"The Good Ol' Days!" - page 6

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

  1. 3
    Quote from DoGoodThenGo
    Glass thermometers came in plastic cases, red for rectal and blue for oral (or was it the other way round?). Each case had plastic sheaths one was supposed to peel apart to open, then insert thermometer. Rectal temps required a healthy smearing of Vaseline or KY. Almost without exception infant, peds and young children's temps were all rectal. Try going into a young boys room and saying you're there to take his temp "down there". *LOL*

    Only persons with beepers were the doctors, so everyone used the hospital telephone paging system. You dialed/punched the required digits and got an "open mic" and said your piece. "Code 99 CD2".

    Nursing assistants could chart their own TPR's and whatever other care provided to pt.

    Charts were those ghastly metal flap things that hung in a cart. Well that is where they were *supposed* to be, however in practice finding one for a pt when you needed it often required a game of hide and seek.

    Those darn charts also had a hasty habit of coming apart, usually with the contents scattered at the bottom of the cart/holder. If one was lucky a the ward clerk would sort the thing out and put everything back in order.

    Ward clerks (the good ones) were worth their weight in gold! They could sniff out a doctor no matter where he was and kept on the scent until found! They also were invaluable in working their own "system" to find supplies or something needed when the floor/unit was low. Sort of like "Radar" in M*A*S*H.

    Start of each shift had nurse's giving report in their lounge and the time was sacrosanct. Aides were on the floor and if something was required or there was an emergency a knock would come on the door.

    There was far less if any (depending upon the facility) "judgement of med orders/treatments by nurses. You didn't withhold meds without an EXCELLENT reason. So in many cases nurses did wake patients up to give them sleeping meds!

    Dextromethorphan came in glass bottles and was kept in the fridge located in the med room. One dispensed as prescribed.

    Central Sterile Supply department was run and often staffed with nurses. Ditto the DON's office where one could find nurses (complete with whites and caps) doing administrative and even secretarial work.

    Using "banana bags" not just for alcoholic pts as they made reading the contents of a bag even from a distance much easier.

    Nurses couldn't wear lab coats (you might be mistaken for a doctor), ditto for scrubs for floor nurses. The only nursing staff allowed those sacred garments were those on units, OR, L&D and perhaps a few others. They'd come sailing into the cafeteria often in scrub dresses and depending upon the unit caps as well, and you could just hear the seething from the starched whites crowd. *LOL* "Just who do they think they are....?"

    Nursing service was often run like a convent or boarding school. Most everything required signing off of or permission from a supervisor or charge. Got a run in your stocking and wished to run out and pick up another? Permission denied, you should keep extras in your locker. Nasty Betadine or explosive BM stain on your uniform and wished to wear scrubs? Can you send for another uniform from home/the nurse's residence? How bad is the stain? Where is it? Can you cover it with a sweater or isolation gown? Requests went up the ranks depending who had the authority to approve whatever request it was. Sooner or later a message would come back, "yes" or "denied".

    Caps, yeah you did what you had to do; but once the suits and such left the area and or building (such as on nights) the thing came off and was left in the nurse's station or shoved into a drawer. Happily there was always at least one good front desk guard that gave someone on the floors a heads up that "trouble" had entered the building, then you scrambled to get on point in case he or she was heading your way.

    Depending upon the facility RNs couldn't give meds IV push, and or only certain types. Also not every place let RNs start IV's either. If a KVO order came on evenings or nights it meant paging whatever intern or resident was on duty to get the job done. After awhile a shaggy and obviously just awoken post grad would show up. Most RNs could have gotten the thing done and been on their way by then.

    Dial-a-Flow and Master IV Dual Lock controllers on IVs that were supposed to offer *more* control over drip rates.

    Some poor nurse going mad trying to understand a badly handwritten med order and couldn't determine if that g "grams" or "grains".
    Red for Rectal. Blue for oral. Did it really matter in the old days.

    Get the hottest topics every week!

    Subscribe to our free Nursing Insights newsletter.

  2. 4
    Quote from applewhitern
    I had to wear white from head to toe; the white stockings, white cap, white dress. Smoking was permitted anywhere and everywhere~ my white cap turned bright yellow from all the smoke in the nursing lounge. You rarely had an IV pump. You mixed your own meds, including potassium, which is now a big no-no. You stood up and offered your seat to a doctor. A doctor could blatantly blame you for his mistake, in front of the patients, and you were not to say a word! They could throw a chart at you, too. Long hair had to be put up. No earrings unless they were studs. Only clear nail polish. RN's had to write an opening assessment on everybody's chart, for the LPN's, every shift. RN's had to hang all piggyback meds, not just pushes. The doctors had their own cafeteria, they didn't eat with the rest of the staff, and they were given huge platters of shrimp, etc., that we weren't given. The doctors all came in for breakfast, in their own cafeteria. One thing I remember is that MRSA was just being taken seriously, and we had to dress out for it (isolation.) But the doctors would waltz right in and sit on the patient's bed! I don't remember them ever wearing isolation stuff, and certainly not washing their hands. I don't mean to be "down on doctors" but this is stuff I remember.
    Physicans threw carts, bed pans (full or empty), pens, charts, and anything else that wasn't bolted to the floor at nurses. Worse they often got away with it as well.

