Does anybody remember when??............

  1. When I started my first nursing job-which was as a nursing assistant(before being certified was required), gloves were an unecessary expense.We used our bare hands to give bed baths, clean up vomit , feces, etc.Granted; this was before AIDS was a big issue......Soap and water was enough.It was the norm to have about 10-15 nursing home residents(confused,combative, and total care)to take care of on the day shift, more on eves and nights.When I later became an LPN, my first job was in a hospital float pool.It was not uncommon to have anywhere from 10-14 med-surd, peds or tele patients on the night shift, and since the RN's had to hang all of my IV antibiodics(LPN's couldn't do that in Illinois)I would generally do all of their accu-checks and dressing changes in exchange because I thought the poor things were terribly taxed having to hang my IV meds!(now I know, I really gave them a deal!)Back then, laparoscopic surgeries were not done, so the post-op cholecystectomy pt. had the works-sterile drsg changes, T-tube, NG, foley.....these were heavy patients ! I guess I am living now in an area that must be so totally removed from what I hear so much about here on this BB that it is difficult for me to understand.I am now an RN.At our little hospital here, we usually do not have more than 7 patients on med-surg, and some are "swing bed" pts just waiting on LTC placement.I dont find this number at all difficult.Dressing changes are not nearly the taxing event they used to be-no montgomery straps or big retention sutures or open, packed wounds on a regular basis.Not only is OT not mandatory here, but discouraged-somebody else might be short hrs this week that could work the extra shift !I dunno-I must truly be far removed from the real world here in Aurora,Mo. !
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  2. 43 Comments

  3. by   hoolahan
    Oooy, Do I remember!! 10-14 pt's on nights, having to give all the IV's for a 46 bed unit if I was the only RN on duty. NO one ever volunteered to do dressing in exchange though! I don't think it was such a great deal for the RN's back then though, you forget we had to reconstitute all the meds ourselves AND run through those curses solusets every 48 hours!!

