How has nursing changed since you were pinned?

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    :angel2: my grandmother, mother and i are all nurses and the other day we were sitting around talking about how nursing has changed wince we were pinned...

    my grandmother (became a nurse 1946) states "when i graduated, only doctors could start iv's" and "nurses were white, so you knew who was a nurse and who wasnt"

    my mother (became a nurse 1978) states "patients were admitted for rest" and "in my nursing textbook, it instructed us to rise at the presence of a doctor and always give your seat"

    me (became a nurse 2003)-- paperwork, more and more paperwork!! computer charting also!!

    anything you want to share that has changed!!
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  4. 6 Comments so far...

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    I remember delivering babies with bare hands....no kidding.....rinsing off instruments without gloves....is that just scarey to think about???
    but then...I think I was after Carbolic Acid spray and just before penecillin! Ha!...
    Patients came into the hospital a day before their surgery.....for all their blood work, xrays....and enemas....ugh.
    White hats....black stripe.....steel belted seamed hosiery with seams up the back in a straight line honey.....or ELSE!! White shoes....absolutely no scuff marks....no brown spots...(ewww) and not a speck of dust anywhere on the unit....
    real steel needles for IV therapy
    heart patients sent to the peds unit because there were no beds on the ICU floor...uh huh (uh huh....the guy died....because no one at that time recognized the cardinal signs of chest pain---AMI!)
    steel bed pans
    working with a nurse who was my first charge nurse that was a WWII nurse in an ARMY unit at Walter Reed....she used to have to RESHARPEN needles for REUSE the next day...by candle light....
    we've come a long way baby!
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    I became a CNA in the early 80's and was forbidden to wear gloves while cleaning patients.

    Since I was pinned: more computerized care, more drugs, more surgeries being done on outpt basis......
  7. 0
    i remember . . . .

    ash trays in every nurse's station so the pulmonologists and cardiologists could smoke while they went through their charts and wrote their orders. ash trays in the break room and a cloud of smoke every time you opened the door.

    having a break room.

    white polyester uniforms, white hose, and white "duty shoes."

    clinitest and acetest tablets -- we tested urine to determine sliding scale insulin dose. blood sugars weren't treated unless they were over 240.

    "valium 10 mg. po q 4 h prn" on every patient's admitting orders.

    team nursing.

    glass blood gas syringes.

    mannitol as crystals in glass ampules. you'd heat them up in a pan of boiling water on the electric burners every nursing station had. when the crystals were dissolved, you'd saw open the ampule with the little file that pharmacy attached when they sent up the dose. you were careful not to heat them up too vigorously or they'd explode -- a real mess!

    tpn in glass bottles.

    not wearing gloves ever. you didn't want to make patients feel like they were dirty.

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    Bowel washouts, soap and water enemas, flatus tubes.

    No jewellery of any description.

    Holding your hands up, with the palms facing outwards, so the senior could inspect your hands and make sure your fingernails werent too long.

    Emptying your pockets, in case you were going to steal something...

    no gloves for dressings

    EUSOL and hydrogen peroxide, betadine for cleaning and soaking gause in for wounds.

    I remember bunsen burners to check for protein.

    Oh and 3 day stool specimens - who thought that horror up? By the third day...

    No lifting devices of any description. It was considered the norm for nurses to eventually develop bad backs...

    Did anyone ever use eggwhite and oxygen for pressure sores?

    Pan scrubbing and sterilizing - yes we could wear gloves for those.

    Doing tea rounds.

    "Terminal Cleaning" of beds! That's what they called it when you had to prepare and clean the bed and bedspace in preparation for the next patient!

    Resting patients in bed for as long as possible - DVTs were not a concern!

    IM injections! and more IM injections!

    We knew about Hep A and Hep B, and everything else was lumped together into an unknown category. HIV was unknown.

    There was no such thing as pressure mattresses of any description.

    What was an IMED/Gemini pump/IVAC? You had to learn drip rates! Manual sphygmos, mercury thermometers (sacrilege!)!

    Sputum rounds - OMG!

    What was a physiotherapist? A dietitian? An occupational therapist? A social worker? A speech therapist?

    Using poseys and shackles for restraints...

    Glass syringes for administration of Peraldehyde

    Re: standing aside for 'betters'...it wasn't only for doctors. My husband who was an EN in 1979 had to stand to one side, with hands behind back, while an RN walked past.

    Nursing badges...we no longer wear those here *sigh*. I lost my EN badge the day I left my training hospital...


    We worked bloody hard, were highly aware of infection control and asepsis principles, and were strict with observations. And we were the only ones there to assess diet, swallowing, ADLs, ambulation etc. And who was the one around when the person / family needed emotional care? The nurse...somehow we found time for that role too.

    Nursing is different today, and we still work just as hard. It's just the focus is different. We have more allied health professionals, but we are the first professionals there, we are the ones there all the time, we still are there when the others aren't around. And we are the ones who do the first assessment and pick up concerns in most instances. Our work has become more technical, but we still are patient orientated. Things change, and things stay the same...
    Last edit by Tiwi on Mar 5, '07 : Reason: I keep thinking of things
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    LEt's see, calculating IV drip rates, taping the side of the glass bottles, and counting the drips with my watch. Posey vests, nursing order then. Confused patients getting in arguments with roomates, and glass IV bottles smashing on the floor, when they tried to punch each other from their beds....lol. White uniforms, white panty hose, white shoes, leather shoes, no sneakers! Smoking at the desk while we did our charting. Never wearing gloves, they were in the supply room, if you could find them. My med nurse, smoking while she poured the meds into little paper soufle cups with paper cards in front of each with the meds written on them. I worked 11pm -7am when I frist was a nurse, the first 5 years. Patients admitted with weakness, then wrestling them off their beds, while they were jumping up and down swinging their cane at me the whole time, seems if you needed a little rest from mom or dad, or uncle or auntie, your doc would admit them to the hospital so you could get a rest..I could go on and on, lots has changed since December 1979, when I graduated and started working. Oh taking your boards in April and not getting the results til July. The test was given in the city, all multiple choice. Hope you enjoyed my little trip down memory lane, and the number one thing I remember, is having enough time to talk to a scared patient the night before surgery and calm their fears!
  10. 0
    Quote from nursebrandie28
    :angel2: my grandmother, mother and i are all nurses and the other day we were sitting around talking about how nursing has changed wince we were pinned...

    my grandmother (became a nurse 1946) states "when i graduated, only doctors could start iv's" and "nurses were white, so you knew who was a nurse and who wasnt"

    my mother (became a nurse 1978) states "patients were admitted for rest" and "in my nursing textbook, it instructed us to rise at the presence of a doctor and always give your seat"

    me (became a nurse 2003)-- paperwork, more and more paperwork!! computer charting also!!

    anything you want to share that has changed!!


    not a nurse yet, but my favorite from the last time we had this thread was taping a patient's buttcheeks to the bed rails to allow a heat lamp to dry their bed sores (i cannot imagine the smell that must have made)


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