How nursing has changed over the years

  1. Hi. I'm a new nursing student, just starting clinicals. I am learning more about the different aspects of nursing and patient care in today's healthcare system but would like to know how it has evolved. How has the nursing profession changed since you first started your career? Thanks for you input.
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   Thunderwolf
    In the last 20 years:

    1. Nurses have become more vocal and political, raising the bar of professional presence and patient advocacy
    2. More college prepared RNs and/or RNs desiring further college education (as well as more opportunities to become an RN...accelerated, bridge, and distance learning)
    3. More men in Nursing...5 times the amount of male nurses since I became a RN 20 years ago
    4. Nurses becoming more advanced in practice due to more state legislatures becoming more willing to advance the profession as a whole despite opposing political pressures
    5. Less and less female nurses holding on to the traditional/servant garb, such as caps, nurse uniform dresses and hose, for more unisex attire...ie scrubs.
    6. Although still present in areas (old habits die hard), the concept of nursing being a "feminine" occupation is much less...much because of males coming into the profession and females tearing down inaccurate stereotypes (sex kittens, battle axes, dumb blondes (sic), handservants/ selfless servants)

    What has not changed has been the public perception as to what nurses REALLY do or what nurses REALLY are...much due to inaccurate portrayals in the media. This is the frontier that has yet to be adequately addressed and/or resolved.

    Wolfie
    Last edit by Thunderwolf on Sep 19, '05
  4. by   Ruby Vee
    when i started nursing 28 years ago, there were ash trays in every nurse's station so the cardiologists and pulmonologists could smoke while they went through their patients' charts.

    you were supposed to stand up and offer the md your chair when he entered the nurse's station.

    female physicians, especially cardiologists and cardiac surgeons were rare and were harassed by the good old boy network.

    physicians were more given to temper tantrums than they are now, and there was no such thing as a mandated "anger management workshop."

    mi patients didn't get cold drinks or showers, weren't allowed bathroom priveleges and were discouraged from straining at stool. they stayed in the hospital a week to 10 days.

    all admit orders had "valium 10 mg. po q 4h prn."

    you could restrain your patients if you needed to.

    there was no such thing as a bedside glucometer -- you drew your sample, sent it to the lab, and waited two hours to find out that your glucose wa 36. or 436.

    you didn't even dream of treating a blood sugar less than 240.

    everyone got "pm cares: a bed bath, linen change and a back rub."

    "because the doctor ordered it" was considered a reasonable rationale for doing something.

    visitors were respectful, patients were grateful and their families brought chocolate for the nurses.

    bicarb was given every five minutes during a code.

    you did mouth-to-mouth when you found your patient down.

    i'm sure there are lots more, but i need to go wrestle with my 47 year etoher who was in jail for spousal abuse when he developed his chest pain.

    ruby
  5. by   Thunderwolf
    there were ash trays in every nurse's station so the cardiologists and pulmonologists could smoke while they went through their patients' charts.
    Oh, how could I forget that! So true. Or nurses smoking in the break room while they charted or gave report.
  6. by   pyxeduhst5282
    wow....it's so amazing to talk about how things have changed...i can't wait 'till i can look back on all of the changes through the years...i have just one year under my belt thus far...so i can't contribute thanks for all the amazing details!!!

    Quote from ruby vee
    when i started nursing 28 years ago, there were ash trays in every nurse's station so the cardiologists and pulmonologists could smoke while they went through their patients' charts.

    you were supposed to stand up and offer the md your chair when he entered the nurse's station.

    female physicians, especially cardiologists and cardiac surgeons were rare and were harassed by the good old boy network.

    physicians were more given to temper tantrums than they are now, and there was no such thing as a mandated "anger management workshop."

    mi patients didn't get cold drinks or showers, weren't allowed bathroom priveleges and were discouraged from straining at stool. they stayed in the hospital a week to 10 days.

    all admit orders had "valium 10 mg. po q 4h prn."

    you could restrain your patients if you needed to.

    there was no such thing as a bedside glucometer -- you drew your sample, sent it to the lab, and waited two hours to find out that your glucose wa 36. or 436.

    you didn't even dream of treating a blood sugar less than 240.

    everyone got "pm cares: a bed bath, linen change and a back rub."

    "because the doctor ordered it" was considered a reasonable rationale for doing something.

    visitors were respectful, patients were grateful and their families brought chocolate for the nurses.

    bicarb was given every five minutes during a code.

    you did mouth-to-mouth when you found your patient down.

    i'm sure there are lots more, but i need to go wrestle with my 47 year etoher who was in jail for spousal abuse when he developed his chest pain.

    ruby
  7. by   NRSKarenRN
    stroll through: voices from the past, visions of the future: ana's centennial presentation for more info about the history of nursing and how we've developed as a profession.

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