Army Nurses Face Biggest Battle Of Their Lives In Baghdad

  1. from nursing spectrum, military edition

    [color=#ff6600]army nurses face biggest battle of their lives in baghdad

    military nursing edition
    (4/15/04) army nurse lt. col. thomas yarber thought he had prepared himself and his nurses as best he could for the trauma he knew they would see in iraq.
    he and his nurses looked at photographs of soldiers whose limbs were blown off by rocket-propelled grenades, heads rocked by explosive shock waves, or eyes pierced by shrapnel. they talked extensively with other army nurses who had already served in baghdad. they brushed up constantly on their combat nursing skills.

    "we did a lot of mental preparation to make people aware that this was not a community hospital we were going to," says yarber, deputy commander for nursing for the army's 31st combat support hospital (csh), now on the ground in baghdad.

    but nothing could have prepared yarber and his nurses for the trauma they would see when violence erupted in iraq april 4 and continued throughout the week as iraqi insurgents tried to capture key cities throughout the country.


    full story and pictures:
    http://community.nursingspectrum.com/magazinearticles/article.cfm?aid=11763
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   NRSKarenRN
    another story about military nursing found in nursing spectrum:
    he wasn't just another soldier
  4. by   traumaRUs
    Karen - thanks so much for the links. I have often thought about going back into reserves to finish my service committment, but time and energy and school, work and family have interfered. I remember when I was stationed in Spain how the passengers looked of a military aircraft that didn't make it over a mountain. I'm so proud of my fellow nurses!
  5. by   nurseunderwater
    Thanks you for the links. I try the best I can to keep this whole thing as real as I can for myself....Your post is one that helps me do this.

    My hope is that the men and women who are serving receive the support that they need now and when they return....I can't imagine the horrors that they see on a daily basis. Sending them strength....K
  6. by   nightmoves
    God bless all of our brothers and sisters over there, and may the Creator keep their bodies, souls and spirits in His loving care.

    --from an old Army nurse who still remembers and grieves.
  7. by   bukko
    Quote from nrskarenrn
    from nursing spectrum, military edition

    [color=#ff6600]army nurses face biggest battle of their lives in baghdad

    military nursing edition
    (4/15/04) army nurse lt. col. thomas yarber thought he had prepared himself and his nurses as best he could for the trauma he knew they would see in iraq.
    he and his nurses looked at photographs of soldiers whose limbs were blown off by rocket-propelled grenades, heads rocked by explosive shock waves, or eyes pierced by shrapnel. they talked extensively with other army nurses who had already served in baghdad. they brushed up constantly on their combat nursing skills.

    but nothing could have prepared yarber and his nurses for the trauma they would see when violence erupted in iraq april 4 and continued throughout the week as iraqi insurgents tried to capture key cities throughout the country.


    full story and pictures:
    http://community.nursingspectrum.com/magazinearticles/article.cfm?aid=11763
    my sympathy goes out to all the horribly wounded servicemen and women. at least they have the comfort of getting good care.

    let us also remember the iraqis who are being mangled. i'm sure there are 10 of them wounded for every u.s. soldier/airman/marine, when you count in the terrorist car bombs, airstrikes and violent crime that's crushing the country we "freed." the iraqis have to endure the same sorts of wounds described in those stories without adequate analgesics, antibiotics or even air conditioning. how many of them die from primitive, pre-civilization causes of death like sepsis, dehydration and starvation because they can't even eat or drink because of the pain?

    may god forgive us for what we've done in the name of "liberation," because i don't think history will...
  8. by   traumaRUs
    Bukko - what about you volunteering through Doctors Without Borders and going and helping since you feel so strongly about this?
  9. by   jnette
    Great article, NRSKarenRN.

