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PROVIDING FOR CONTINUATION OF THE INVESTIGATION BEGUN UNDER AUTHORITY OF HOUSE RESOLUTION 98 OF THE SEVENTY-EIGHTH CONGRESS
FEBRUARY 22, 1945.-— Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be printed.
Mr. SlAUGHTER, from the Committee on Rules, submitted the
[To accompany H. Res. 93]
The Committee on Rules, having had under consideration House Resolution 93, report the same to the House with the recommendation that the resolution do pass.
NURSES SELECTIVE SERVICE ACT OF 1948
FEBRUARY 22, 1945.—Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the
state of the Union and ordered to be printed
Mr. May, from the Committee on Military Affairs, submitted the
[To accompany H. R. 2277)
The Committee on Military Affairs to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 2277) to insure adequate nursing care for the armed forces, having considered the same, submit the following report thereon, with the recommendation that it do pass.
On January 9, 1945, there was referred to the committee a bill (H. R. 1284) to insure adequate medical care for the armed forces, having, in general, the same purposes of the bill hereby reported. Hearings were held by the committee. After hearing numerous witnesses and considering many amendments thereto, the committee requested the chairman to introduce a bill embodying the provisions of H. R. 1284, as so amended. This was done on February 20, 1945, and it is that bill (H. R. 2277) which is herewith reported.
PURPOSE OF BILL
The purpose of the bill is to provide for the registration, selection, and induction of qualified nurses for the land and naval forces of the United States. Under the terms of the bill, the registration, selection, and induction of nurses would be effected under the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940, as amended, utilizing in general, the same procedures, exemptions, rights, and obligations provided by that act and regulations thereunder.
Provisions have been included in the bill to assure the most efficient wartime utilization of the limited personnel included in the Nation's nursing profession. Such provisions will protect the national civilian health
and safety by preventing unwarranted and unbalanced depletion of personnel engaged in essential civilian nursing services.
MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT OF JANUARY 6, 1945
The message from the President of the United States which was communicated to the joint session of the Senate and House of Representatives on January 6, 1945, contains the following statements which were made with respect to the need for drafting nurses: One of the most urgent immediate requirements of the armed forces is more
Last April the Army requirement for nurses was set at 50,000. Actual strength in nurses was then 40,000. Since that time the Army has tried to raise the additional 10,000. Active recruiting has been carried on, but the net gain in 8 months has been only 2,000. There are now 42,000 nurses in the Army.
Recent estimates have increased the total number needed to 60,000. That means that 18,000 more nurses must be obtained for the Army alone, and the Navy now requires 2,000 additional nurses. is. The present shortage of Army nurses is reflected in undue strain on the existing force. More than a thousand nurses are now hospitalized, and part of this is due to overwork. The shortage is also indicated by the fact that 11 Army hospital units have been sent overseas without their complement of nurses. At Army hospitals in the United States there is only 1 nurse to 26 beds, instead of the recommended 1 to 15 beds.
It is tragic that the gallant women who have volunteered for service as nurses should be so overworked. It is tragic that our wounded men should ever want for the best possible nursing care.
The inability to get the needed nurses for the Army is not due to any shortage of nurses. Two hundred and eighty thousand registered nurses are now practicing in this country. It has been estimated by the War Manpower Commission that 27,000 additional nurses could be made available to the armed forces without interfering too seriously with the needs of the civilian population for nurses.
Since volunteering has not produced the number of nurses required, I urge that the Selective Service Act be amended to provide for the induction of nurses into the armed forces. The need is too pressing to await the outcome of further efforts at recruiting.
The care and treatment given to our wounded and sick soldiers have been the best known to medical science. Those standards must be maintained at all costs. We cannot tolerate a lowering of them by failure to provide adequate nursing for the brave men who stand desperately in need of it.
NEED FOR ADDITIONAL NURSES
The Army must have 60,000 nurses at this time in order to furnish presently needed essential nursing service to our soldiers. This requirement is based upon a ratio of 1 nurse to 12 beds in overseas operations and 1 nurse to 15 beds in the zone of the interior. This amount of nursing service is necessary to provide only minimum adequate nursing care.
According to the latest available reports, about 400,000 of this Nation's soldiers have been wounded in this war. In the last week for which a report is available, 16,538 of our soldiers were wounded. In addition to these wounded, a large number are sick, a situation aggravated by the extremes of climate in which our armed forces must live and fight in this globe-girdling all-out war.
We are now receiving in our Army hospitals in this country from foreign theaters between 30,000 and 32,000 patients each month, as compared with 8,500 patients monthly for the first half of 1944. This represents an increase of 270 percent. Approximately 15,000 patients leave Army hospitals each month, either to return to duty or to be separated from the service. Thus the patient load in these hospitals is being increased at a rate of double the number released.
The Army now has about 44,000 nurses. This represents a shortage of some 16,000 nurses presently needed to furnish minimum essential