Nursing: Then and Now - page 3
Looking back to when I was in nursing school, and then starting my nursing career, I remember many things that are no longer in use, or things that have transformed over the years. Gone are the days... Read More
9Oct 23, '12 by madwife2002, BSN, RN Senior ModeratorUK
Hair had to be up, no hair could touch your collar!
No make up
Mainly younger students-we had an older lady in our class who was 40 and it was unheard of
Student nurses were in abundance in the hospital before the education became University based
1st, 2nd and 3rd year students nurses knew their place
Urine was never left draining in catheter bags it was emptied hourly
Every nurse/student nurse knew every diagnoses and test of every pt on the ward.
Nightingale wards with 20-30 pts
All beds made and all pts washed before 11am
6Oct 23, '12 by Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN Senior ModeratorQuote from LIZZYICUYes we did.....and so did the MD's. The MD's would walk into then patients room after getting off the elevator and snuff out their smoke. We would have to watch some patients .....we had this Little ole lady who was confused....she would go to the ashtrays outside the elevator door and steal the butts to smoke in her bathroom.WOW, you all have seen a lot! I hear stories of how everyone used to smoke at the nurses' station. It's so crazy to me when I think about it.
Nothing sounds (or feels) like a metal bedpan hurled at you (or dropped) in the middle of the night.
We charted in blue/black for days, brown for evenings and red for nights.
There were 3 bottles in the floor for water seal chest tubes.
Calibrated the monitors with the mercury sphygmomanometers
White uniforms....dresses only. White panty hose.
The sisters would round every shift for "idleness".
Dr Clancey's butt ointment.
Pepper.....I agree.....double bagging isolation contents needs to come back.Last edit by Esme12 on Oct 23, '12
1Oct 23, '12 by SummitRN, BSN, RN, EMT-BOP thanks for the post. I'm glad I'm not living in the NOW. THEN doesn't stack up to NOW in any respect except the quality of the people who did the job.
1Oct 23, '12 by amygarsideSo much has happened in the nursing profession and hopefully more changes for the better will come in the future.
3Oct 23, '12 by joanna73 GuideQuote from DoGoodThenGoWhen we were learning IV skills in nursing school, we first learned how to manually calculate drip rates. I'm glad we did. I have had to count drip rates a few times already because we didn't have an automatic pump on the unit. They were all in use."Nurses had to calculate the drip rate using the second hand on their watch and a roller clamp to regulate the flow"Knowing how to manually (or mentally) calcuate drip rates and regulate flow is skill that IMHO all nurses should know and keep keen upon. You never know where your practice will take you and or under what conditions you will be nursing.Everthing from terrorist attacks and natural disasters to simply a poorly run facility, you'll never know when you're going to be short of even absent of pumps and going to have to go "old school".
2Oct 23, '12 by sistasoulHi,
I have been a nurse for 4 years. I have talked to a few nurses who had been nursing in the 70's and 80's. They all say the biggest change is that you had more time with the patient back then then now. Way more charting these days.
Does anyone else think this is the biggest change?
8Oct 23, '12 by cienurseEnemas were not disposible plastic bottles-we mixed them in a metal can with castille soap and a long rubber tube-we called them "3 H enemes," the nurse had the last word with the patient; if we told you not to get out of bed, then you stayed there until the nurse came and told you it was okay to get up! We used KY jelly for a variety of tasks from glueing the stripe to our caps to physically assisting with bowel evacuation. Ah, the good old days! LOL
13Oct 23, '12 by Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN Senior Moderatoranyone remember sippy one and sippy two diets????
Red rubber NGT's
Heat lamps for decubiti
4Oct 23, '12 by DoGoodThenGoQuote from cienurseIn the excellent PBS/BBC series "Call the Midwife" the senior nurse midwife instructing the new young one tells her to give the enema "high, hot and a hell of a lot". So there are your three "H's" for you.Enemas were not disposible plastic bottles-we mixed them in a metal can with castille soap and a long rubber tube-we called them "3 H enemes," the nurse had the last word with the patient; if we told you not to get out of bed, then you stayed there until the nurse came and told you it was okay to get up! We used KY jelly for a variety of tasks from glueing the stripe to our caps to physically assisting with bowel evacuation. Ah, the good old days! LOL
Video: Episode 1 | Watch Call the Midwife Online | PBS Video
In their bags the midwives carry all sorts of things that might seem totally alien to us today, well at least in the form shown. For instance the rectal tubes were made of glass. When another young new nurse-midwife points this out her senior quips back "why is there a problem? Do you break things?". The gag is that "Nurse Chummy" is a great big girl and quite dead awkward,but her heart is made of gold.