    Thank you for sharing.
  10. by   bukko
    Quote from traumaRUs
    Bukko - what about you volunteering through Doctors Without Borders and going and helping since you feel so strongly about this?
    At the moment, I'm crutching around after breaking my left hip in March. Enviro freak that I am, I ride my bicycle to work instead of driving an SUV like a good American. Hit a mist-slickened trolley track, which threw me, cracking the acetabulum and putting a split through the head of the femur. Further proof that mass transit and bicycles are unpatriotic! And I never had the option of pacifying people with an M-16 because the docs at the Air Force base where my dad was stationed in the early 70s mangled my left leg so badly after I got bitten by a rattlesnake that I was 4-F. Even the Reserve won't take people with chunks cut out 'cause of gangrene. So I try to do my part by protest-marching (although not these past two months) agitating online and sending part of my disability checks to John Kerry. I do hope to join the Peace Corps later in life -- maybe go to the village in Botswana where my little sister served two years -- but by then, people in the rest of the world might be hunting Americans for sport...
  11. by   traumaRUs
    Hope you feel better soon Bukko - even if I disagree with you. I too have been on the receiving end of pretty horrid military medical care both for myself and our son. However, I can't say that it wouldn't happen in the civilian side either.
  12. by   bukko
    Quote from traumaRUs
    Hope you feel better soon Bukko - even if I disagree with you. I too have been on the receiving end of pretty horrid military medical care both for myself and our son. However, I can't say that it wouldn't happen in the civilian side either.
    Oh, I'm tough. It's my dog who suffers the most. He's hyperactive, and it's hard for me to hobble long distances around these hills to walk him. And my wife -- she has to listen to me rave about the war all day now!
  13. by   Sekar
    Quote from bukko
    My sympathy goes out to all the horribly wounded servicemen and women. At least they have the comfort of getting good care.

    Let us also remember the Iraqis who are being mangled. I'm sure there are 10 of them wounded for every U.S. soldier/airman/Marine, when you count in the terrorist car bombs, airstrikes and violent crime that's crushing the country we "freed." The Iraqis have to endure the same sorts of wounds described in those stories without adequate analgesics, antibiotics or even air conditioning. How many of them die from primitive, pre-civilization causes of death like sepsis, dehydration and starvation because they can't even eat or drink because of the pain?

    May God forgive us for what we've done in the name of "liberation," because I don't think history will...
    When I was in the first Gulf War we provided medical care not only to the wounded Americans & Allies, we also provided to the wounded enemy, and the civilians who were wounded by the war (yes, sadly it happens) and those who were brutalized by their own people. That is standard practice for military field medical facilities, and still in practice today. In fact we saw far more of that last catagory than other catagory of patients while we were there. We cared for their wounds, delivered their babies, and fed them our rations so that they would have something to eat. These people weren't brutalized by us "evil Americans" but by the Iraqi government. What I saw dealt out by Iraqis to Iraqis was horrible beyond all the war inflicted wounds I treated. How can a government treat its own people like that? How can anyone question removing a demon like Saddam Hussein from power? Now it's not a government but the "insurgents" (translated terrorists) who are doing it their own people. I don't think we need God's forgiveness, they do. I think history is going to judge us somewhat differently than some here do, but then I've seen alot of it with my own eyes, not filtered & distorted through the liberal media. Put the blame where it is due, on the terrorists and religeous fanatics who feel it their right to wantonly murder & terrorize their own people, and not on us. Our soldiers are the best in the world and they are doing a very difficult job in nearly impossible conditions. They will get the job done if given the support they need, both from our government and our people.
  14. by   MellowOne
    [QUOTE=bukko]
    May God forgive us for what we've done in the name of "liberation," because I don't think history will...[QUOTE]

    Not cool, bukko. Karen posted some links to some wonderful stories about valiant nurses doing what they can in heart-wrenching, horrible situations. You turn it around as a slam against evil America.

    Care to guess how many Iraqis are being treated by U.S. Military medical personnel? Care to guess how many hospitals are being upgraded, repaired, and stocked? Care to guess how many would have died under Hussein in a similar period if we had not intervened?

    History will judge us when it becomes history. In the meantime, let's salute those who are fighting truly evil people for what is certainly a noble cause. Many of our own are there, and are deserving of our thanks without it being turned political.

    Might I ask a favor. I certainly don't mind discussing the war, but how about picking a different thread for it?

    Be well...

    The Mellow One

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