tv Nurses in the Army CSPAN July 3, 2017 1:50pm-2:21pm EDT
and germany. this is an episode of the big picture produced by the u.s. army, between 1950 and 1975. th archives and we're airing it today to mark the 75th anniversary of the founding of the womens army corps in 1942. ♪ today, the latest weapons coupled with the fighting skill of the american soldier stand ready, on the alert all over the world to defend this country, you, the american people, against aggression. this is "the big picture," an
official television report to the nation from the united states army. now to show you part of "the big picture," here is sergeant stewart queen. >> all of us are well aware of the great and heroic achievements of our united states army nurses. in world war ii and during the korean war we heard, read and many of us saw how the army nurse went through great hardship in performance of her duty. the same dangers endured by the troops which she accompanied into combat. but relatively little has been reported of the army nurse in peacetime. yet she still serves not only in the states but all over the world. today, on "the big picture," we would like to give you some impression of the work of an army nurse overseas. and not only her work but how she spends her leisure time, and something of what she thinks and feels as she serves our troops and her country in the far flung
corners of the world. >> korea is no longer on the front pages of the newspapers these days. it is a poor country now. very much like it was before the war. but with the mark of war upon it. american troops are stationed here still, a defense force to ward off possible aggression. we are here too, the army nurse corps, because although the war is over on the battlefield, we nurses must remain with the troops wherever they are to be ready in case of emergency to care for the wounded and in peacetime to fight the eternal battle against disease and sickness. when a new group of nurses arrives at the airport, it's always something of an event, but the newcomers as well as the old-timers. but there's not usually much
time lost between arriving and being assigned duties at the hospital. there's plenty of work to be done here. each new nurse has a job waiting for her. but first, in korea at any rate, a new nurse is given a proper outfit for protection against the cold of the korean winter. the keynote of the costume is not fashion but utility. it's not mink, but it's warm. for once it's nice to try on a hat and not wonder whether it's the right one. does it do something for you? you bet, keeps you cozy at 5 below. the new nurses are on the roster now, and the routine of work in the wards has begun. all over the world wherever our troops are stationed the army nurses, an ally of the soldier in his battle against sickness and pain, her words of sympathy and understanding can be as important and valuable as her
skill and knowledge. both are required if she is to really fulfill her role as an army nurse. the army assumes full responsibility for the care of its sick. and in any army hospital in peacetime there are the usual number of serious cases, patients who require operative treatment. army hospitals overseas are on a par with the best civilian hospitals anywhere. and at each stage of care the most up-to-date methods are employed. we nurses standby during an operation, trying our best to be the doctor's right hand, concentrating on playing our part, on making right moves during the teamwork of the operation. being a skilled assistant at an operation, anticipating the
surgeon's needs, this can be one of the nurse's jobs in an operating room. such work requires special training. but when a patient is coming out of the ether after an operation and the first face he sees is that of a nurse, and it is a pleasant smiling face, this too is important in the care of a patient. and for this there is no training. when the patient is back in the ward, the serious work of returning him to health continues. throughout his treatment he is aided by the knowledge, skill and understanding of the army nurse. we nurses, especially those who've had considerable experience, are taking part in a program of assisting korean nurses in treating their sick. korea is still faced with many post war problems, not the least of which is the health of its
war-ravaged people. more serious, korean casualties of the war are being cared for in our hospitals where koreans are often employed to assist in the wards. we give our own medical corps men instructions in war duties. routines such as taking the patient's blood pressure. teaching seems to be a major responsibility in the life of an army nurse, especially overseas where knowledge of modern methods of medical care is at a premium. through an interpret ter, one o our nurses instructs a group of korean nurses in some of the techniques and procedures used in our hospitals. the newly arrived nurse takes
used to getting adjusted to being on her feet all day. so in off duty hours she is often off her feet. but those who are pretty well accustomed to the hard physical routine are ready and willing for active recreation when the day's work is over. we nurses enjoy our physical exercise and take pride in keeping fit and alert. we must take care of sick people, and so we ourselves try to maintain our resistance against illness through regular exercise. a lot of being overseas is fun, fun in sightseeing and exploring. each country has its wonders, and since our troops are now scattered just about everywhere, an army nurse has a chance to see a good bit of the world. in seoul, korea, at the changduk palace one can discover an ancient and fascinating culture. it's far more interesting being on the spot than reading about it in books.
