Easing Pain on the Western Front

American Nurses of the Great War and the Birth of Modern Nursing Practice

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SKU: 9781476680019 Categories: , , ,

About the Book

World War I is widely regarded as the first modern war, driven by fearful new technologies of mechanized combat. The unprecedented carnage rapidly advanced military medicine, transforming the nature of wartime caregiving and paving the way for modern nursing practice.
Drawing on firsthand accounts of American nurses, as well as their Canadian and British counterparts, this powerful study describes WWI nurses’ encounters with devastating new forms of war-related injury —wounds from high-explosive artillery shells, poison gas burns, “shell shock,” the Spanish Flu—and the interventions and technologies they deployed in treating them, including the Carrel-Dakin method of deep wound irrigation, the Balkan frame, and the Ohio Monovalve gas anesthesia machine.

About the Author(s)

The former managing director of The Analytic Press, Inc., Paul E. Stepansky is on the interdisciplinary research faculty of DeWitt Wallace Institute for the History of Psychiatry at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University.

Bibliographic Details

Paul E. Stepansky
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: ca. 15 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2020
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8001-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3911-6
Imprint: McFarland

Book Reviews & Awards

Easing Pain on the Western Front provides an important contribution to scholarship on nurses and war. Moving beyond exploration of why nurses might serve in the military during wartime, Stepansky provides an historically informed examination of nurses’ actual wartime practices. In the case of WWI, these practices changed the experience of wounded soldiers, in no small measure through nurses’ skilled use of the cutting-edge technologies of the time—technologies that contributed to the transformation of American nursing in the decades following the Great War.”—Patricia D’Antonio, PhD, RN, FAAN, Carol E. Ware Professor in Mental Health Nursing, Director, Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing