Negotiating nursing

British Army sisters and soldiers in the Second World War

by Jane Brooks, Christine E. Hallett

Description
Negotiating Nursing explores how the Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service (Q.A.s) salvaged their soldier-patients within the sensitive gender negotiations of what should and could constitute nursing work and where that work could occur. The book argues that the Q.A.s, an entirely female force during the Second World War, were essential to recovering men from the battlefield and for the war, despite concerns about women's presence on the frontline. Using personal testimony the book maps the developments in nurses' work as they created a legitimate space for themselves in war zones and established their position as the expert at the bedside. Yet, despite the acknowledgement of nurses' vital role in the medical service, their position was gendered. As the women of Britain were returned to the home post-war, it was the military nurses' womanhood that stymied their considerable skills from being transferred to the new welfare state.
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Endorsements

Negotiating nursing: British army sisters and soldiers in the Second World War explores how the Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service (Q.A.s) salvaged men within the sensitive gender negotiations of what should and could constitute nursing work and where that work could occur. The book argues that the Q.A.s, an entirely female force during the Second World War, were essential to recovering men physically, emotionally and spiritually from the battlefield and for the war, despite concerns about their presence on the frontline. The book maps the developments in nurses' work as the Q.A.s created a legitimate space for themselves in war zones and established nurses' position as the expert at the bedside. Using a range of personal testimony, the book demonstrates how the exigencies of war demanded nurses alter the methods of nursing practice and the professional boundaries in which they had traditionally worked in order to care for their soldier-patients in the challenging environments of a war zone. Yet, although they may have transformed practice, their position in war was highly gendered and it was gender in the post-war era that prevented their considerable skills from being transferred to the new welfare state, as the women of Britain were returned to the home and hearth. The book is aimed predominantly at academics and postgraduate students working in the history of nursing, the 'medical war' and gender history. Its lively narrative and use of personal testimonies mean that it will also be of interest to undergraduate students of nursing, medicine and history more widely, and of significant interest to members of the military medical services and the lay public.

Reviews

Negotiating nursing: British army sisters and soldiers in the Second World War explores how the Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service (Q.A.s) salvaged men within the sensitive gender negotiations of what should and could constitute nursing work and where that work could occur. The book argues that the Q.A.s, an entirely female force during the Second World War, were essential to recovering men physically, emotionally and spiritually from the battlefield and for the war, despite concerns about their presence on the frontline. The book maps the developments in nurses' work as the Q.A.s created a legitimate space for themselves in war zones and established nurses' position as the expert at the bedside. Using a range of personal testimony, the book demonstrates how the exigencies of war demanded nurses alter the methods of nursing practice and the professional boundaries in which they had traditionally worked in order to care for their soldier-patients in the challenging environments of a war zone. Yet, although they may have transformed practice, their position in war was highly gendered and it was gender in the post-war era that prevented their considerable skills from being transferred to the new welfare state, as the women of Britain were returned to the home and hearth. The book is aimed predominantly at academics and postgraduate students working in the history of nursing, the 'medical war' and gender history. Its lively narrative and use of personal testimonies mean that it will also be of interest to undergraduate students of nursing, medicine and history more widely, and of significant interest to members of the military medical services and the lay public.

Author Biography

Jane Brooks is a Lecturer in Nursing at the University of Manchester and Deputy Director of the UK Centre for the History of Nursing and Midwifery; Christine Hallett is Reader in Nursing History at the University of Manchester, and Director of the UK Centre for the History of Nursing and Midwifery

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Bibliographic Information
  • Pub date: June 2018
  • 9781526119070 / 1526119072
  • United Kingdom
  • PDF
  • Manchester University Press
  • Readership: General/trade; College/higher education; Professional and scholarly
  • Publish State: Published
  • Reference Code: 9604