    ONe night, I will never forget, I was a nurse x 6 months, came in a 11pm, saw my boss there...bad sign. We were having an emergency meeting. The LPN's were refusing to do 24 hour chart-checks, saying it was the RN's job, they weren't paid enough to do it. They never even told me they were upset, apparently, theif beef was with our "Head Nurse." So, after we met for 40 minutes, the LPN's were told they had to do it, they said no and walked out leaving me on the floor with 46 pt's myself! I looked at the night super and said very calmly.. you ARE getting me help, right? I had 2 LPN's report immediately. They were GREAT! One said to me, if you'll sign for it, I'll do your IVSS's. I said "Deal" I think she saw I was near a breakdown after finding a DNR stiff as a board on my first rounds, since I never saw the pt until 12:30 by the time we got report, got help, etc... She could have given cyanide and I would have signed for it! God Bless her, she split the floor with me as far as IVSS went. Somehow we made it through the rest of the night working non-stop. A night I will never forget!!
  4. by   PJRNC2
    Originally posted by ornurse2001:
    <STRONG>When I started my first nursing job-which was as a nursing assistant(before being certified was required), gloves were an unecessary expense.We used our bare hands to give bed baths, clean up vomit , feces, etc.Granted; this was before AIDS was a big issue......Soap and water was enough.It was the norm to have about 10-15 nursing home residents(confused,combative, and total care)to take care of on the day shift, more on eves and nights.When I later became an LPN, my first job was in a hospital float pool.It was not uncommon to have anywhere from 10-14 med-surd, peds or tele patients on the night shift, and since the RN's had to hang all of my IV antibiodics(LPN's couldn't do that in Illinois)I would generally do all of their accu-checks and dressing changes in exchange because I thought the poor things were terribly taxed having to hang my IV meds!(now I know, I really gave them a deal!)Back then, laparoscopic surgeries were not done, so the post-op cholecystectomy pt. had the works-sterile drsg changes, T-tube, NG, foley.....these were heavy patients ! I guess I am living now in an area that must be so totally removed from what I hear so much about here on this BB that it is difficult for me to understand.I am now an RN.At our little hospital here, we usually do not have more than 7 patients on med-surg, and some are "swing bed" pts just waiting on LTC placement.I dont find this number at all difficult.Dressing changes are not nearly the taxing event they used to be-no montgomery straps or big retention sutures or open, packed wounds on a regular basis.Not only is OT not mandatory here, but discouraged-somebody else might be short hrs this week that could work the extra shift !I dunno-I must truly be far removed from the real world here in Aurora,Mo. !</STRONG>
  5. by   PJRNC2
    I started as a LPN 1967-grad. diploma nursing l973 (remember curfews and dorm mothers). And we didn't have computers- sorry- push the wrong key twice!! Well one memory was dong a rotation in Cental Supply. We didn't have auto anyting except autoclaves. We would have to wash the canisters for the 4x4's ect. to be "run" in the autoclave.- make distilled water and the Zepheron/Zephern (sp.?) for the forcept containers. No disposible syringes- packed thoses glass syringes-after checking for chips. No auto BP machines or IV Pumps. and Nurses Caps! also White-White-White from our heads to our toes. Also when we were students- we had 4 or 5 patients at a time, in one day - all day- we worked complete shifts (no wonder ther is so much shock when the grads hit the floors nowadays)( At least I didn't have to go to classes all day and then work 2nd or 3rd shift like some of my early-days co-workers did- boy, boy, the tales they would and could tell) Also no electric beds- "Put my head up-no come back- thats not far enough; put my head down-not thats too far".(Also Moms stayed in the hosp 10 days after a C-Section/ 7 with normal delivery.)
    Remember the lectures about the safety of the new electric beds. No cooling blanket either- just ice bags. Remember Visiting Hours and Age restrictions- and after the 8:00 PM visiting hours were over smoking was permitted until 6:00AM at the nursing desk. We work TOGETHER! also it was before CARE PLANS. Remember when all patients received a BACK RUB at bedtime and the bedfast patients received a partial bath-( now it is ordered as theraputic touch or myotherapy) And no 'blue pads' were discovered- just rubber in the middle of the drawsheet. and you could use all the linens you needed for the patients. and oh those yucky bedspreads Our Hospital's first crash cart - bragged that it could spin on a dime- but to get the monsterous thing to go straight down a hall was another thing (the patients was placed on the cart for recusitation- worked ER then -WOW- that is another story in itself)Must quit- probably dream of the good old days tonight- Thanks ORNURSE for this trip down memory lane. Will be watching for more additions from other nurses. Margaret, I thought I had some humdingers of a time but now they pale in comparison to your fateful night-you truely were tried by fire
  6. by   ornurse2001
    That is so funny-I forgot about the rubber sheets and old crank beds ! And those white uniforms never stayed clean ! I remember one time when I was an aide at a nursing home I had to stop at the store and pick up a few things on my way home from work to have another shopper point out to me that I had something on my uniform-It was POOP! Yuck, how embarressing.It is amazing how things have changed-and I am remembering the late 70's-early 80's !Hay, something else-does everybody still get a hat in nursing school?I did in LPN school, but not in RN school! I was really disapointmented, not because I wanted to wear the hat-but because it was a tradition.Back in LPN school, people could tell in the area where I lived wether your hat was an RN hat or an LPN hat-mine was medium sized with a powder blue stripe.I used my hat bag to carry all my nurse paraphenalia-this is fun !
  7. by   LoisJean
    In 1964 I pulled up my girdle, pulled up my my white nylons (with the seams straight!), donned a stiffly starched white uniform dress AND a brand new pair of, 'no bend in 'em', Clinic shoes; piled my hair on top of head and marched myself to our hospital's Orthopedic ward to began what was to become 10 years as a nurse's aide (please note the word nurse is in POSSESSIVE case meaning the aide BELONGED to the nurse)...I was 15 years old. I remember setting up O2 tents and dragging O2 tanks from the storage closet to a patients room --set up and delivery; admitting, discharging, changing dressings--sterile technique. I remember making up betadyne soaking solutions for thermometers and glass syringes; I remember washing used tubings (in Sidex or Phisohex,I think) that had been in every orifice the body possesses, and wrapping it up for sterilization -which we did ourselves, on our units. I remember carrying meds on little white trays to patients-the RNs often too busy at night sometimes to pass out ASA, MOM and such. I recall re-rolling ACE bandages after they had come up from Laundry all wrinkled and in a big knot; I recall the bathing of the deceased patient-and the changing of his sheets-(does anyone remember how hard it was to change a bed with a dead body in it?). I remember 'room wash downs' including the entire bed after a patient was discharged or died. I remember setting up LP trays and assisting the physician in the procedure-gloving up and handing him 'stuff' when he asked for it; I remember discontinuing IVs when the RN so ordered and there is so much more! Most of all I remember comraderie--and the true-ness of teamwork--before EVER it was a "concept" it was a real thing in many, many hospitals.