5Oct 23, '12 by Liddle Noodnik GuideI feel very old reading this thread!!! because I remember most of what was brought up here!
Quote from Pepper The CatYes and as the pill dissolved the test tube got quite hot.Diabetic's sugar was determined by a urine test. Remember dropping pills into a test tube of urine and then comparing the colour of the urine to a chart to see what the sugar was. + 1, + 2 and so forth.
Quote from tnbutterflyThey were quite comfy!
Ah yes..........Clinic brand shoes. I remember them well.
Quote from Esme12and I remember someone coming up with the "secret" of using maalox to the decub and then applying the heat lamp ... (and how dangerous to rely on a busy nurse like myself to remember to come back and check in 20 minutes!)Heat lamps for decubiti
1Oct 23, '12 by DoGoodThenGoOf Nightingale wards and trolleys.
For those of you youngsters that never experienced them Nightingale wards (named after their creator Florence Nightingale) were those big open rooms with multiple patient beds arranged in rows down each side. The purpose was to allow (then) air to circulate, general cleanliness and the comfort of patients and improve the efficiency of the nursing staff. This is where those trolleys/carts come in.
As one only has but two arms there is a limited amount a nurse could carry, however to get down those long wards there had to be away to haul what was required; hence the trolley carts. Everything from meds,meals linens for bed making, supplies for procedures and or treatments, and so forth would be loaded onto those carts and pushed from one end of the ward to the other. When doing beds we (then) NA's would leave the cart loaded with fresh linens at one end of the ward (usually front near the door) and fetch what was needed as beds were stripped and or made.
The problem with a ward is then as now everyone wants Nurse's attention and she or he cannot be in two places at once. You may enter Ward B to give patient "X" his meds but then patient "A" spies you first and shouts "NURSE".
Often there was a nurse's desk at the head or end of the ward and that is where the nurse on duty sat/used as a nurses station. One could sit there and gaze down the nice neat rows at all one's patients and observe what was going on. On nights when things were dark and quiet it could get down right gloomy. Of course you also had to fight the urge to fall asleep!
There were several downsides to large open mulitpatient wards not the least was risk of cross infection. Then there was the fact there was limited to no privacy for patients or staff for that matter. Drawing the curtains and speaking in hushed tones only went but so far. Everyone knew everyone else's business, especially during visiting hours when you'd get less than discrete family members showing up.
Here is a clip from an old BBC television production of "The Singing Detective" which shows NHS nurses managing their patients in a ward. For some reason NHS hospitals have held onto open wards longer than us in the United States where they are no longer found.
1 OF 6 - The Singing Detective: Skin (ENTIRE SHOW) - Dennis Potter BBC TV Miniseries 1986 - YouTube
4Oct 23, '12 by CrazierThanYouQuote from nursel56This post: I LOVE IT!Some of these may have been mentioned . . .
Laundry would send up a gigantic stack of unfolded cloth diapers. All the nurses pitched in to fold them when we had a spare minute. Disposable diapers only used for very young or babies on strict I and O. We weighed the Pampers (Huggies hadn't been invented yet :-)) and stacked them up, weighed again after baby voided.
Most of our IVs were a butterfly in a scalp vein with a Dixie Cup cut in half taped on to protect the site. (some of the babes looked right jaunty in their paper cup hats).
Suction machines had glass cannisters, trach care was done with a pre-sterilized cloth wrapped packs with 3 glass cups, hemostat, pipe cleaners, gauze, etc. All trachs were metal.
Isolation gowns were cloth, too. Just about everything that is plastic or paper now was at one time glass or metal, it seems. We did not sharpen and re-use needles, though.
No computers, just paper and typewriters as mentioned. Charts were a 3-ring binder. Everyone (doctors, nurses, social workers etc) wrote their "SOAP" notes in the progress notes. I really liked that.