"The Good Ol' Days!" - page 15

by BostonTerrierLoverRN

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I was blown away to find out student nurses could not be married during school, when one of my instructors went to a Public Charity Hospital based Diploma Nursing Program. I loved hearing about having to sterilize everything,... Read More


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    Mercy Hospital new Grads Pittsburgh 1980's | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    Still around and going strong in PA! Though one assumes the uniforms have changed and caps are gone.
    School of Nursing
    BostonTerrierLoverRN and wooh like this.
  2. 1
    When I first started as a student nurse, I wore a blue dress with a high collar and a starched white apron with criss-cross straps at the back. Seriously!

    The hospital took a bold move about a year later, and ditched the apron. I don't know how much wringing of hands there was at the higher levels, but it sure was good not to have that **** apron any more! We still had caps though lol.
    BostonTerrierLoverRN likes this.
  3. 2
    Quote from CompleteUnknown
    When I first started as a student nurse, I wore a blue dress with a high collar and a starched white apron with criss-cross straps at the back. Seriously!

    The hospital took a bold move about a year later, and ditched the apron. I don't know how much wringing of hands there was at the higher levels, but it sure was good not to have that **** apron any more! We still had caps though lol.
    As you can see from some of the snaps, aprons/pinafores were once part of every professional nurse's uniform. Had been thus so ever since Flo's days, but by and by RNs ditched the things but students still had to suffer with them. Finally as you noted schools started to take baby steps in getting shot of them as well.

    Methinks changes in laundry habits must have come in somewhere. Aprons would probably have to be starched and ironed, whilst the new "action back" uniforms for students made from man-made fibers and or blends were wash and wear.
  4. 1
    Quote from OCNRN63
    It was a big thing to go from a plain cap to one with diagonal stripes, then one with a solid stripe. When we graduated we got a completely different cap, which was the signature cap of the school, not the generic ones we wore when we were students.
    Here ya go: Student Nurses getting first stripe on cap 1969 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
    BostonTerrierLoverRN likes this.
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    I miss the bell that we used to ring in our oncology ward when visiting hours were over.
    I remember how proud I was to be issued with my six white dresses (that the hospital would wash for you each week).
    I miss the night duty care packs we were issued with the apple, sandwiches, juice and yoghurt.
    I miss my first boss (most incredible woman, and superb nurse) who used to smoke cigars in her office and take the patients in there on the sly, who called me braindead and useless for at least six months and made me cry, but made me a better nurse and taught me everything I never learned at university.
    I miss being called "sister" and my badge starting with SR .........
    I miss working when there was no such thing as the internet, facebook or mobile phones.
    I miss the faith and trust that patients inherently had in those caring for them.
    I miss the doctors who wore bow-ties.
    I miss the old autoclave, I can't believe I was nursing when we still sterilised our own equipment!
    I miss the funny side of nursing and the practical jokes we used to play on each other and our patients because we had time!
    I hate to admit it but, I miss the old school polite hierarchical "rules" of being a junior nurse and how things changed as you grew and became more experienced, I loved becoming more respected as I "grew up" and got promoted based on clinical skill development and leadership encouragement that was inherent in the system 15 years ago rather than the system that rewards ego driven entitlement.
    I miss having empty beds.
    I remember passing out while on my clinical pracs as a student because etiquette demanded that we stand quietly, in non-air conditioned wards (forever) while the RNs did group handover, and having my facilitator catch me, throw me into a chair and give me a juice (no trip to the ER).
    I remember drawing up our own chemotherapy.
    I remember working when the word "bully" only applied to school children.
    I miss working with nurses who devoted 40 years of their lives to looking after people.
    I miss working with doctors who devoted 40 years of their lives to looking after people.
    Oh, I know, I am a sentimental fool.
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    Not a sentimental fool at all NO50FRANNY, to be honest I miss being called Sister a bit too, although some of the oldies still do say that.

    I remember older Sisters like the one you wrote about... 'you'll never make a nurse' became 'well, you just might make a nurse one day' and that was high praise indeed. The ones I was the most terrified of in the beginning were the ones who taught me the most.

    I could have written everything you said (except that my six dresses were blue and I had six white aprons too).... great post!
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    Quote from CompleteUnknown
    When I first started as a student nurse, I wore a blue dress with a high collar and a starched white apron with criss-cross straps at the back. Seriously!

    The hospital took a bold move about a year later, and ditched the apron. I don't know how much wringing of hands there was at the higher levels, but it sure was good not to have that **** apron any more! We still had caps though lol.
    Do youse mean like dis?

    3 Vintage Navy Blue Nursing Student Dresses + 1 Apron and accessories | eBay
    BostonTerrierLoverRN likes this.
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    Hahahaha omg almost exactly like that!!

    We didn't have pockets in the apron though - I remember we all had to have a pair of scissors and a clamp (can't even remember what for now, in case we came upon an IV that had run through and the patient was about to die from a air embolus????.... or maybe it was to clamp urinary catheters....) but I can't remember how we carried them lol or even where I put my four-coloured pen! I think we had to reach under the big starched apron into the pockets of the blue dress.


    The clamp was the same size as the scissors and I still have it somewhere.

