10 Captivating Snapshots of Nurses During the Korean War


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During the Korean War, which ran from June 25, 1950 until July 27, 1953, nurses performed vital and heroic functions often above and beyond the call of duty. Not only did they carry out regular nursing roles, they also sutured injuries, triaged patients without the help of a doctor, set up blood transfusions, administered antibiotics and made sure that medical supplies were kept in stock. They were innovative when supplies dwindled and administered quality health care despite the enormous amount of casualties. These nurses made a difference in the lives of thousands of servicemen, and the following 10 snapshots offer a behind-the-scenes glimpse into their lives during the conflict.

10. Enjoying Thanksgiving Aboard the USS Repose 


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This photo was taken aboard the USS Repose on November 27, 1952. Lieutenant junior grade (LTJG) Caldie Green of the US Navy Nurse Corps is shown helping Corporal Richard Hollander eat his Thanksgiving meal.

The USS Repose was a hospital ship that served briefly during the final stages of WWII. In 1950, the USS Repose sailed for Korea, arriving in September of that year. She filled an important role as a station hospital in Incheon (where the photo was taken), Busan and Chinnampo. The ship also transferred 301 patients to Yokohama in Japan. The USS Repose later provided vital medical services during the Vietnam War, where she earned the moniker “Angel of the Orient.”

9. Helping A Patient With His Meal Aboard the USS Repose


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Now that’s service with a smile! This photo was also taken aboard the USS Repose, this time on Thanksgiving Day 1952 in Incheon, South Korea. Pictured above is LTJG Weece Wood of the US Navy Nurse Corps with Private first class (PFC) Jack Newman. Despite the difficult circumstances of war and the stressful conditions, Wood is shown spreading joy and cheer.

There was a general shortage of qualified nurses during the Korean War, so the Navy swelled its ranks by calling on reserve nurses from WWII. Civilian nurses were also brought into service, and some were placed aboard hospital ships such as the USS Repose.

8. Taking An X-ray Aboard the USS Repose


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The scene above shows PFC George E. Anthony about to have his arm X-rayed. Nurse Lieutenant Rita Camp is ready to offer support, while X-ray technician Harry Palo prepares the equipment. Commander Bruno Junnila can be seen on the right. The photo gives us a glimpse of life aboard the hospital ships, and some insight into the quality of care servicemen received (although you’ll notice that no-one in the photo is protected from the X-rays).

One of the nurses stationed aboard the USS Repose during the Korean War, Lieutenant Eveline McClean, spent half the day working in the kitchen, then took care of patients throughout the night. She says that she “loved her work” but adds that it was “very, very sad at the same time.”

7. 8055th MASH Unit Nurses Tending Injured Soldiers


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Here we see nurses tending to wounded servicemen at the 8055th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH). This picture was taken in August 1950, just one month after the hospital arrived in Busan, South Korea. Arriving on July 6, it was the first medical unit to reach the country.

Some MASH units received up to 1,000 casualties a day, and although the surgery was crude at times, 95 percent of the casualties admitted to the hospitals left alive. Dr. Dexter Ball, who served in two different MASH units between 1950 and 1951, says that his unit was constantly moving with the frontline – amounting to 12 location changes in a single year. MASH units (at least in the beginning) only accepted patients who needed emergency surgery.

6. A Moment to Relax At the 8055th MASH


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In this photo, we see Dr. Harold Secor from the 8055th MASH unit and a nurse taking some time out to relax. Milton Weinberg, another member of the 8055th, explains that the unit was not always busy. There were downtimes, during which they relaxed or read books, and “sometimes the nurses would have a little dance.” Medical equipment and conditions were generally adequate, even though procedures were carried out in tents and the surgical tables were nothing more than stretchers on trestles.

Of course, sometimes there were so many casualties that staff were kept working at a furious pace. Julia Baxter worked in a MASH unit as an operating room nurse and says that at one point there were so many wounded soldiers waiting for care that they had to extend their shifts. “We worked eight hours on and eight hours off for about a month before changing to 12 hours on and 12 hours off,” she remembers.

5. NORMASH Nurse Caring for An Injured Soldier


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The US wasn’t the only nation to operate MASH units. In July 1951, Norway’s Red Cross unit, the Norwegian Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (NORMASH), arrived in Korea. Beginning active duty on July 19, NORMASH operated until November 10, 1954. During this time the unit serviced a total of 90,000 patients, including American, Canadian, British and South Korean troops, as well as North Korean and Chinese prisoners of war. Above, Norwegian nurse Captain Petra Drabloe treats Canadian soldier Lance Corporal M.R. Stevens, who was injured in a gas explosion.