    I received my LPN in 1974. From that point I have had the blessing of many more years of specialized training and working experiences. Sadly, I am no longer allowed to practice many of those specialized skills which I learned from you. Every learning experience whether as an aide or a nurse was taught to me by RNs...in my day, when an RN taught an aide or LPN to do something, she could trust that it would be done right and well. To think that ANY NURSE would WALK OFF a job because something wasn't in 'her job description' is terrible, yet I had the same thing happen to me when I supervised at an LTC some years ago.

    I am sooooo grateful for every single experience, every grueling day, every 'scut' job. I am so glad I have first hand knowledge of the TEAM experience. From 1964 to the present now, I have been given the best that nursing has ever had to offer and MORE. One of the BESTEST things I have now are soft, colorful scrubs; comfortable shoes; socks instead of nylons and, PRAISE GOD, comfortable undies. And, yes, my school's cap had a medium blue band--RNs had black bands--our patients didn't have to see our badges, they knew which type of nurse we were by our cap bands. If someone wearing white came into their room and wasn't wearing a cap, the patient knew she was not a nurse. In order to keep our caps looking good the more experienced nurses told us to wash it by hand with clorox and water, scrub it with a fingernail brush; soak it in argo starch then plaster it against the refrigerator until dry; peel it off the refrigerator, iron if necessary and fold so that the peak just shows above the brim.

    Thanks so much for the walk down memory lane--hey, did I work with some of you gals 'way back when'? Sounds like some of you remember when we had FUN!
  8. by   night owl
    What a great thread!!! Remember when...
    ~We used GREEN SOAP to wash everything down
    ~Used different color ink(one color/shift)to do charting
    ~Pre-cordial thump for CPR
    ~Mixed sugar,maalox,methiolate/betadine sol for decubeti
    ~Gooseneck lamps for decubiti
    ~pouring pills into those little blue and white paper cups
    ~Restraints were a nursing measure
    ~glass themometers
    ~glass syringes for injections
    ~everything was autoclaved, no disposable anything
    ~starched white uniforms-NO pants!
    ~We even put pts. on gurneys on their abd and stuck their butts in the sun/20 min per day on the sun porch to heal decubiti.
    ~Get this...I work with a nurse who, as she said,"back when I was a little girl in China, they tested the amount of sugar in your urine with ants! They placed the unine in a cup and set it outside the door. Depending on how many ants in a certain time frame, that's how much regular insulin they gave the pt...1-10 ants, 2units. 11-20 ants, 3units. Etc." Do you believe it???????
  9. by   lpnandloveit1
    my cap was white winged with a grey stripe and when you passed boards you gat a velvet scarlet stripe. Do you remember the capping ceremony? latern shaped candle holder with the florence nitengale pledge. WOW. med cards and Dr.s who came to the nurses sation smoking cigars!
  10. by   nurs4kids
    Wonderful walk down memory lane!! I started in Central Supply back in '87 and many of the things you speak of were still being done then. We still autoclaved or gassed most everything. Although there were disposable syringes and needles, the trays still had glass and reusables. Talk about a bad job! We often had to dig through trays with needles, blades and body fluids before washing the instruments. This was right about the time the big AIDS scare started, so it was pretty scary (for minimum wage, might I add). I once got stuck with a towel clip from a tray that had been through the washer sterilizer, but at 18yrs old I thought my world was over. You couldn't have convinced me I didn't have AIDS. Thank God I didn't, and with a little common sense I would have known the risk was very low.