    Oh man, I really AM a vintage model. Lol.
    BostonTerrierLoverRN likes this.
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    1. Finger cots (they looked like tiny condoms) for suppositories or rectal checks, including digitally removing fecal impactions (Nurse's job.)
    2. Gloves were only for sterile dressing changes, surgery or delivery.
    3. Only Doctors were allowed to do vaginal exams during labor, Nurses did rectal exams (with a finger cot).
    4. Nurse carried the charts for the Doctor and accompanied him (very few female Doctors back then) during his patient rounds. (And of course, Nurses stood up for Doctors to sit at the desk, where smoking was common, and ashtrays provided.)
    5. All patients (who were not NPO) got graham crackers and juice for bedtime snack. Followed by a back rub with lotion and powder. Every night. (They also got backrubs after their daily morning bath.)
    6. Medications were delivered in little cup trays with color-coded (for times) card-board Name/Room number/ Medication/dose cards which fit into a little slot in tray above the little hole that the cup sat in. Med Trays held 24 cups. (Admitting Nurse had to make up the med cards.)
    7. Medications were all drawn from large bottles of pills and placed in the cups by the Nurse in the Med room. It took a couple hours to set up meds for med passes.
    8. Visiting Hours were strictly adhered to (2 visitors per patient per visiting hour), and children were not allowed in hospitals unless they were a patient.
    9. Fathers only allowed on Maternity floors, and never in the Delivery Room. They had to "gown up" during labor or to visit post-partum.
    10. Fetal-scope was a metal stetoscope, worn over the head to listen to fetal heart-tones.
    11. All new-borns were only given water for the first 24 hours...even nursing babies. Never the breast, "until the milk came in."
    12. All nurses wore white dress uniforms, white nylons, white shoes, white Nurse's cap with stripes designating your school. L&D Nurses had to wear whites to work, then change into hospital supplied blue scrubs, OR Nurses were supplied with green scrubs. We had to change to whites to leave the floor for any reason.
    13. IVs all came in glass bottles and we had to calculate the number of drips for IV to infuse over ordered amount of time.
    14. "Poseys" were standard attire for old folks, to tie them to their beds or wheelchairs.
    15. All beds were equiped with full side rails which were to be UP at bedtime. And all beds were crank beds, and if someone forgot to put the crank back under the bed, shins would suffer, as well as putting runs in our white nylons.

    I graduated in 1968, and am still working, now in Long-term care. 44 years has seen so many changes in Health care, it is amazing!
  10. 1
    Quote from Lavslady
    1. Finger cots (they looked like tiny condoms) for suppositories or rectal checks, including digitally removing fecal impactions (Nurse's job.)
    2. Gloves were only for sterile dressing changes, surgery or delivery.
    3. Only Doctors were allowed to do vaginal exams during labor, Nurses did rectal exams (with a finger cot).
    4. Nurse carried the charts for the Doctor and accompanied him (very few female Doctors back then) during his patient rounds. (And of course, Nurses stood up for Doctors to sit at the desk, where smoking was common, and ashtrays provided.)
    5. All patients (who were not NPO) got graham crackers and juice for bedtime snack. Followed by a back rub with lotion and powder. Every night. (They also got backrubs after their daily morning bath.)
    6. Medications were delivered in little cup trays with color-coded (for times) card-board Name/Room number/ Medication/dose cards which fit into a little slot in tray above the little hole that the cup sat in. Med Trays held 24 cups. (Admitting Nurse had to make up the med cards.)
    7. Medications were all drawn from large bottles of pills and placed in the cups by the Nurse in the Med room. It took a couple hours to set up meds for med passes.
    8. Visiting Hours were strictly adhered to (2 visitors per patient per visiting hour), and children were not allowed in hospitals unless they were a patient.
    9. Fathers only allowed on Maternity floors, and never in the Delivery Room. They had to "gown up" during labor or to visit post-partum.
    10. Fetal-scope was a metal stetoscope, worn over the head to listen to fetal heart-tones.
    11. All new-borns were only given water for the first 24 hours...even nursing babies. Never the breast, "until the milk came in."
    12. All nurses wore white dress uniforms, white nylons, white shoes, white Nurse's cap with stripes designating your school. L&D Nurses had to wear whites to work, then change into hospital supplied blue scrubs, OR Nurses were supplied with green scrubs. We had to change to whites to leave the floor for any reason.
    13. IVs all came in glass bottles and we had to calculate the number of drips for IV to infuse over ordered amount of time.
    14. "Poseys" were standard attire for old folks, to tie them to their beds or wheelchairs.
    15. All beds were equiped with full side rails which were to be UP at bedtime. And all beds were crank beds, and if someone forgot to put the crank back under the bed, shins would suffer, as well as putting runs in our white nylons.

    I graduated in 1968, and am still working, now in Long-term care. 44 years has seen so many
    changes in Health care, it is amazing!
    You go girl! *LOL*

    Forgot all about Poseys. I swear there were times almost every patient >50 on the floor was "tied down".

    My old (circa 1980's) copy of Lippincott's Manual of Nursing Practice shows a student nurse using a metal "fetal scope". Yes, she was also wearing her cap, though how she got the scope on over the thing is a mystery to me.

    Remember "gowing up" on L&D and even some mother/baby floors. IIRC all nurses working in the nursery were gowned and often masked as well.

    The only thing more common in hospitals besides Graham crackers was ginger ale. *LOL*
    BostonTerrierLoverRN likes this.


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