in general, the type of woman who becomes a nurse is interested in people. and in korea the everyday life of the people is just as fascinating to us as any building or monument. there are little things to record, snapshots that will be interesting to look back upon or to enclose in a letter home. one of the strongest reactions one has in korea is that the people need help, and it is most satisfying to be assigned to work in the civilian assistance program, to see hungry orphans being nourished back to health, to be part of this work, to feel there's no other work you'd prefer to do. this is what it means to be a nurse. being an army nurse overseas is for nurses who want to go places and do things. frequently those on assignment in the far east have the opportunity of visiting tokyo, which is an exciting place for
shopping and sightseeing. a woman commissioned in the army nurse corps finds out very soon that she is part of an organization which regards her as a woman first then a member of her profession. her life is not regimented. she's expected to grow and develop as a person, to react humanly and enthusiastically to the world about her. she is given the time to develop interests, to enjoy stimulating activity and companionship. such recreation helps her to return to her work refreshed and ready. in japan and wherever she is stationed, many activities are made available. she is encouraged to have a good time in her off hours.
as a type, the army nurse is a well-rounded person, understanding and interested in people as well as young in heart, fun loving and gay. a great many nurses are assigned to tokyo army hospital, our largest hospital in the far east. it bustles with medical expert who is are here to carry out the mission of the hospital as defined by its commanding officer colonel charles ki kirkpatrick. >> while the shooting war has stopped in korea, the war against disease and injury is a constant challenge to doctors, nurses and enlisted personnel with tokyo only hospital. the health of our armed forces, american and other united nations fighting men is of paramount importance. our job at this hospital is to keep these forces in good health. to this end we dedicate all the skill and resources of modern
medicine and surgery. >> think of the largest hospital you know and you'll begin to appreciate the size of the army hospital in tokyo. there are hardly enough american nurses to do all the work. and for this reason it is a practice of this hospital, as it is elsewhere in the world, to employ foreign nationals to help us out. the young japanese women who work with us are pleasant and gentle and most efficient. they seem to be born nurses. what is a born nurse? can you tell by the way she moves, by the way she uses her hands to prepare the sterilized hypodermic needle and by the way she administers an injection? can you see it in the way she dresses a wound, in the way she places the gauze over the exposed flesh? the answer is yes. all the little things help to show whether she's right for her
job. whether she is, as they say, a natural. but something else should be in her character too. an awareness of the patient's wants and needs, an ability to sense something of what he feels, a desire to help him in his distress. to sense his different moods, to be able to bring good cheer when he is alone and feeling his loneliness. this can be as valuable as any medicine in the world. a nurse who enjoys her work gains in medical knowledge every day. what's more, she becomes a source of knowledge to others, passing on what she has learned from her teachers, doctors and top medical experts. it's a kind of system the education this one receives in the hospital, and everyone benefits, especially and most importantly the patient.
