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The War Nurse


A sweeping novel by an international bestselling author based on a true World ...
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How much did you know about nursing (particularly World War I–era nursing) before reading this book? What was the most surprising thing you learned?

Created: 07/08/21

Replies: 18

Posted Jul. 08, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2732

How much did you know about nursing (particularly World War I–era nursing) before reading this book? What was the most surprising thing you learned?

How much did you know about nursing (particularly World War I–era nursing) before reading this book? What was the most surprising thing you learned?


Posted Jul. 08, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Marcia S

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 364

RE: How much did you know about nursing ...

I really knew nothing about it. The nurses were very regulated and not allowed to do any procedures. I was surprised that they couldn't even give someone a shot! I'm glad nurses are valued participants today.


Posted Jul. 08, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
vivianh

Join Date: 11/14/11

Posts: 111

RE: How much did you know about nursing ...

I had a rudimentary knowledge of nursing from the American Civil War, Crimea, WWI and beyond. Consider that Florence Nightingale during Crimea first introduced the concept of sanitation in 1854! Before that and even after, more soldiers died from sepsis and infection than battle wounds. Fleming did not ‘discover’ antibiotics until 1928! Until then a prick from a rose thorn could cause death. The beauty of WWI nursing...the people saved before the advent of penicillin. Wow!


Posted Jul. 08, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lindac

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 20

RE: How much did you know about nursing ...

I really knew very little. The limit to what they could do surprised me, but the dedication to providing the best they could within those limits was to be admired. I was very surprised that they had X-ray capabilities available, limited as they were.


Posted Jul. 09, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
carriem

Join Date: 10/19/20

Posts: 60

RE: How much did you know about nursing ...

I knew very little, those who were nurses already and joined had a hospital training certificate but not equivalent of a college degree. However, the nurses did discover techniques and devices, and made recommendations that enhanced sanitation, medical procedures and policies, and patient care.


Posted Jul. 09, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Maggie

Join Date: 01/01/16

Posts: 324

RE: How much did you know about nursing ...

All I knew was from other novels and movies, which was not a lot. I was surprised that some of them actually had to go closer to the battle field. Also the size of their facilities and how many soldiers they were able to take care of. All very dedicated nurses.


Posted Jul. 09, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
flute4u

Join Date: 08/14/13

Posts: 50

RE: How much did you know about nursing ...

I knew nothing of nursing, but the book gave a fascinating snapshot of nursing during a period of critical development during a crisis. As they encountered and developed rudimentary quarantine standards for the flu, I found interesting parallels to our response to Covid-19. The compassion, hard work and empathy displayed by the characters of the story are admirable.


Posted Jul. 10, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
laurap

Join Date: 06/19/12

Posts: 333

RE: How much did you know about nursing ...

I'd read a bit about nursing practice in that era - several books about the Spanish flu epidemic and Band of Sisters by Lauren Willig, a recent piece of historical fiction which examines a a very similar situation. This book deals more directly with nursing practice and emphasizes the procedural limitations placed on nurses. Being more familiar with the procedures nurses are allowed to perform today, I was surprised at how limited they were then.


Posted Jul. 10, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
catherynez

Join Date: 01/27/18

Posts: 70

RE: How much did you know about nursing ...

I did not know much about nursing in WW1. The author did a great job including a lot of information on their duties, training and limitations.


Posted Jul. 10, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
cindyr

Join Date: 05/25/21

Posts: 8

RE: How much did you know about nursing ...

I really didn't know anything. It made sense that they were incredibly qualified, passionate and professional. I was surprised to learn that the hospital workers were left behind while the troops evacuated and the Nazis approached.


Posted Jul. 13, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ScribblingScribe

Join Date: 02/29/16

Posts: 157

RE: How much did you know about nursing ...

I knew some, but learned more by reading this novel.


Posted Jul. 13, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
charlaw's Gravatar
charlaw

Join Date: 09/06/16

Posts: 23

RE: How much did you know about nursing ...

Nursing is a familiar field for me as my Mom was a nurse, my daughter is a Nurse Practitioner and my son in law is a nurse. Also, I worked as a surgical coordinator for over 10 years. However, until I read this book, I did not know much about WWI nursing. I was surprised when Julia had people use face masks to help control the influenza spread. It reminded me so much of how we had to resort to homemade masks during the recent pandemic.


Posted Jul. 13, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
morgan1

Join Date: 07/13/21

Posts: 1

RE: How much did you know about nursing ...

I really knew very little, but what I did learn in this book made me proud to be a nurse! I was very curious the historical accuracy of the book so I did a little digging afterwards and besides embellishing relationships it seems very accurate.
I was surprised that the doctors allowed the nurses so much autonomy during this time! I understood this to come much later to the field of nursing, but I suppose it was wartime and things were different.


Posted Jul. 14, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
tswaine

Join Date: 09/14/11

Posts: 75

RE: How much did you know about nursing ...

I didn't know anything about nursing during those times. The book did give a lot of detail, sometimes I thought too much, about what was involved with the nurses. I also didn't know that they were that close to the front lines.


Posted Jul. 15, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dorothyh

Join Date: 01/23/15

Posts: 168

RE: How much did you know about nursing ...

I knew a little about nursing in WWI, author gave a good description of what their life was like so close to the front.


Posted Jul. 17, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joang

Join Date: 05/17/12

Posts: 81

RE: How much did you know about nursing ...

I must admit I did not know a lot about nursing in WWI. Have read about nursing in WWII (We Band of Angels by Elizabeth Norman) and Viet Nam (Women at War also by Elizabeth Norman, Home Before Morning by Lynda Van Devanter). Have colleagues who were nurses in the military in Viet Nam. They have shared the horrors of war, the emotional impact and the aftermath for them. Have read several great novels about nursing in Viet Nam as mentioned above. Have a special place in my heart for military nurses. I expected the novel to give me more of the same, the emotional component, fears and feelings associated with war nursing. Initially I was disappointed in the novel for its lack of descriptions of battlefield nursing, the emotional and physical. I also realize this is about one particular person and her experiences and contributions....to nursing and society.


Posted Jul. 17, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
nancyh

Join Date: 06/25/13

Posts: 297

RE: How much did you know about nursing ...

What I know of nursing is what I have read and what nursing friends have told me. I also did read Band of Sisters. This was placed during WWII and the nurses seemed to have gained more power. I was surprised that they did not have more training in combat injuries before they were sent to France. They had no idea what they were getting into. I think this was wrong.


Posted Jul. 22, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
taking.mytime's Gravatar
taking.mytime

Join Date: 03/29/16

Posts: 282

RE: How much did you know about nursing ...

I have read a few books on WWI and nursing in WWI. I think I was most surprised in this book to hear of the competition between the Drs and the nurses instead of working together and teaching each other new methods and practices, especially while in theater. There was less of a family attitude than I expected.


Posted Aug. 21, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
millicentg

Join Date: 03/10/15

Posts: 34

RE: How much did you know about nursing ...

This book delved into an area of wartime nursing that was new and interesting to me. Julia Stimsom was a gifted administrator . She was a brilliant women who created nursing protocol as the situation arose. Julia was a pioneer in nursing and as such, she had to fight misogeny, ignorance, stereotypes, terrible misunderstandings and disappointment. However, she seems to have possessed empathy , kindness, understanding, loyalty and wisdom. She is a historical figure whom I would have loved to interview.


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