At times, these medical units had to get creative with their supplies. Dr. Harold Secor recalls some of the many ways they were forced to improvise, including salvaging an operating table “from a bombed-out Korean hospital” and using “foil from X-ray packs for X-ray shields.”

4. Army Nurse with Helicopter Ambulance Crew


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This early 1950s photo shows Colonel Agnes Maley of the US Army Nurse Corps posing with a helicopter crew. Although air ambulances had been used in previous conflicts to transport casualties, it wasn’t until the Korean War that the US used dedicated helicopters to carry the injured from the frontlines to field hospitals. They also transferred patients from field hospitals to hospital ships for additional care.

According to the National Museum of the US Air Force, the aeromedical evacuation system, in conjunction with other factors such as antibiotics and modern surgical methods, reduced the number of deaths from injuries by 50 percent compared to WWII.

3. Flight Nurse Arriving At Japan’s Tachikawa Air Base


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Pictured above is Captain Lillian Kinkela (later Keil). In 1938, Kinkela, a trained nurse, began her career as a flight attendant with United Airlines, before becoming a flight nurse during WWII. Described as an “airborne Florence Nightingale,” she served on 250 evacuation flights throughout WWII and 175 during the Korean War. Kinkela carried out the crucial work of caring for patients while en-route to medical facilities.

During the Korean War, there were just 30 Air Force flight nurses in the entire Far East, so Kinkela was something of a rarity. However, the fact that she is one of the most decorated women in US military history attests to the vital importance of her role.

2. Flight Nurse Checking Patient Records


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Flight nurse First Lieutenant Victoria Malokas is shown here with C-54 aircraft commander Major George Cichy, looking over patient records in October 1952.

Alice Dorn, another flight nurse during the Korean War, explains that part of the challenge of the position was that nurses had to operate solo. “You couldn’t say, ‘My patient is doing this, I need some medical advice.’ You were really on your own. And hoped you made a good decision,” she recalls. One of the things that she disliked about the job was that she didn’t get to build a relationship with the patients. She says the soldiers “came on, they were your patient, you checked the records, you change dressing or gave IVs if it was necessary, or a sedation. But you didn’t see them after that.”

1. Army Nurses Cooling Off


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In general, conditions in Korea were harsh. The winters were freezing cold and the summers were scorching. Add to that the stresses inherent in the job – such as accommodating 200 soldiers in a MASH that was only designed for 60, or scrounging for supplies – and it’s easy to imagine how hard the experience must have been. Still, in the midst of these grueling circumstances (to which the nurses responded heroically), there was some time for fun and laughter. Above, dressed in stylish ‘50s bathing suits, three Army nurses douse each other with buckets of water to cool off in the heat.

Top Nursing iPhone Apps You Need Today!

Nursing careers and other similar, medical vocations can be extremely rewarding. They can also be intensely complex and fast-paced. One great tool in today’s medical forefront: medical apps. Here are 10 of today’s most helpful and competent nursing and medical apps.


1. Bishop’s Score Calc

Bishop’s Rate is the industry-accepted labor success rate calculation method. This is the digitalized, application version for the iPhone. Users simply proceed through by entering progress info, and subsequently receiving an active Bishop’s Score. The comprehensive data layouts make this app very direct and concise.



2. Biology Dictionary

Self-explanatory in its name, Shiv Verma’s Biology Dictionary is your complete, app-based dictionary on all things biology. Thousand of biology terms and words are listed, complete with glossary, multi-method browsing, feeling lucky searches, and much more. Remarkably, this app remains free of cost.



3. eGFR Calculators

Estimating current kidney function and condition can be tricky. eGFR Calculators, produced by the National Kidney Foundation, is a truly helpful calculation app. Users enjoy access to plenty of relevant information as well as 5 separate calculators. These include CKD-EPI, MDRD, Cockcroft-Gault, CKD-EPI Cystatin and Creatinine, and the Revised Bedside Schwartz Formula.



4. Glucose-Charter

E-Agent’s Glucose-Charter app makes it easy to track Type-1 and Type-2 diabetes. Medical professionals and patients alike can track personal diabetic levels, insulin trends, medications, food, and more, all through this uniquely modern take on digital diary-taking for medical needs.



5. Case Logs: An Anesthesia Logbook

Widely heralded as the number-1 case log app for iPhone and iPad, Case Logs: An Anesthesia Logbook provides users with a fantastically deep array of functions. Track patient cases, browse, customize, and rearrange your log histories, use the IV medication calculator, review the electrocardiogram interpretation guide, and more, with this all-in-one app.



