The Combat Nurse

Far from the sterile white hospitals with immaculate polished floors and crisp white sheets The combat nurse contemplates the dirt floor of her ward Her starched white uniform just another memory Shelved in the back of her mind As she stands in grime encrusted cammies, with blood on her boots and dust in her hair... No sophisticated equipment is at hand for her No well-stocked central supply No CAT scans, no MRIs, no fresh-faced eager young interns anxious to make their first diagnosis.... There is no overhead music or soft voiced operators Just the distant sound of small arms fire, The constant roar of incoming dustoff choppers and the moans of her patients No orderly progression of patients sent upstairs from the ER No scheduled admits or planned workups.... Just the cacaphony of chaotic offloading as the helicopters disgorge yet another load of bloodied teenagers onto the dusty ground she stands in the opening of the tented ward, She remembers why she is there.... Because nursing is caring, and she cares deeply For these fresh faced children in soldiers' uniforms The faces of her patients will haunt her for the rest of her days Their grateful smiles and dying cries There is courage in her caring, for in her gentle touch she comforts her patients while she tears yet another hole in her heart. Love, Diana E. Anderson, RN

copyright © 1997, by Diana E. Anderson, all rights reserved

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