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The War Nurse


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Did Julia do the right thing by violating protocol to operate on Private Dempsey? What would you have done in her place?

Created: 07/08/21

Replies: 21

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

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2674

Did Julia do the right thing by violating protocol to operate on Private Dempsey? What would you have done in her place?

Did Julia do the right thing by violating protocol to operate on Private Dempsey? What would you have done in her place?


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

Join Date: 01/01/16

Posts: 301

RE: Did Julia do the right thing by ...

Julia did the right thing. The doctors were not available. She had nurses trying to find them. If she had not operated on Private Dempsey he most likely would have died. Fred had told her earlier that sometimes they must make decisions that are not in the policy manual. I would certainly have done the same. I could not stand by and watch him die when I know I could help.


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

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 354

RE: Did Julia do the right thing by ...

It was a matter of life or death. Time was of the essence and Julia had to act or Dempsey would have died. Sometimes "rules" have to be broken to do what is right.


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

Join Date: 11/14/11

Posts: 111

RE: Did Julia do the right thing by ...

I do. My aunt was a critical care nurse in the ICU in Dallas in the 1980’s. Even then physicians disregarded the knowledge of nurses who were in the trenches and knew better. Better to breach protocol and ask forgiveness than to wait for permission and let someone die.


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

Join Date: 05/25/21

Posts: 8

RE: Did Julia do the right thing by ...

Yes, Julia did the right thing. It was a matter of life and death. And yes, I believe I would do the same.


Posted Jul. 11, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
carolt

Join Date: 03/25/17

Posts: 120

RE: Did Julia do the right thing by ...

Absolutely. She had to choose between life and death, not between whether she should or shouldn't.


Posted Jul. 11, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
carriem

Join Date: 10/19/20

Posts: 60

RE: Did Julia do the right thing by ...

Absolutely, it was a matter of life and death, so as a skilled nurse she was able to determine if she could make that decision thus breaking protocol.


Posted Jul. 11, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
terriej

Join Date: 07/28/11

Posts: 326

RE: Did Julia do the right thing by ...

I think Julia did the right thing. He would have died if she hadn't gone forward with the procedure. Sometimes doing the right thing means breaking a rule.


Posted Jul. 11, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
christineb

Join Date: 10/13/11

Posts: 95

RE: Did Julia do the right thing by ...

I absolutely think she did the right thing. She tried to get help but when time was running out I don't think she had a choice. I would have done the same. I feel that their profession dictates the preservation of life with any means available.


Posted Jul. 12, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kdowney25

Join Date: 01/25/16

Posts: 137

RE: Did Julia do the right thing by ...

Yes, absolutely, I believe Julia made the only choice she could live with. They had sent for the doctors but she couldn't wait anymore, otherwise he was likely to die.


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

Join Date: 03/14/19

Posts: 123

RE: Did Julia do the right thing by ...

Julia had to make decisions based on the needs at the time. She had sent for the doctors, but she cannot watch someone suffer and die when she could do something to prevent the suffering and death.


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

Join Date: 02/29/16

Posts: 140

RE: Did Julia do the right thing by ...

She tried to do the right thing by sending for a doctor and waiting. In the end, she had no choice--at least no choice that would have allowed the private to live. She did what she had to do and did it proficiently. I would have done the same thing in that circumstance. How could anyone stand by and not?


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

Join Date: 09/06/16

Posts: 15

RE: Did Julia do the right thing by ...

I felt she made the right call. After all, she saved the man's life. Often times it is the nurse that does the saving and the doctor takes the credit. In this case I’m not sure the man would have lived if they had waited on the doctor.


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

Join Date: 09/14/11

Posts: 75

RE: Did Julia do the right thing by ...

I think she did do the right thing! She didn't want a man to die and someone had to act fast. She knew the risk, but wanted to save him if she could.


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

Join Date: 01/23/15

Posts: 168

RE: Did Julia do the right thing by ...

She did what she had to under the circumstances. As a retired nurse now, I would have done what I could to save a person.


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

Join Date: 03/06/19

Posts: 7

RE: Did Julia do the right thing by ...

Of course! You can't just stand there and watch someone die. I can't add much to what everyone has already said. I do think they have a responsibility especially when the doctors aren't available.


Posted Jul. 16, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
paulagb

Join Date: 08/16/17

Posts: 141

RE: Did Julia do the right thing by ...

She did the right thing and this same issue could arise today. Oddly as long as it turns out successful for the patient, the unauthorized medical treatment would be overlooked. If he had died, she might have been required to prove he would have died even if she had not rendered aid. Proving that might be harder than it appears and could easily destroy a career, especially the career of a woman in the 1920s.


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

Join Date: 05/17/12

Posts: 81

RE: Did Julia do the right thing by ...

Absolutely! would have done the exact same thing in that circumstance. Interesting to note that when the intital group of nurses were being "trained" prior to leaving for their assignment, that scenario was addressed. Dr. Murphy gave out cards with various scenarios and one addressed a soldier with head and facial wounds with difficulty breathing. The nurse did not do the necessary tracheostomy as it was not within her scope of practice. The decision was supported by Dr. Murphy and yet in the battlefield...it was done by Julia herself!


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

Join Date: 06/25/13

Posts: 290

RE: Did Julia do the right thing by ...

I agree with most of the answers above. She could not find doctors and there was no time to waste. She could not have handled watching him die. I know it would stay with me forever. I am sure today nurses in combat are better trained to handle these situations.


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

Join Date: 03/29/16

Posts: 261

RE: Did Julia do the right thing by ...

I applaud her. She saved his life. Going against protocol is sometimes necessary. If I had the knowledge to do what Julia did I would have done it in a minute - she waited longer than she should have on Drs who were not available.


Posted Jul. 25, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Brittany P.

Join Date: 07/14/20

Posts: 15

RE: Did Julia do the right thing by ...

I thought it was the right choice to make and expected that there would be a situation like this. I think it was clear that during a time of war, situations may happen where someone needs to overstep to save a life if there is no other option.


Posted Jul. 29, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
christinec

Join Date: 03/09/20

Posts: 14

RE: Did Julia do the right thing by ...

Agree with everyone- she did the right thing- she had the courage and was willing to take that risk so she would be able to live with herself rather than let him die.


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