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January 24, 1959


Author Affiliations

Battle Creek, Mich.

Nurse Consultant, Biophysical and Medical Sciences Office, Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization.

JAMA. 1959;169(4):388-389. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.73000210046010o

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In discussing the civil defense role of nurses, I would like to describe what their role should be, in event of attack, and report some of the things being done about it. We believe the role of the nurse, in the event of an enemy attack, will be to adapt comprehensive nursing care to the situation where the numbers of patients needing care and treatment will greatly exceed the number of professional people available and where supplies, equipment, physical facilities, and utilities will be limited. In such a situation, the civil defense nursing service mission is to provide nursing care to the sick and injured and to prevent and minimize illness and injury of the surviving population. Thus, there are two major civil defense nursing service programs—medical care and public health.

Medical Care Planning and Facilities  Medical care planning includes that for both casualties and noncasualties. (Casualty is the term

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