciting and helped to illustrate that nurses will do what needs to be done, that they are capable of more than they realize when a challenge is put in front of them. Of course there are stories of the hysterical nurse or the soldiers…show more content…
The idea of a nurse staying within her scope of practice seems to have been overlooked when, though not trained in anesthesia, they were asked to manage patients during surgical procedures. There also did not appear to be much role delineation other than in the surgical units, whatever needed to be done was done by whoever was available at the time. This is the ultimate example of a team approach, and was obviously successful given the amount of soldiers either returned to their respective units to continue fighting or sent home, honorably discharged as purple-heart recipients. There are similarities of the same type of team approach in today’s workplace, but to expect the same urgency and dedication may not be realistic. There may not be the same emotional attachment to the 90 year old geriatric hip fracture as there is to the 22 year old private with a traumatic below knee amputation. They will both hopefully receive the same quality of care but the staff will be more affected by the plight of the young soldier than the elderly patient. Though all patients are supposed to be treated equally, and indeed they may be, the environment unto which the care is being given will have a direct effect on the care staff, which can affect the patient
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