Friday, December 05, 2008

Nurses and War

Via this blog , came across an interview with a WWII Army nurse

The Imojean Ketter Interview

Well worth the read.

I've been an LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) for 15 years now. Most of my nursing has been done in long-term care facilities or in assisted living (where I currently work now) so I can only dimly imagine what nursing must be like for those serving in war.

I've blogged before about my aunt's wartime service in Vietnam
For my Aunt....A Thank You to an Army Nurse Corps Vietnam Veteran

and last year, I blogged about the first active duty Army nurse to be killed in combat since the Vietnam War
Cpt. Maria I. Ortiz-April 24,1967-July 10,2007

The tradition of war-time nursing goes all the way back to Florence Nightingale
whose " lasting contribution has been her role in founding the modern nursing profession."

I have been privileged in my nursing career to care for a few women who were nurses during WW II, one of whom was Dora Cline Fechtmann.

She had written a book (which sadly is now out of print)
My scrapbook: An album of memories from the Shenandoah Valley to the South Pacific

which I was able to see a copy of during the time that she was one of the resident's that I cared for.

I did come across this pdf link
A Glimpse into the Dora Cline Fechtmann collection:Navy Nursing in the South Seas

She died in August of 2004, and I am grateful that I had a chance to be one of the nurse's caring for her during the last years of her life.

She was a graduate of the Rockingham Memorial hospital nurse's school. That school of nursing has been closed for many years....but I have worked under a number of graduates from that program, and let me tell you.....they are all sticklers for doing things correctly, and you had better 'toe the line' in your nursing, when you're working with them! :) Truly "old school" nursing!

Seeing Imojean Ketter's interview reminded me of Mrs. Fechtmann, and reminded me that there is a very rich history that we nurses today should be mindful of, of those who served our country in nursing in previous wars ,
and that we should especially remember today, those who are on the frontlines of nursing in the current wars that our country is fighting.
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