Military nurses Essay
The nurses gave care to the men who were wounded during the war. They gave the care that was needed for example, medical care to dress up the wounds of the men. For those who became paralyzed, the nurses supported them physically and emotionally. They clothed and fed them. The families of those who made it and their loved ones spoke of the care they received from the nurses and glorified their assistance. They continued to acknowledge their presence and selfless efforts to assist them. (Song, p78) The military nurses conducted talks at high schools.
They wanted to educate the students regarding the careers available and what it would take for them to be qualified. They gave their stories and the challenges that they faced during their work. When the students were asked which profession was toughest and most demanding, they said it was nursing. (Chen, p45) Given all the stories that they heard, they concluded that, if they had to be a nurse, then it was tantamount to a vocation which demanded that one leaves behind all other dreams just to serve as a nurse.
It was even more challenging for the nurses because they did not have proper health facilities from which to operate. They set up tents and the tent was used to carry out even very delicate surgery operations. The medical facilities were described to be beyond primitive. (Insun, p456) Ironically, it was compared to TV Show and MASH movie. The environment was dirty and non sterile. They did not have adequate instruments. In addition, the hands at work were not enough. The emergency cases were so many yet the nurses were few and could therefore not deal with the workload by themselves.
To make the matter worse, there were some equipment which had to be shared during surgical procedures which were absolutely required to save people’s lives, yet they had not been sterilized. For example, the nurses did not have suction. Also missing was penicillin for irrigating the wounds. There was no blood for transfusion yet the majority of cases which were received were of people who had lost too much blood and needed more. The casualties out in the field were just so many. Despite the terrible state of the tents functioning as hospitals, all the casualties were taken there. (Woodside, p67-p89)
These nurses were the only hope and the lives of people and soldiers were only entrusted with them. It was hoped that, once they treated them, they would eventually be sent back to fight. These women nurses were not allowed to cry. (Insun p56) They were supposed to encourage and give hope to the dying. It was very wrong to cry in front of the wounded men and the dying ones. These men needed the strength of these women in that poor state of their health. The women were not supposed to gain luxury out of their own feelings. At the same time, the nurses were not supposed to lie to the soldiers regarding their health.
If they were dying they were supposed to tell then straight in their faces. (Taylor, p34) This was such a torment to them. The nurses at times were not able to get along with their nursing director and therefore sought transfer. Unfortunately, they were transferred to the war-torn areas and much worse than the areas they were previously serving. In addition women were supposed to fly runs for evacuation and many of the nurses had not had a chance to be in a helicopter, but they could not give up this responsibility since there was no one else to do it.
The women serving in the medical personnel were the most inexperienced too serve during the time of war. Besides that, they feared for their lives especially because the soldiers depended on them for medical care. (Yu, Insun, 278) The nurses also went to Vietnamese villages and set up medial centers and clinical which they used to treat those children who had eye infections, skin diseases and intestinal diseases. Most of the diseases came form the bacteria which was always present. (Woodside, p36) Conclusion
The stories of Vietnamese women are one that can drive a reader to point of tears. The sufferings and torture that these women went through is a living proof of their sacrifices. These women put their lives on line to restore peace and harmony as well as save lives. Despite the various roles and professions that were engaged in they never gave up their roles in the family as mothers, caretakers, wives and advisers. Their contributions particularly during the time of war deserve praise and honor. They should be rewarded for their efforts.
They did what many women are not believed they can do. (Chen, 236) The women did not show cowardice but actually displayed courage and perseverance. Vietnamese women are a symbol of strength that is possessed by the women and discourages women to take a back seat in all matters. From the experiences, it is obvious that without the support that they gave to the soldiers, they would not have accomplished much in their country. It is high time that Vietnamese women held their leads high and walked with pride and dignity they have.
Chen, King C. Vietnam and China, 1938-1954. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1969. Song, Jungnam. History of Vietnam. Bu-san: Bu-san University Press, 1966. Taylor, Keith W. The Birth of Vietnam. Redwood City: Berkeley, University of California Press, 1983. Taylor, Keith W. and Whitmore, John K. eds. Essays into Vietnamese Pasts. Ithaca: Southeast Asia Program Publications, Cornell University, 1995. Woodside, Alexander B. Vietnam and Chinese Model. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1971.