Aim: This research explores the recollections of Australian nurses in regards to psychological injury among those who served in World War II (WWII) and the Vietnamese conflict.
Methods: Existing oral histories from WWII and Vietnam held by the Australian War Memorial were explored for recollections of issues related to psychological injury. A constant comparative method was used to allow themes to emerge across both cohorts of interviews.
Results: Findings indicate that nurses from both conflicts witnessed trauma among their patients in the field and experienced it among themselves upon their return from service. Three main themes emerged which related to nursing practices, nursing attitudes, and nurses’ experiences of stress or trauma during wartime. Underlying these themes were recurring concepts related to gender, stoicism and talking, which reveal that the required professionalism of nursing practice can sometimes act as a barrier to nurses dealing with, and admitting to, their own stress or trauma.
Conclusions: This study reveals a disturbing persistence of issues around gender and ‘talking’ in relation to the experience and treatment of trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in returned service people, including medical personnel such as nurses. While nurses are quick to recognise the importance of talking as a form of therapeutic treatment for soldiers, they struggled to articulate their own trauma, revealing a complex negotiation of social expectations and gender roles. The ability of service personnel to talk about their own war experience has been linked to recovery from trauma, and nurses need to be included in this dialogue, for historical purposes and in relation to contemporary military service.
Aim: The aim of the study was to clarify the adaptation of the elderly in shelters and temporary housing after the Great East Japan Earthquake, and provide new understanding about the elderly and their living environments.
Methods: The study used a case study design. The participants were nine elderly people, survivors of the Great East Japan Earthquake. They were residents of temporary housing with experiences of living in shelters. Semi-structured interviews were conducted about living conditions, coping with difficulties, and enjoyable aspects of life. The interview period was from April to August 2013. Data from the interviews were analyzed qualitatively and inductively to describe the changes in the ideas and behavioral patterns of the elderly, and interactions with their living environments.
Results: The ideas and behavioral patterns of the elderly changed through six phases; they were: “Recognize the reality of being a survivor and living life in shelters”, “Try to recreate their way of life before the disaster”, “Have difficulties living with the new environmental changes”, “Form a foundation for their new life”, “Realize they can cope with environmental changes”, and “Be confident that they can manage their lives”. Interactions with their living environments included interaction with family, evacuees, neighbors, and adjustment to daily life.
Conclusions: The elderly have become more conscious of their way of life after the disaster through six phases. Community health nurses need the ability to help isolated elderly people to have chances of meaningful interaction with others, and to encourage the elderly to view their ability to cope with difficulties positively.