    Quite a few were also known to dress a RN down in front of patients, their family and or other staff, often using the most rude and abusive mouths. "Who do you f**** think you are?" "Why wasn't my patient given his meds/treatment"? "A trained monkey could do your job". " Hey baby you better get married and let your husband take care of you, you're too stupid ..".

    There was tons of sexual harassment as well and with few or no laws against it (back then) there was little one could do. Each year a new crop of students was like fresh meat to some doctors. You would try to warn the girls who was harmless and the ones you needed to keep your distance from, but the message was not always taken and in some cases not warmly received. Every now and then some chick thought she had all the answers and could handle herself and the doc, thus leading to a future as a doctor's wife or at least mistress. When the romance (if you could call it that) ran it's course and crashed/burned, the fall out often wasn't pretty.
    fiveofpeep, Lovely_RN, RN2LuvU, and 1 other like this.
  3. 4
    those were the days my friends we thought they never end ♬ the seasoned nurses know the rest of the melody :d
  4. 3
    Last one:

    Telephones in the nurse's station were always answered with floor/unit followed by one's title then name, such as "7 West, Nurse Jones speaking".

    Some physicans didn't bother to listen carefully and would begin rambling off verbal med orders to anyone who answered, only to raise heck when asked for the taker's name and "who are you" only to hear "Charles Jones, transport". *LOL*
  5. 1
    Always loved the WWII Military Nurse Posters!!
    RN2LuvU likes this.
  6. 1
    Quote from gitanorn
    those were the days my friends we thought they never end ♬ the seasoned nurses know the rest of the melody :d
    the old russian folk song, love it.
    RN2LuvU likes this.
  7. 6
    This discussion got me thinking about a book my papa gave me from his mother. It has to be from the early twenties, its called Excerpta Therapeutica. In the front there are medications and their uses, I got a kick out of these:

    Arsenic Trioxide- used in the treatment of malaria, gastritis, diabetes and psoriasis

    Chloroform- inhalations of chloroform have been used with good results in haemoptysis, and to relieve ear ache

    Cocaine- local anesthetic for ophthalmic, dental, nasal urethral, and rectal surgeries

    Lead Acetate- Astringent, sedative, also used for diarrhea, dysentary, and typhoid fever

    Mercury Succinimide- used for intramuscular injections for syphilis, also good results in TB
  8. 0
    Quote from gitanorn
    those were the days my friends we thought they never end ♬ the seasoned nurses know the rest of the melody :d
    wish i could do an extra few 'likes' on this. how very appropriate for this thread and what a great song.
  9. 1
    I get a kick out of reading my baby book- I was born in January of 1980, and my mom's narration is fun. I was an emergency c-birth because I was breech, so my mom got fully knocked out, and has a railroad scar over her abdomen now. (Compared to my two little discreet low transverse ones. She talked about how she was in one room, and then there was an actual delivery room, and how my dad didn't get to go with into the OR- he had to wait in the waiting room (my husband got to be present for both our children's births via c-section). She had to share a room afterwards, and the babies could only come out of the nursery during specific hours- other than that, we were lined up in front of a big gawking window on display...ON OUR TUMMIES!

    I remember when I was little, going to the doctor, and before the days of the quickie lancets, they just took a lancet-like device or something and jabbed my finger to test for something...don't recall what. When I was an LPN I reminisced with the NP I worked with that when I started kindergarten in 1985, I only had to get one shot (DTP) compared to the 4 shots I was doling out. The polio vaccine was oral, there was no Varicella vaccine yet, the MMR was given only once at age one, and that just left the good old Dip-Tet ("he's gotta get his Dip-Tet, Hi!"). Oh, and we got our shot in the school gymnasium...welcome to kindergarten, kids! I remember we got aspirin as children (until I was maybe in 4th grade or so, then they said it was dangerous) and when I had a cold or cough the doc totally recommended cough syrup or Sudafed! I can't remember what med it was I had one time but it was just awful- it was thick and tan or brown or something. It was prescribed, and it was just...BLAAH! The days before the flavor shots that they can do now in the pharmacy...
    RN2LuvU likes this.
  10. 0
    Will one of you guys elaborate on how one "Sharpens a Needle?"


Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and Create Job Alerts, Manage Your Resume, and Apply for Jobs.

A Big Thank You To Our Sponsors
Top