6. ICE (In Case of Emergency)

In emergency medical situations, the difference between life and death can hinge on quick access to accurate medical information and history. The ICE app is a clear and concise, personal record-keeping app just for this purpose. Input your entire history, contacts, and more, making it readily available for emergency responders just in case your life depends on it one day.



7. irx

irx is the ultimate self-development and learning tool for current and upcoming medical professionals. Users can take notes, study individualized sections, browse the medicinal formulary, and more. In addition, this highly diverse, informational app is continues to be available free of cost.



8. Mediquations Medical Calculator

Mediquations Medical Calculator is a very popular, high-quality medical calculation app. Its long list of capabilities includes 232 formulas and associated scores, US-SI unit support, equation note-taking, references, pictures, and much, much more. Mediquations put forth a real workhorse in its medical calculator app for iPhone and iPad.



9. Mobile MIM

Organization of medical stats can be an amazingly complex feat in itself. The Mobile MIM app takes such organization and the subsequent ability to review said information to a whole new level of convenience. Diagnose, register, fuse, and more using modalities including PET, CT, X-Ray, MRI, SPECT, and more.



10. First Aid Pocket Guide

The First Aid Pocket Guide is exactly that; a great pocket guide for all things first aid. Whether you are a medical professional or simply a preparation-minded individual, this guide is about as complete as it gets. Users enjoy a vast database of interactive information – everything from best practices, to beforehand preparedness.

Top 30 Nursing Blogs of 2013

top-30-nursingNursing is a broad field with many different roles and career levels. Reading the blogs of experienced nurses at different levels in the field can help those entering or seeking to advance in the field to learn more about the various roles, and find the career path best suited to them. These thirty blogs represent a broad spectrum of the available career options in nursing and each offers unique insights based not just on what role the blogger fills, but also how the job differs, depending on the professional context and geographic location.

Best Nursing Blogs

1. Johns Hopkins School of Nursing Blogs feature a wide variety of perspective from their various bloggers. The blogs are written by some of the foremost minds in the nursing field and offer insights into both the worlds of practice and academia.

Highlight: Hospital Waste

2. Codeblog is one of the oldest and most consistent nursing blogs out there, dating back 11 years. Codeblog very simply covers the nursing experiences of its writer and records them for the entertainment and education of others in the field or considering it.

Highlight: Rookie Mistake

3. Nurse Barb is a very popular advice blog that covers a wide range of treatment options for common ailments. The blog stands as a good example of the sort of niches available to nurses interested in blogging.

Highlight: Walk in Retail Clinics More Popular

4. At Your Cervix is a blog featuring the musings of a labor and delivery nurse. The blog also chronicles her journey from nurse, to nurse-midwife.

Highlight: Suturing

5. RehabRN features the thoughts and experiences of a rehab nurse. The blog is engaging and shares stories of both success and failure, seeking always to provide the reader with a realistic sense of the job.

Highlight: Awww, Some Lucky Folks

6. Madness: Tales of an Emergency Room Nurse features tales from the emergency room, and the perspective of a nurse working in this necessarily high pressure environment. The blog features topics from stories derived from personal experience, to advice for surviving the day to day insanity of the ER.

Highlight: The Reality of Being an ER Nurse

7. Health Care Renewal is focused on addressing major issues that threaten to compromise the core values of the health profession. The blog turns an especially critical eye on management and the centralization and abuse of power.

Highlight: A Physician Rebels Against Micromanagement by ‘Leadership Trained’ Management Extenders

8. Provo School Nurses is a collaborative blog run by a collection of school nurses from the Provo Utah area. These nurses share insight into the lives of school nurses, and advice for nurses in or considering the school nurse field. The blog also features posts centered on providing resources for local readers. This blog is a great example for school nurses looking to maximize their impact on their local community.

Highlight: Health Classes

9. Tales of a School Zoned Nurse features the stories and thoughts of a school nurse. This is a more intimate, personal look at school nursing. The tone of the blog is light, with a good sense of humor.

Highlight: Mama Bears

10. Diary of a School Nurse is all about what really goes on in the nurse’s office. The blog features stories about and advice dealing with the unique day to day situations faced by school nurses everywhere. Many of the posts are in a poetic form, which gives the blog a unique feel.

Highlight: I am a Foster Child

11. Nurse Education seeks to provide a place where debate and discussion about the nursing profession, and nurse education in particular, can be had. The blog tackles all of the major nurse education issues, and the impact of those issues on the field of nursing in general.

Highlight: Where did All the Compassion Go? (A Question to the Government)

12. A Journey Through Nursing School and Beyond chronicles the journey of a nurse pursuing her BSN degree. The blog deals a lot with the unique challenges of working a nurse’s difficult schedule, and balancing that with school and life.

