Back in the day......

  1. 9
    I was regaling a new grad the other night as to how things have changed in the 35+ years since I became a nurse.

    She was appalled to hear that:

    Gloves were for surgery. Only. Yes, we cleaned up messes and changed dressings/ started IVs with our bare hands

    The only 'treatment' for hypoplastic left heart was to place the baby in the mother's arms.

    We mixed our own TPN.

    Benadryl and ibuprofen were only available with a prescription.

    PLEASE share you 'back in the day' stories!
  2. 131 Comments so far...

  3. 3
    fingercots
    poppycat, JBudd, and HouTx like this.
  4. 0
    This is always a great topic......how nursing has changed over the years since we became nurses "back in the day".

    You might be interested in reading some of the responses in this allnurses article: Nursing: Then and Now.


    Like the song says....Those were the days, my friend........
  5. 2
    LOL - I can relate. Clinical instructors in my BSN program told us that wearing gloves could be psychologically damaging to patients - making them seem "untouchable"... so we were to only use them for sterile procedures.

    We had to wear extreme isolation garb (space suits) to care for the first (diagnosed) AIDS patients in the early 80's... had no idea what caused it, just that it was deadly and there was no effective treatment. Pretty scary in retrospect.

    Foley care was with Betadine.... srsly.

    Bed Baths were not acceptable unless it was a very wet & soapy experience for the patient... we had to wear rubber aprons. EVERYONE got "PM care", including back rubs.

    Average length of stay was ~ >5 days for routine surgery.

    We only charted (manually, of course) about our patient care - no Core Measures, HCAHPS, or regulatory mandated forms... <sigh>. Most facilities actually discarded a lot of nursing documentation (including care plans) when the patient was discharged because it wasn't considered important enough to maintain in the "medical" record.
  6. 3
    TPR graphs with BP written in. Hung on a clipboard hanging on the foot of the bed

    Big red rubber sheets (like draw sheets) used for incont linen protection on hosp beds

    And yes, HouTX, the use of gloves were frowned upon for fear of 'offending' our pts.
  7. 4
    I just thought of this - remember NO MED CARTS! We used to give meds from lite blue trays that looked like mini-muffin pans with little multi-colored med cards (red=stat, white=daily, blue, orange, green for the multi doses). And the syringes used to stand up on end on the trays.

    And we did this from a med cabinet/closet (with 'step shelves) in the nurses area. You know the area, a chart rack, an addressograph and an antique call bell system.
  8. 0
    Gloves as a part of basically any sort of care that involved touching a patient really only came about in the 1980's. Primary push was the emerging AIDS crisis which in the early days no one knew what they were dealing with.

    Prior to this working as an assistant was told off by more than a few nurses for wearing gloves when say changing/cleaning a patient. One nurse asked "do you wear gloves when you go to the bathroom"? The other oft comment was "you are going to make patients think there is something wrong with them".

    Be as all that may soon as one hit the floor at the start of each shift would stuff my pockets with gloves. *LOL* Only time I didn't wear them was for taking vitals and making beds.
  9. 3
    Quote from HouTx
    LOL - I can relate. Clinical instructors in my BSN program told us that wearing gloves could be psychologically damaging to patients - making them seem "untouchable"... so we were to only use them for sterile procedures.

    We had to wear extreme isolation garb (space suits) to care for the first (diagnosed) AIDS patients in the early 80's... had no idea what caused it, just that it was deadly and there was no effective treatment. Pretty scary in retrospect.

    Foley care was with Betadine.... srsly.

    Bed Baths were not acceptable unless it was a very wet & soapy experience for the patient... we had to wear rubber aprons. EVERYONE got "PM care", including back rubs.

    Average length of stay was ~ >5 days for routine surgery.

    We only charted (manually, of course) about our patient care - no Core Measures, HCAHPS, or regulatory mandated forms... <sigh>. Most facilities actually discarded a lot of nursing documentation (including care plans) when the patient was discharged because it wasn't considered important enough to maintain in the "medical" record.
    Those bed baths were from the same plastic basin assigned to a patient upon admission as part of his or her kit. After use it was washed out, dried and returned to the bedside table/cubby. Soap was either those small bars of Ivory or Safeguard. It too was used again and again until gone. Cotton washcloths were used for bed baths and cleaning patients after they voided or had a BM in bed. Soiled towels and washcloths (even if fouled with BMs) were all chucked into the same linen bag and sent to the wash.

    When changing linen in strict isolation you two nurses or a nurse and an assistant. One was "clean" the other "dirty". Latter remained in the room and placed all soiled linen in bag, then said bag was passed out to the former who was waiting with another laundry bag. Dirty placed her bag inside the one Clean was holding, then the whole thing was shut, labeled and sent to the wash.
  10. 4
    Quote from amoLucia
    I just thought of this - remember NO MED CARTS! We used to give meds from lite blue trays that looked like mini-muffin pans with little multi-colored med cards (red=stat, white=daily, blue, orange, green for the multi doses). And the syringes used to stand up on end on the trays.

    And we did this from a med cabinet/closet (with 'step shelves) in the nurses area. You know the area, a chart rack, an addressograph and an antique call bell system.
    Whoever invented chart racks along with those metal clasp charts ought to have been shot! *LOL*

    Sooner or later a patient's file grew so large it wouldn't remain inside the file. Once that happened you'd reach for it in the cart only to find it empty with the contents littering the bottom of the file cart. Then came the fun of putting the thing back together will the contents in proper order.
    silverbat, GrnTea, poppycat, and 1 other like this.
  11. 0
    Quote from amoLucia
    TPR graphs with BP written in. Hung on a clipboard hanging on the foot of the bed

    Big red rubber sheets (like draw sheets) used for incont linen protection on hosp beds

    And yes, HouTX, the use of gloves were frowned upon for fear of 'offending' our pts.
    By my time we had Chux. You put one between the layers of a draw sheet which helped save (hopefully) from having to change the bottom sheet in case of soiling. Well that was the theory anyway, in practice things didn't always work out. If out of Chux there was often still some of the old pads that served the same purpose in the linen cupboard. Not as absorbent as Chux but in a pinch you do what you gotta do.


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