NSW Medical Bulletin

Australia's Advance Medical Technology

The Soldiers Who Heal

Doctors, nurses and orderlies are all in the front line of the battle against illness and injury on behalf of the human race. Hospitals had their beginning on the actual battlefield, next to the armies fighting each other. The link between war and the healing arts has always been a close one. Wounded soldiers and warriors would need to be patched up if possible. The technology of war would inspire technological advancements everywhere, including in healthcare. I am sure that some medical personnel would be horrified to be compared to the military, but in their training and discipline there are great parallels.

 The Soldiers Who Heal

Hospitals have to be run like armies, if they are to achieve the best possible outcome for their patients. You cannot have doctors and nurses turning up when they feel like it, because sick people would die as a result of that kind of behaviour. Strict protocols and tight scheduling are the only way to run a large institution, like a hospital. Everyone who works there must be properly trained and on the same page when it comes to what they do and when they do it. Above Beyond Training is their individual commitment to the principles of healing and healthcare.

Nurses have recently been given greater recognition for their role in the healing paradigm. They have been empowered with more duties, which involve them directly in administering healthcare. They are no longer glorified housemaids and cleaners; and so training to be a nurse now involves a tertiary level degree. Greater responsibility demands more onerous training and higher levels of education. The gulf between doctors and nurses is now, not quite, so wide. Large organisations like hospitals must be run like armies, with their administrators over every detail.

The soldiers who heal may be dressed in white, but many of them see plenty of blood. The insides of a human being are not quite so contained; and the dry cleaning of uniforms must be costly. To work on the front line of the health system requires commitment. Individuals must subsume their own desires and comfort for a greater cause. There can be great satisfaction, but there are also many hours and days of grinding out the necessary application. These individuals must be exceedingly well trained, as they often have to rely on that training to cope with stressful emergency situations. These soldiers who heal deserve our community recognition for the vital work that they do.