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“Mercy Street” follows the lives of two volunteer nurses on opposing sides of the Civil War

The new 6-part, Civil War medical drama premieres January, 17, 2016 on PBS.

Have you heard the buzz around PBS’ new series MERCY STREET? Get a behind-the-scenes look at the set from the stars & crew themselves, including Josh Radnor, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jack Falahee, AnnaSophia Robb, McKinley Belcher III, Cameron Monaghan, Tara Summers, Shalita Grant and more! Join in on the chatter using #MercyStreetPBS

RICHMOND, Va. — The cast and crew of the new PBS mini-series MERCY STREET is in Richmond filming the Civil War-based drama about the lives of two volunteer nurses on opposing sides. The series stars actors and actresses like HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER star Josh Radnor and Mary Elizabeth Winstead from THE RETURNED. While celebrities may sometimes seem closed off from you and me, some actors and actresses provide fans with a glimpse behind-the-scenes using their social media accounts. Several MERCY STREET cast members seem to be fond on taking photos on Instagram.

Approximately two thousand women, North and South, served as volunteer nurses in military  hospitals during the American Civil War

Women came from all classes of society and social conditions to offer their services.  Many were the soldiers’ wives and sisters coming to visit, saw a need and were pushed into service.  The pay was $12.00 a month, and some women served without pay.

“It seemed to me this evening, as I sat at my table adding to the list of medicines—writing down name, regiment, list of clothing, etc., of the new arrivals, calmly looking at the poor maimed sufferers carried by, some without limbs, on a ‘stretcher’—that I had forgotten how to feel, … it seemed as if I were entirely separated from the world I had left behind.”

-Nurse Amanda Akin

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Deconstructing Medical Interview Questions- Question 2- Why do you want to be a Doctor and not a Nurse?

As requested by arabgirl88 :)

Everyone- literally everyone- dreads this question. One of my friends has a particular hatred of this question because in one of his interviews, one of the interviewers asked him this question, and when he mentioned research the interviewer asked him why not a Scientist and when he mentioned teaching asked why not a Teacher and so on and so forth in a spiralling nightmare of “Why a Doctor and not This-Other-Job-Which-Also-Does-This?” until one of the other interviewers effectively told Interviewer Number 1 to shut up. 

So. Assuming you won’t end up in the same terrible situation as my friend, why a Doctor and not a Nurse/ another allied healthcare profession? 

Okay, so I’m going to work on the assumption you’ve never Googled this before and start from the basics.

Do NOT at any point in your response criticise nurses. Their jobs are difficult. As a doctor, you simply won’t have much time to give individual patients while for nurses- this is their job. Healing isn’t just physical and often nurses can give the emotional support patients need to get better or at least, feel more comfortable. They are also heavily involved in the day-to-day running of wards and doing jobs that need to be done which doctors just don’t even consider or, if they do, at least don’t consider part of their job. Just try and work effectively in a ward after pissing off the nurses, I challenge you. 

So yeah, in response to this question, NUMBER ONE: Always acknowledge that nurses are incredibly important in the functioning of a ward and also in the healing process of patients. Medicine is a profession where teamwork is fundamental, and patient health relies on strong communication between doctors and nurses who spend much more time with patients and so can report on what has occurred between ward rounds. For bonus points, you can also mention that nurses have a lot more responsibility in roles more traditionally considered the doctor’s. Some can prescribe medicine, participate in research and nurse specialists can even gain clinical expertise in certain fields.

HOWEVER: You want to be a doctor because it allows you to go a step further. While only some nurses can prescribe, all doctors can. While nurses who specialise tend to have clinical expertise in that one area, as a doctor you have been trained to have a strong grounding in all areas and so recognise co-morbidities, with the ability to continue even further in specialties and join the Royal Colleges which nurses do not have the clinical training to do. Nurses may get involved in and play an important role in research, but doctors are the ones who run and lead the projects. If you have an interest in surgery, you can mention that while some nurses are allowed to scrub in, they will never be running or leading the surgery. Doctors also have a responsibility to teaching their juniors, so if this is something which interests you, you can also mention that. Basically- you can’t say EVERYTHING, so pick whatever reasons truly DO make you want to be a doctor instead of a nurse. 

If I were asked this question I think I would conclude by saying that even though I firmly believe that without nurses, wards would collapse and patient care would severely deteriorate- I am interested in the flexibility, leadership and potential associated with being a doctor, which would let me take the reigns in most situations and give me ultimate responsibility for my patients. 

Southern Women In The Civil War- This was the trial that tested the grain and purity of our womanhood, and left it without alloy of fear or selfishness

And there was no section of the South where this desire to do all they might, and more was oftener in evidence than another. In every camp of the early days of the great struggle, the incoming troops bore trophies of home love, and as the war progressed to need, then to dire want–the sacrifices of those women at home became almost a poem, and one most pathetic. Dress–misconceived as the feminine fetish–was forgotten in the effort to clothe the boys at the front; the family larder–ill-stocked at the best–was depleted to nothingness, to send to distant camps those delicacies–so equally freighted with tenderness and dyspepsia–which too often never reached their destination. And later, the carpets were taken from the floors, the curtains from the windows–alike in humble homes and in dwellings of the rich–to be cut in blankets for the uncomplaining fellows, sleeping on freezing mud.

So wide, so universal was the rule of self-sacrifice, that no one reference to it can do justice to the zeal and devotion of “Our Girls.” And the best proof of both was in the hospitals, where soon began to congregate the maimed and torn forms of those just sent forth to glory and victory. This was the trial that tested the grain and purity of our womanhood, and left it without alloy of fear or selfishness. And some of the women who wrought in home and hospital–yen in trench and on the firing line–for the “boys,” had never before handled aught rougher than embroidery; or seen aught more fearsome than its needle-prick. Yes, these untried women, young and old, stood fire like veteran regulars! indeed, even more bravely in moral view, for they missed the stimulus of the charge–the tonic in the thought of striking back! 

T. C. DeLeon’s Eloquent Tribute to Their Courage WHAT THEY DID FOR WOUNDED AND SUFFERING SOLDIERS. The Hospital Offered Opportunities for Heroism. [From the New Orleans, La., Picayune, June 12, 1904.]

“Aftermath” Painting- shows Civil War nurse, Fannie Beers (model-Laura Bradley) at Brown’s Mill battlefield the afternoon of the battle. By Martin Pate