hydrotherapy, a whirlpool bath to give passive exercise to the muscles of an injured leg. many of the experts who wear the white uniform of a nurse are actually members of the womens medical specialist corps, which is a branch of the army medical service. these women are experts in the fields of dietetics and physical and occupational therapy. they are in relatively new professions, which the army has recognized as an important part of medical practice. since the army assumes the responsibility of providing medical care for the servicemen's family and all additions there unto, those
additions are fortunate in the care of the tokyo pediatric hospital. the care here is the finest and the nurses who find themselves tasked to it find continuous interest and pleasure. there are moments however when the patient sees no pleasure in anything. traditionally it has been woman's role to tend the sick, but it is her natural and instinctive role to care for the young. and with young children the army nurse is very much at home. in the evening, the army nurse is at home in a different sense. she can be alone and undisturbed to write a letter, or she can be with others. really if she's at a loss for something to do in her lateisur hours. what she does with her free time
will depend to some extent on where she is stationed. if she is lucky enough to be stationed in hawaii, she will have absolutely no problem enjoying herself in this land of sunshine. the army hospital in hawaii is as modern as they come. and while building the best for the patients, the army did not neglect the nurses whose quarters are attractive and comfortable. there is a bright gleam about hawaii, even inside the hospital the equipment glistens in its newness. it's the very best, the very latest. however, the appearance of things is not of the greatest importance in your work as an army nurse. wherever you are stationed you will find one factor to be of greater consequence than any other, and that is the satisfaction you gain from your work. the deep pleasure of knowing that you are helping people to
get well, if the job means something to you, it will mean not where you are stationed or how shiny the equipment, but the work of nursing itself. patients are grateful, unselfish, uncomplaining, unlike the civilian sick who have a family nearby, the soldier has no one to look after him except the army nurse. to the patient we are not only nurses to look after their ills, but mother, sister, and friend. during con -- we give them new things to accomplish. we talk and listen and watch. of all the people in the hospital, we are closest to the patient, guiding him daily on his road to recovery. no matter what his age, a patient seems to respond to the
personality of his nurse. is there any doubt that this nurse has a sunny disposition? no, sir, she's been given the seal of approval. in a large hospital such as this one in hawaii one can see an army principle in operation, and that is training. throughout one's tour of duty a nurse is constantly exchanging ideas about the job she's doing in an effort to do it better. one basic and rather pleasant fact about life for the army nurse overseas is that there are usually a good many young officers who can be counted on as escorts. in most corners of the globe the army nurse finds a delightfully high proportion of men-to-women, and this statistical background plus the beautiful tropical background of hawaii can make for a very pleasant afternoon. during the civil war nurses were expected to be plain looking,
but youth and looks are far from being taboo today. we have come a long way from an ancient conception of an army nurse, and today she is a freer and happier individual because of it. today she knows and enjoys the excitement of travel. her work takes her not only to hawaii and areas of the pacific, but to germany and france and the middle east. here in the united states zone of germany she is close to the world behind the iron curtain. what is duty like in this part of the world? let us follow one nurse during the first hours and days of her new assignment in a foreign land. after she is picked up at the station, this young new tenant is driven to the united states
army hospital at landstuhl. she formally meets the officer who will assign her to her new duties. all of this is formal and military, but friendly. the new nurse has been granted an assignment overseas after having served a preliminary year in the united states. she tours the wards meeting medical experts with whom she may work in the future. in the physical therapy ward she observes the treatment of injury and disease through exercise. an officer from the womens medical specialist corps carefully supervising each program of muscle training. progress is slow but sure. each patient is given specialized treatment according to his illness or injury. under the direction of an
occupational therapist, patients use equipment that will enable mind and muscle to perform tasks of increasing difficulty. there are some instances of remarkable progress. this etching in plastic indicates very fine coordination of muscles as well as artistic expression. the patient has reason to be proud. a highlight of the grand tour is a visit to the pediatrics ward. the new nurse may expect assignment to almost any ward depending upon the immediate need of the hospital. although she may be assigned here and become something of a specialist in working with children, she is required to be first and foremost an expert bedside nurse, capable of providing efficient basic care for all types of patients, old or young.
a incubator baby doing very nicely. also doing nicely was an army father maintaining a steady vigil, grateful that this one though tiny was all there, perfect in every detail. human life and the struggle to maintain health. this is the great drama of a hospital. to be part of this drama is exciting and rewarding. the skill with which simple bedside care is performed as pride specialized experience. in the first days as a nurse the army urges her to learn and practice those bedside skills, which are the true sign of efficient and effective nursing care.
