Nursing the old fashioned way - page 7

by Scarlette Wings

hi all, i just read a thread asking about older nursing interventions and it made me think of the older techniques that we really did use before so many modern meds and procedures. for a lower gi bleed we used to do strong... Read More


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    I have a question I was wondering about the other day, when did IVs become so prevalent (like, having every single patient have one regardless of whether they are using it or not)? What did they do before IVs?

    Also, before they routinely anti-coagulated people, were people dropping dead of PE's all of the time??

    When did they start doing all of these tests (multiple CTs, MRIs, U/S, etc) on all of the patients?

    Why did they put the blue in the tube feed??

    And. . .how on EARTH did you guys keep your whites white?? Because I try to be so careful, but by the end of the shift I am disgusting with splashes of everything all over me.

    This is fascinating - thanks for everyone who is sharing on this thread.
    DeLanaHarvickWannabe likes this.
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    So, when were RN's allowed to start IV's and blood transfusions? Guess I could just google. Only been a nurse for 2 years, so I find this fascinating. For those who have been around for a while, was it a slow progression over time or within a decade or so, things were very different, RN's having more responsibilities, etc?
    DeLanaHarvickWannabe likes this.
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    Quote from Good Morning, Gil
    So, when were RN's allowed to start IV's and blood transfusions? Guess I could just google. Only been a nurse for 2 years, so I find this fascinating. For those who have been around for a while, was it a slow progression over time or within a decade or so, things were very different, RN's having more responsibilities, etc?
    Have a huge copy of Lippincott's Manual & Standards of Nursing Practice from the 1980's that clearly outlines how to start IV's and blood transfusions. So therefore one must assume somewhere in the United States RNs were doing them.

    However what nurses were allowed to do often depended upon each hospital's own standards and practice. Worked as an NA in many NYC area hospitals during that period and clearly recall staff nursing at some places having to page and wait for a doctor (attending, resident, intern, etc...) to show up in order to start an IV. They could prepare and hang the bottle (or bag) but again had to wait for a doc to show up. If a KVO order came late in the evening or worse nights it could be a long wait sometimes before a paged doctor showed up. Often it was some sleepy resident or such in his jammies (scrubs *LOL*).
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    Quote from Esme12
    "sippy one sippy two" diet something every hour to protect the stomach linning by coating it foot cradles and chest tube strippers, wrapping the ENTIRE tubing and bag with foil to protect nipride from light. I remember the first time I hung nitro. It was called TRIDIL and you had to use the special TRIDIL tubing.......we were terrified if we dropped it it would explode or something horrible we were sure would happen.

    Never change an initial surgical dressing reinforce it only. Demerol and atropine for pre ops. pre medicating for Amphotericin B. Minimize the usage of gloves because it made the patient feel ailenated......theraputic touch was all the rage. I remember one nurse asking me if I was afraid to "get a little poop on you Honey?" when I wanted some with a particularly bloodied patient in the ED. You NEVER wore gloves to start IV's......
    I remember Versed and atrophine given by IM on the floor for pre-ops.

    As for the "gloves" thing! Yes it was so old school to be told off for using them but one didn't care, the first thing this young NA did upon hitting the floor was to fill my pockets with them. More than a few older nurses gave me looks and said it would give the patient the impression something was "wrong" with him or her if I wore golves. Was also asked by one nurse "do you wear gloves when *you* go to the bathroom?".

    This was all of course before AIDS hit, after that here *everyone* from housekeeping on up gloved themselves.
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    Quote from AlphaPig
    I have a question I was wondering about the other day, when did IVs become so prevalent (like, having every single patient have one regardless of whether they are using it or not)? What did they do before IVs?

    Also, before they routinely anti-coagulated people, were people dropping dead of PE's all of the time??

    When did they start doing all of these tests (multiple CTs, MRIs, U/S, etc) on all of the patients?

    Why did they put the blue in the tube feed??

    And. . .how on EARTH did you guys keep your whites white?? Because I try to be so careful, but by the end of the shift I am disgusting with splashes of everything all over me.

