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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Expectations of women who volunteered for nursing soldiers abroad

An American nurse on the front lines.
Most nurses who volunteered to serve during the First World War had experience serving Stateside in hospitals, local sanitariums for tubercular patients or in private homes. They served in various capacities—on wards, in maternity units and in private duty to wealthier patients who had the funds to engage a private nurse for home duty.
While a few had specialties, as we now think of them, most engaged in general duty.
Before going abroad, very few nurses ever saw the types of wounds, disease or shell shock that men incurred from living and fighting in trenches, or from shrapnel fragments or the newest inventions of warfare--tanks and machine guns.

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