History of Military Psychiatric Nursing

Discussion in 'Professionally Qualified, RAMC and QARANC' started by KhakiCrab, Nov 30, 2007.

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  1. Folks

    Myself and a colleague are planning to write a book on the history of psychiatric nursing.

    There is next to nothing available from a research point of view - all the books on military psychiatry are exclusively about doctors.

    Ironically, today's military mental health services are essentially nurse-led, and it's high time we raised our game.

    Can I appeal to the old, not so old and bold who either are psychiatric nurses, or who have experience on the receiving end of psychiatric nurse care, to get in touch.

    Everything will be welcome, but the last twenty years or so are known to us through corporate memory, so anyone with recollections from further back will make an invaluable contribution.

    PM me or respond on here.


  2. When I left the Army, I took on a job as a HCA to gain clinical experience and fund myself during my first two years of uni. One of the homes I worked in had an an ex-Nat Service Psych Nurse who was a Sgt during the Korean war (he also spent time on the ships) as a resident.

    Not sure how long it took him to get to his rank, but he told me (a few of the times I worked there, and do not doubt the reliability of it, because he was sound in mind) a story of how he used to comfort the lads (when he was on the hospital ship) who were suffering from what would now be PTSD, etc, by hugging them when they used to cry at night.

    He said he one time he got told by the psyciatrist that it was not the done thing, and he didn't like it. The guy in question said he didn't care if it was "the done thing" or not - all he cared about was it worked, because they just wanted to be comforted.

    Quiet a moving story I always thought.

    I know you are not covering psychiatrists, but R.D Laings biography is very interesting; he admits early on his whole radical approach to psychiatry was shaped by his experiences as an Army Psychiatrist and the methods he had to use because of doctrine.
  3. Can not help much with your question but it has brought back a memory from Catterick = 1959 - 1961.

    Ward 14 was the psychiatric ward at the Mil Hosp Catterick:- last ward on the left going down from reception.
    Why do I remember it so well ? Well it had a side ward that was "Padded",
    nice and quiet for recording music from Vynil to Tape :lol:

    Good luck with your book.

  4. not sure if she can help but bovvy is a trained nut nurse,,
    im sure shes got more than the odd story to tell.
  5. Auld-Yin

    Auld-Yin LE Reviewer Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    Psychiatric nursing. An essential part of life. However it looks like you are talking about blokes still serving . How many '60's/70@s cold war warriors who were based in Germany have now got probs? These problems are often not picked up by MOD ueven when you are still in green.

    I am quite prepared for any incoming.
  6. It's a good idea. Military Psychiatric Nursing is a grossly under-researched topic, and a historical survey of its development would be an excellent start. I can just about remember back to the Netley days, and contact others with more info.

    Having some experience of research, might I suggest that you structure your work around themes (operational roles being an obvious and important example), otherwise the job rapidly becomes overwhelming.

    Good luck.
  7. Following on from Neuroleptics post, an interesting theme would be the influence of military psychiatric nursing on the profession in civvie street.

    As I said before, Laing, although I realise was a psychiatrist, developed his radical views, and thus furthered the existential/anti-psychiatry movement, because of his previous military experience.
  8. Cheers Pup. I have various stories, but I'm not sure they are relevant to this research. And I was an NHS "nut nurse". However, I had considered adding a comment after amazing_lobster's first post. I can recall numerous occasions where a patient's distress was such that I would feel the most appropriate intervention would be to hold them and allow them to sob. Which is what I would do, despite strange looks from other nurses, on occasions. I think there is much truth in the school of thought that says the role of the psych nurse is to assess the behaviour of those in their care, to imagine how that feels, and respond accordingly. I must confess to not having read R.D. Laing's biography and was not aware that he was an Army Psychiatrst. So ...... if anyone wants to send me a Christms present ........