    This is fascinating - thanks for everyone who is sharing on this thread.
    Goo, poo, and spew aren't that hard to deal with on whites. A good enzyme laundry product along with bleach usually did the trick. Various meds and other substances such as Betadine OTHO were another story.

    Once the cult of pinafores and or aprons died out as part of nurse's uniforms in the USA except mainly for students, one had to get creative in order to protect one's uniform. The most common garment pressed into service were those cloth isolation gowns. They were also popular for use in covering up in case one's uniform did become soiled,and for keeping warm on a cold floor/ward in lieu of a sweater. Mind you administration and or management often had things to say about this but one had to do what one had to do.

    The one cardinal rule back then was to use the obvious route and allow a staff/floor nurse to change into scrubs if her uniform became soiled. Back in those days that was a *HUGE* no no. The only nurses allowed to wear scrubs were those on certain units, the OR, and L&D. The rationale behind the ban was that on the floors a nurse might be confused with a physican if she was allowed to wear scrubs. Heaven forbid! *LOL*
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    Quote from DoGoodThenGo
    Have a huge copy of Lippincott's Manual & Standards of Nursing Practice from the 1980's that clearly outlines how to start IV's and blood transfusions. So therefore one must assume somewhere in the United States RNs were doing them.
    This was common, long-standing practice for RNs when I was in nursing school in the early '80s.
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    I have a question I was wondering about the other day, when did IVs become so prevalent (like, having every single patient have one regardless of whether they are using it or not)? What did they do before IVs? As the days pass by I realize that I am a dinosaur.....I started nursing school in the seventies as did my sister so we date to about 1976....IV's were common then as were blood transfusions. I believe that blood transfusions and nursing involvement began during WWII when many things changed for the world. I know the first blood balk was established in 1937 at Chicago's Cook County Hospital followed by San Francisco in 1941. IV's became standard during that time as well....there just were not enough male medical personnel....especially MD'....the were fighting the war.... so nurses began to safely perform all these tasks and it carried to civilian life. History of Blood Banking :: America's Blood Centers

    Also, before they routinely anti-coagulated people, were people dropping dead of PE's all of the time?? We anti-coagulated...but yes...people died from Emboli frequently. Before the Thrombolytics a common diagnosis was Left ventricular aneurysm.....now when that ruptured the instantly turned blue from the nipple line up...very distinct appearence....yes they died as well.

    When did they start doing all of these tests (multiple CTs, MRIs, U/S, etc) on all of the patients? Ultrasounds and CT as well as nuclear med for scans were common for me so we are dated to 1976. The first "MRI" was performed in 1977 but it's popularity/regularity didn't begin until beginning of 1984-85...along with the caps and whites in favor of scrubs.

    Why did they put the blue in the tube feed?? Ah.....methylene blue....no good nurse was without it...we left patients intubated FOREVER.....snowed and paralyzed.......the dye was put in the tube feeding to see if they were aspirating tube feeding because the feeding were the same consistency as secretions with psuedomonas....we would try to get a pretty blue and would "back off" the dye when their urine started looking a little green

    And. . .how on EARTH did you guys keep your whites white?? Because I try to be so careful, but by the end of the shift I am disgusting with splashes of everything all over me. Well whites were imperative....hydrogen peroxide, bleach and something called bluing...Mrs. Stewart's Bluing: Instructions you caps were to be cleaned and starched as well. You were very careful....we wore patient gowns and surgical gowns when the nuns/management were not around

    This is fascinating - thanks for everyone who is sharing on this thread. You're welcome.
    DeLanaHarvickWannabe likes this.
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    Did someone mention bluing! *LOL*

    In addition to a glass bottle of Mrs. Stewart's one has a vast stash of the stuff including "Bleachette" and Reckitts cubes.

    Got starches as well including Linit and Stanley cubes.

    Ok, so I've got a problem.... *LOL*

    Bit of trivia:

    Zout stain remover was originally invented for nurses to aid in removing stains from whites.
    Esme12 likes this.


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