    Ok, didn't mean to ramble off subject. I have the utmost respect for those of you who paved the road for the rest of us. I get the feeling some of you think we are not justified in our unhappiness over current salaries. In my hospital, most of the nurses with 12+ years are at the top of the salary scale (as should be). Those of us who started around 6 or 7 years ago are within a dollar or so of minimum (due to compression). Sooooo, I agree it's probably alot easier than it was years ago, BUT we still have bills to pay like everyone else. Ya get my drift??

    [ May 27, 2001: Message edited by: nurs4kids ]
  11. by   Brownms46
    Originally posted by lpnandloveit1:
    <STRONG>my cap was white winged with a grey stripe and when you passed boards you gat a velvet scarlet stripe. Do you remember the capping ceremony? latern shaped candle holder with the florence nitengale pledge. WOW. med cards and Dr.s who came to the nurses sation smoking cigars!</STRONG>
    OOOOOh my GOD! I had forgotten half of this stuff! I started in 1979, and my mother flew into San Antonio, from NY to see me get capped! I remember at the hospital I started at, we had to COUNT the glass thermometers at the beginning of each shift, and it was $.50 for each one you broke! I remember glass IV bottles, and YES I remember cigar smoking DOCs..choke, cough..waving the smoke! LOL..I remember going into a to give a betadine douch before a woman went had a hysterectomy. I was a student, and had my little cap on with just one bobbie pin in it. I didn't speak spanish, so I had the roommate translate for me, telling the pt. what I was going to do. I pulled the curtain, adjusted the poles to the required height, and pulled back the sheets. Lord...I saw this thing hanging down between her legs, and I took off! Ran down the hang screaming for my team leader! Dumb me had never heard of a prolasped urterus before! Boy did those nurses crack up laughing at me! Can't imagine what the poor pt. was thinking to see me flying through those curtains, with my hat flying one way, and me the other...Lord have mercy!

    Brownie
  12. by   tillie1
    wow, this is interesting and I am enjoying it for two reasons...first it makes me smile to think about alll the "stuff" i"d forgotten but most importantly I have found some nurses that are as old if not older that me!!!!I have taken to referring to my co-workers as the kids cause I have kids older than someof them! I love telling them stories about the "old days" of iv bottles, ct bottles, NO iv pumps (probably coulnd't calculate a drip rate now if my life depended on it. We learned in PN school how to do the morphine thing but our instructor followed that lecture with "hardly anyone has to do this anymore" Remember sippy diets?!?!?!?!Thanks for the memories!
  13. by   Brownms46
    Originally posted by Janet Barclay:
    <STRONG>I hated those old chest tube set ups! Tonsillectomies got an overnight stay as did tubals, catracts and an assortment of other folks. A few months ago we were using glass thermometers as a bridge to disposbles (cause we can't clean the wall mounted ones adequately). We actually had to go around and inservice all the twenty somethings on how to shake them down and read them! By the way, how many did you break shaking them down, I should have mercury poisoning!</STRONG>

    Oh my Lord, I had forgotten about the old suction setups..lol! And yes I broke a whole bunch of them things. Go to shake it down, and it would go flying across the room! I remember there would be several beds in one room, and we start putting thermomenters, and then take all the other vitals. Then take the thermomenter out last.
    I also remember the old chest tube setup also! Dang.. has it been that long ago? I had even forgot about the aprons...HATED IT THOSE THINGS! I remember applying tape down the side of the IV bottle, and timing them so we could eyeball them. And when we got those blue dial a flow things...that "we" thought was soooo cool! Things weren't worth the plastic they were made of! I remember the rubber...I remember giving back rubs, and passing out refreshments at nite!

    Does anyone remember the peri lamps for postpartum moms? Binding their breasts if they weren't going to breast feed, and if they didn't bring a good fitting bra? Boy is this stuff bring back some memories..:-)!

    Brownie
  14. by   PJRNC2
    Oh my, oh my -breast binders. What was the name of the 'goo' that some doctors ordered for the breast before binding them? Remember the fluthane(sp) whistle that came out to help reduce labor pains? Didn't stay on the market long. Also the hourly urines and no collection meters! Back then my idea of being rich was when I could afford to have 10 pair of white hose and ten uniforms and only wash them all at one time on my day off(got the 10 pair of hose-never the uniforms-styles kept changing)

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