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    CRDAMC Celebrates Army Nurse Corps’ 117th Anniversary Showcasing this Year’s Theme “Keeping You in the Fight since 1901”

    CRDAMC Celebrates Army Nurse Corps’ 117th Anniversary Showcasing this Year’s Theme “Keeping You in the Fight since 1901”

    Photo By Patricia Deal | Visitors view exhibits which visually display the role Army nurses played throughout...... read more read more



    Story by Patricia Deal 

    Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center

    FORT HOOD, Texas—Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center celebrated the Army Nurse Corps’ 117th Anniversary Feb. 2 with a ceremony centered on this year’s theme “Keeping you in the fight since 1901.”

    Since the Army Nurse Corps inception on February 2, 1901, Army nurses have demonstrated leadership in various settings during war and peacetime. From World War II to today’s battles, nurses have played an integral role in medical advancements such as providing access to care closer to the front lines, performing advanced and post-surgical procedures and nursing, administering blood products and enhancing evacuation procedures--all of which have led to greatly improved survival rates.

    Several guest speakers at the ceremony shared personal stories about deployments or other significant events that affected them during their careers as Army nurses and what kept them in the fight.

    Retired Army Col. Brian Kondrat told the audience about his first deployment to Iraq and then having to deal with his mother’s death immediately after returning home.

    “I tell you all this to drive home some important points. First and foremost, you need to be ready as your time will come when you will be called upon to move from serving Soldiers in garrison to treating them on the battlefield,” said Kondrat, who was a former chief nurse at CRDAMC. “Also, always remember that every day in your life, you will have joys but also tragedies. Your patients will also have joys and tragedies in their lives. How you deal with that will define you as a nurse.”

    1st Lt. Caitlin O’Conner, staff nurse at CRDAMC’s Mother Baby Unit shared her poignant story about her September 2017 deployment to Puerto Rico. Just 18 hours after being notified, she was on an airplane to a hurricane ravaged island for an undetermined amount of time.

    “We saw nearly 1,800 patients during the time our combat support hospital was open. Before this deployment, I was unsure where my path in the Army Nurse Corps would go. But my experience serving in the ICU there only solidified my passion for critical care nursing,” O’Conner said. “I was fortunate to work with amazing nurses, providers and techs. We laughed, we cried, we hugged each other after tough trauma. I encourage everyone to surround yourself with people who make you a better person--who celebrate with you and stand by you in difficult situations.”

    After the senior and junior nurses shared their experiences, the celebration concluded with the traditional cake cutting ceremony with the oldest and youngest Army nurses at CRDAMC.



    Date Taken: 02.02.2018
    Date Posted: 07.19.2018 17:15
    Story ID: 284993
    Location: US

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