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Mil Med. 2014 Aug;179(8):821-6. doi: 10.7205/MILMED-D-14-00038.

Experiences of Swedish military medical personnel in combat zones: adapting to competing loyalties.

Author information

1
School of Health Sciences, University of Borås, SE-50190 Borås, Sweden.
2
School of Health Sciences, Jönköping University, PO Box 1026, SE-55111 Jönköping, Sweden.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

The aim of this qualitative study is to explore the Swedish military personnel's experience of what it means to perform a caring role in a combat zone. This study assesses the challenges faced by military medical personnel in the context of a combat zone.

METHODS:

The design was descriptive with a qualitative inductive approach. Twenty military medical personnel (physicians, nurses, and combat lifesavers) were interviewed individually. They had been involved in international military operations between 2009 and 2012. This study was analyzed using qualitative content analysis.

RESULTS:

The analysis produced four categories: being in a primarily noncaring organization, caring in emotionally charged relationships, lacking an open dialog about expectations of killing and having to prioritize scarce resources.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study shows that medical personnel easily adapt to a military setting. They care but also perform other tasks when they are in a combat zone. The medical personnel want to give care to host nation but use drugs they can spare.

PMID:
25102524
DOI:
10.7205/MILMED-D-14-00038
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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