certain illnesses require special diets. a dietitian with a background in the science specializes in the service of hospital food approving of appearance and taste. even after she's assigned the new nurse may keep herself ready to observe other phases of hospital activity. operations occur at any time of day or night. in the wide variety of cases which undergo surgery, many are of an emergency nature. the patient is wheeled into the operating room. he is in the hands of a skilled unit, a group of medical experts who bring vast experience to the delicate work of performing an operation. the surgeon calls for the
anesthetic. each person in the operating room has been trained to work as part of a team. each hand and each move and gesture has been practiced and coordinated. the teamwork of the operating room is in a sense the principle by which the entire army hospital functions. each member of the staff is taught to work with others, to depend upon others and to be completely dependable. to a nurse as well as to others there is a feeling of unity in being part of the team, a sense of belonging. soon after she has become acquainted with her hospital and its work, the new nurse looks forward to seeing the sights.
a book of photographs, pictures hide lburg and the real thing is close at hand just across the river. yesterday and today a center of learning, a typical old world city to explore to one's heart's content. since our new nurse will have 30 days of free time in the coming year, she can visit other places of equal interest in germany as well as in other parts of europe. if she is up to it, there can be many hours more of browsing in the shops. in germany, an army nurse may apply for admission to special courses such as the one given at the hospital in neubrich, other special courses are open to
nurses in operating room technique. euro psychiatric nursing and in hospital and nursing administration. the 52-week course in anestheticology is expensive, a comparable course would cost at least $1,000. all the newest anesthetics and methods are taught and the student learns to exercise great care in the use of this equipment. army nurses, whether specialists or not, try to keep pace with changing medical practices, both in the hospital and in these specialist courses there is frequent contact with top flight medical personnel. this then is the army nurse overseas. in all our work we are guided by
words we spoke when we became part of the army nurse corps, the pledge of the army nurse. as an army nurse, i accept the responsibilities of an officer in the army nurse corps. i shall give faithful care to the men who fight for the freedom of this country and to the women who stand behind them. i shall bring to the american soldier wherever he may be the best of my knowledge and professional skill. i shall approach him cheerfully at all times under any conditions i may find. i shall endeavor to maintain the highest nursing standards possible in the performance of my duties. i shall appear fearless in the presence of danger and quiet the fears of others to the best of my ability. my only criticism shall be constructive. the reputation and good name of the army nurse corps and of the nursing profession should be uppermost in my thoughts second
only to the care of my patients. i shall endeavor to be credit to my country and to the uniform i wear. >> we are happy to have presented this impression of the army nurse overseas. and we feel that you will join us in a tribute to her for the fine work she is continuing to do in the service of her country. this is sergeant stewart queen inviting you to be with us again next week for another look at your united states army in action on "the big picture." >> "the big picture" is a weekly television report to the nation on the activities of the army at home and overseas. produced by the signal corps pictorial center. presented by the united states army in cooperation with this station. you too can be an important part of the big picture. you can proudly serve with the
best equipped, the best trained, the best fighting team in the world today, the united states army. >> interested in american history tv? visit our website c-span.org/history. you can view our tv schedule, preview upcoming programs and watch college lectures, museum tours, archive films and more. american history tv at c-span.org/history. >> thursday at 7:00 p.m. eastern join american history tv for a live tour of the museum of the american revolution in philadelphia. the museum's president and ceo, michael quinn, and collections and exhibitions vice president scott stevenson, will introduce artifacts and exhibits throughout the museum, including george washington's war tent and a piece of the old north bridge from the battle of concord. hear stories about the american
revolution, and you can participate in the live program with your phone calls and tweets. watch american history tv live from the museum of the american revolution thursday starting at 7:00 p.m. eastern on c-span3. >> c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by american cable television companies and brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. up next on reel america, from 1961, "the ordeal of woodrow wilson," this film is hosted by former president herbert hoover, based on the book of the same title. served as director over seaing distribution of food to the allies. in this 25-minute film details
woodrow wilson's efforts to influence the versailles peace treaty and fail to win approval of membership in the league of nations. april 6th marked the centennial of the united states declaration of war on germany in 1917. >> this is the story of the valor of one american president as told by another american president "the ordeal of woodrow wilson." a personal memoir by herbert hoover. woodrow wilson led america to victory in the war that was rightly called the great war, the first world war, the greatest the united states had ever fought. simultaneously woodrow wilson fought another greatr,