Friday, September 2, 2011
Telling an untold story
Dr. Carol Weingarten, at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC) in Germany, has volunteered nearly 300 volunteer hours over the last three summers working with ambulatory ill and wounded troops. She also initiated a nursing journalism project to tell the stories behind the excellence at LRMC.
Nursing students make cards for wounded troops at LRMC at a July 14th SNAP meeting and pizza party.
Summer 2011 found College of Nursing Associate Professor Carol Toussie Weingarten, PhD, RN, ANEF and her husband, Michael S. Weingarten, MD, MBA, FACS, a VSB alumnus, returning for their third annual two-week volunteer session at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany. U. S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Reservists and National Guard serve together at LRMC (pronounced "larm-see"), the largest American military hospital outside the United States.
While Dr. Michael Weingarten served as a volunteer civilian vascular surgeon with the Combat Casualty Program, sponsored by the American Red Cross, caring for wounded American and Coalition troops airlifted from "down range" locations like Afghanistan and Iraq, Dr. Carol Weingarten was again a civilian volunteer working with ambulatory ill and wounded troops through the Chaplains' Wounded Warrior Ministry projects. She brought with her unique cards with sentiments of support and gratitude created by nursing students in the College’s accelerated second degree BSN program who are members of the Villanova Chapter of the Student Nurses’ Association of Pennsylvania (SNAP) for which Dr. Weingarten is advisor. The cards are a welcome addition to the Wounded Warrior project and the nearly 300 volunteer hours she has logged at LRMC.
The professionalism of the staff and the excellent care that Dr. Weingarten saw in different areas of the hospital during her 2009 visit inspired nursing journalism projects in 2010 and in 2011. “You see with ‘nursing eyes’ wherever you are,” she notes. Her interviews with military and civilian staff nurses and the nurse leaders of LRMC have already resulted in publications and presentations featuring the extraordinary individuals who ensure excellence in "an atmosphere of transition and diversity." “The articles are a way -- my way--of introducing other nurses to some extraordinary people who work in an extraordinary place,” she explains. This year’s profiles will be published in state- and international-level nursing journals, earning wide dissemination. Dr. Weingarten wishes that time would allow an even broader and deeper dive into each person’s fascinating story of nursing, courage and service, saying “I could easily write a book on each one.”