Highlight: Fake it ‘Til You Make it

13. The Makings of a Nurse is all about taking readers on the journey of nursing by communicating the writer’s thoughts and experiences of day to day life as a nurse. While the blog is primarily about nursing, it also throws in posts dealing with the world outside the workplace.

Highlight: Problem Solving

14. Ten Centimeters and Beyond is the blog of a night shift labor and delivery nurse that works in a mid-sized hospital. The blogger is also a mother who has experienced many of the challenges of pregnancy on a personal level. She shares insights from both the medical and personal side of pregnancy and birth.

Highlight: LDRP

15. The Birthin’ Blog is an upbeat blog that features articles and advice beneficial to both labor and delivery nurses, and expectant mothers.

Highlight: Emergency Cesarean vs. Unplanned Cesarean

16. On Call RN… is all about the makings of an ICU nurse. The blog shares stories as well as commentary and analysis from a nurse’s perspective on medical issues and other topics.

Highlight: Black Hawk Down

17. The Nurse Practitioner’s Place features the musings of a nurse practitioner who practices in a rural area.  This mother and grandmother received her degree in 2007 and her enthusiasm for this career she arrived into later in life shows in her insightful and well written blog.

Highlight: Babies and Adulthood

18. Nurse Practitioner Business Owner Blog is a unique blog where this nurse practitioner shares insights on the business side of nursing. The blog is focused on providing resources and support nurse practitioners in private independent practice.

Highlight: Effective Today, Medicare Cuts 2%

19. Adventures of a PICU Nurse Practitioner has two areas of focus. One is relating stories and insights derived by this nurse practitioner from her time working in the PICU. The other focus is on how she sees life outside of work, and how her profession affects her day to day life.

Highlight: Chief Complaint:???

20. The NP Mom brings both the perspective of a Nurse Practitioner and a mother to the table. The blog tackles major issues of health and parenting such as eating disorders, type II diabetes in children, and online RN to BSN education.

Highlight: A Day in the Life of a Nurse Practitioner

21. ER RN brings readers advice an experiences from an ER night shift nurse. The blog recognizes that being a night shift RN takes a certain kind of person. Anybody considering night shift nursing should read this, and anybody that does night shift nursing will find a kindred spirit.

Highlight: Night Shift in the Nether Regions

22. ER Nurses Care is the blog of Leslie Block, and she loves being an ER nurse. She cares about her patients, about her co-workers, and about people on the internet she has never met. Her blog has some stories, but mostly advice, tips on staying healthy and developing healthy habits no matter who you are or what you do, but especially if you are an ER nurse with a demanding and often fluctuating schedule.

Highlight: Stand Up, Speak Out, and Do Something

23. Adventures of Hood Nurse: Hood Hospital 2, Electric Boogaloo is an irreverent look at the unique challenges faced by nurses who work in urban environments with people on the lower end of the socioeconomic spectrum.

Highlight: Tag

24. My Strong Medicine followed the blogger on his journey through his graduate education in nursing and now continues to follow him as he makes the transition from the Master’s in Nursing to a new level in the field.

Highlight: Attempting, Finding, and Maintaining Balance

25. Digital Doorway features the musings of Nurse Keith on the nursing profession, coaching, healthcare, and more. The blog features articles on the importance of self care, book reviews, and stories about day to day events in the life of a nurse.

Highlight: Self Care: Between Flood and Drought

26. Not Nurse Ratched features fresh new perspectives on the field from a young up and comer who was inspired to go to nursing school after being a medical editor for most of her career.  This web savvy, politically incorrect, tattooed and pierced ER nurses offers an edgier view on everything from nursing to photography to Apple products to pit bulls.

Highlight: The Reasons Nurses Yell All the Time

27. Nursing Notes of Discord features fictional stories that reflect real life problems and situations faced by a psychiatric nurse.

Highlight: Wrong Person Snapped

28. Life in the NHS is written by a 30 year veteran of nursing. While she no longer works in nursing directly, she maintains the blog and offers insights and perspectives on developments in the field from an experienced point of view.

Highlight: Where Should People be Cared For?

29. The Nerdy Nurse features articles on everything from eating healthy, to building a great RN resume. The blog is light on stories and skews more toward posts about life in general and useful tips for fellow nurses.

Highlight: What is Research Nursing and How Can You Make it Your Career?

30. JParadisi RN’s Blog is an eclectic blog that ties in science, art, and humanity to the profession of nursing, viewing the field through a variety of unique perspectives.

Highlight: Lessons About Medication Errors From Baseball