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Experiences of Swedish military medical personnel in combat zones: adapting to competing loyalties
Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, HHJ. ADULT. Borås University.
Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, HHJ, Institute of Gerontology.
School of Health Sciences, University of Borås, SE-50190 Borås, Sweden.
School of Health Sciences, University of Borås, SE-50190 Borås, Sweden.
2014 (English)In: Military medicine, ISSN 0026-4075, E-ISSN 1930-613X, Vol. 179, no 8, p. 821-826Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 179, no 8, p. 821-826
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-25516DOI: 10.7205/MILMED-D-14-00038ISI: 000340806700003PubMedID: 25102524Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84986301227OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-25516DiVA, id: diva2:776075
Available from: 2015-01-06 Created: 2015-01-06 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Conflicting values - everyday ethical and leadership challenges related to care in combat zones within a military organization
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Conflicting values - everyday ethical and leadership challenges related to care in combat zones within a military organization
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Introduction: Licensed medical personnel (henceforth LMP) experience ethical problems related to undertaking care duties in combat zones. When employed in the Armed Forces they are always under the command of tactical officers (henceforth TOs).

Aim: The overall aim was to explore everyday ethical problems experienced by military medical personnel, focusing on licensed medical personnel in combat zones from a descriptive and normative perspective. A further aim was to explore leadership challenges in leading licensed medical personnel.

Methods: For the research descriptive, explorative (inductive and abductive) and normative designs were used. Data collection was undertaken by using different methods. Altogether 12 physicians, 15 registered nurses, seven combat lifesavers and 15 tactical officers were individually interviewed. The participants were selected by strategic (I), purposive (II) and theoretical sampling (III). The interviews were analyzed by using qualitative content analysis. Study III used classic grounded theory and study IV was a normative analysis of an ethical problem based on the idea of a wide reflective equilibrium.

Results: We found that LMP experience ethical problems related to dual loyalty when serving in combat zones. They give reasons for undertaking, or not, military duties that can be seen as combat duties. Sometimes they have restricted reasons for undertaking these military duties. Furthermore, LMP are under the command of TOs who found it challenging when leading LMP, since TOs have to unify LMP in the unit. The unifying makes it difficult since LMP experience dual loyalty.

Conclusions: LMP experience dual loyalty in combat zones. The reason maybe that humanitarian law and the medical ethical codes are not clear-cut or explicit about how to be interpreted around these everyday ethical problems in internal military operations. In order to fit in todays context humanitarian law needs to be revised. Furthermore, LMP need further training in parallel with reflections on ethical problems in order to adapt to the combat zones of today.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Jönköping: Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, 2017. p. 81
Series
Hälsohögskolans avhandlingsserie, ISSN 1654-3602 ; 085
Keywords
combat zones, ethical problems, everyday ethical problems, health care, licensed medical personnel, medical ethics, military ethics, military medical personnel, military personnel
National Category
Nursing
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-37891 (URN)978-91-85835-84-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-12-15, Forum Humanum, School of Health and Welfare, önköping, 10:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-11-21 Created: 2017-11-21 Last updated: 2017-11-21Bibliographically approved

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Lundberg, KristinaKjellström, Sofia

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