1. Groves, John RN, BSN, MSN, CEN

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Editor's Note: The selections that follow are a collection of impressions and memories from Army nurses, physicians, and medics deployed to Iraq in 2005-2006. Many were written while the contributors were still deployed in Baghdad and, as such, represent very personal and real-time reflections on war-time trauma care, the intensity of which most of us will never experience. These are touching and, in some cases, difficult stories to read; all the more reason we need to read them. - -J.A.P.


The following manuscripts are a compilation of several of the 10th Combat Support Hospital (CSH) staff's experiences in the combat zone for a year-long tour from October 2005 until our return in October of 2006. We had the youngest group of nurses and medics deployed in the 4 years since the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom. We learned many lessons during the development of this team while in treating some of the worst injuries any of us had ever seen. Our 94% survival rate for the care of over 7,000 casualties has been well documented in several publications (Bowe, 2007). It is our hope that the insight shared by these personal first-hand accounts will be of help to our colleagues.


When I received orders for deployment with the 10th Combat Support Hospital in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, I had high expectations for the young nurses and medics. They exceeded my expectations. During our 6-week training period and up to our nighttime entry into Baghdad, there was constant concern about what we would face in terms of traumatic injuries. The Ibn Sina hospital, formerly the Bathist hospital, was well known not only through the Army Medical Department, but throughout the world, as one of the busiest trauma centers in the world. A veteran of Baghdad told me, "It will be the best and worst time of your life." She was right. The following is a compilation of reflections on the professional challenges and personal stories of our experience and the impressions it left on each of us. The views contained herein are those of the authors and do not represent the opinions of the U.S. Army.


LTC John Groves




Bowe, M. (2007). The evolution of trauma resuscitation in a combat support hospital. Journal of Emergency Nursing, 33, 83-86. [Context Link]