Wednesday, September 29, 2010

War on the Mind:

Nurses Deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan struggle with PTSD

Michelle Racicot, RN

September 27, 2010 - Capt. Michelle Racicot, RN, BSN, CEN, wanted to be the perfect Army nurse — a tough soldier as well as a skilled trauma RN. As a member of a forward surgical team in Afghanistan last year, she was an expert in assessing and stabilizing soldiers with devastating wounds. She trained medics, taught a Polish medical team to care for fresh trauma, and coped with the constant infusion of adrenaline priming her body for action. To keep the stress in check, she exercised relentlessly and cried in the shower.

For critical care Air Force nurse Mary Carlisle, CCRN, MS, CCNS, the stress began almost immediately after arriving at Balad Air Base in Iraq. She was the ICU supervisor on the night shift, when combat operations typically took place. By midnight, the casualties began arriving aboard aeromedical evacuation helicopters that clogged the night air with their whirring rotors. {read rest}

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