Nursing: Then and Now - page 13

The nursing profession, as a whole, as well as the role of the nurse have evolved dramatically over the past several decades. I personally have witnessed the changing face of nursing during my 30+ years in the profession. Gone... Read More

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    We still have charge stickers, but only for certain things like dressing supplies (Aquacel, etc) or a foley cath...and they end up on my badge
    amoLucia likes this.

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    Metal syringe pumps that you programmed using the "syringe factor"...no digital read out or even ml/hr dial. Mixing our own IV fluids in the NICU! It was night shift's job. We just laid a towel on the work counter by the sink and pulled out the "recipe" book. This included fluids with potassium in them....for preemies!
    Teacup Pom likes this.
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    IV pumps were used only in Peds and ICU. Nurses had to calculate the drip rate using the second hand on their watch and a roller clamp to regulate the flow.
    Just last week I had to count drips instead of using a pump. I work in the ED, and pumps are few and far between. They're only used for peds patients, geriatric patients and for medications that MUST be put on a pump, such as Heparin. This was the first time I did this.
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    Quote from whichone'spink
    Just last week I had to count drips instead of using a pump. I work in the ED, and pumps are few and far between. They're only used for peds patients, geriatric patients and for medications that MUST be put on a pump, such as Heparin. This was the first time I did this.
    I'm glad you were capable of doing this. This is definitely a nursing skill that must taught.

    We have gotten to the technological age where we tend to rely too heavily on machines to do our thinking. Then when we have a malfunction, we are not mentally capable of doing things manually.

    Another example....... many nurses rely totally on blood pressure monitors and have not developed the ability to take a BP manually. Back in the day, all we had were manual BP cuffs.
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    Quote from tnbutterfly
    I'm glad you were capable of doing this. This is definitely a nursing skill that must taught.

    We have gotten to the technological age where we tend to rely too heavily on machines to do our thinking. Then when we have a malfunction, we are not mentally capable of doing things manually.

    Another example....... many nurses rely totally on blood pressure monitors and have not developed the ability to take a BP manually. Back in the day, all we had were manual BP cuffs.
    Two words: Hurricane Sandy. Ok, need to add a few more: NYU-Langone Hospital evacuation.

    Those nurses had to care for then move >200 pts in the dark and without pumps and the other machinery/computers that have become part and parcel of modern nursing/hospital care.

    Posted a link elsewhere to an interview ABC news did with the NICU nurses and the one question the woman had for the nurses was "how did you know what to do?" especially in relation to venting and otherwise keeping those very ill newborns alive not only on unit without power, every moment until the transfer was complete and they were at a new NYC hospital.

    What did the nurses answer? To a one "you just know..."

    To a lay person that may sound like an easy answer but to any seasoned nurse it comes down to knowing one's stuff and basically it all comes flooding back and one simply gets on.
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    Most excellent point, DoGood!!!

    Just think of all those nurses had to cope with. Most of all that modern technology does rely on electricity.

    Nurses at all times need to rely on their brains and basic, but very important nursing skills. Skills that do not require electricity but are important for monitoring the lives of their patients. These are the same skills we learned and practiced "back in the day".
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    Quote from tnbutterfly
    I'm glad you were capable of doing this. This is definitely a nursing skill that must taught.

    We have gotten to the technological age where we tend to rely too heavily on machines to do our thinking. Then when we have a malfunction, we are not mentally capable of doing things manually.

    Another example....... many nurses rely totally on blood pressure monitors and have not developed the ability to take a BP manually. Back in the day, all we had were manual BP cuffs.

    Totally agree with you on this....I do not like the machines for BP's, I mean obviously they are used a lot...but I totally prefer to do a manuel BP because it is so much more accurate. I hate to say it but it is also becoming a lost skill!
    Silverdragon102 and tnbutterfly like this.
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    Quote from rnsrgr8t
    Totally agree with you on this....I do not like the machines for BP's, I mean obviously they are used a lot...but I totally prefer to do a manuel BP because it is so much more accurate. I hate to say it but it is also becoming a lost skill!
    It certainly is! I had someone come to me and say that she was getting a low pulse reading and she tried 3 machines and each one gave her a different reading with a range from 30 - 60 BPM.
    So I asked her what is was manually. she looked at me like I had 3 heads and said "Oh, I didn't think to do it that way". I checked, and the pt had a very irregular heart rate which probably caused the problems.
    DizzyLizzyNurse and tnbutterfly like this.
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    Quote from Pepper The Cat
    It certainly is! I had someone come to me and say that she was getting a low pulse reading and she tried 3 machines and each one gave her a different reading with a range from 30 - 60 BPM.
    So I asked her what is was manually. she looked at me like I had 3 heads and said "Oh, I didn't think to do it that way". I checked, and the pt had a very irregular heart rate which probably caused the problems.
    We had a patient hemorrhaging after a cesarean, and we couldn't get a BP on her! The equipment in our recovery room would not register one, and no manual cuffs were to be found. It was very frustrating for us, and we finally borrowed one from a med surg unit. By that time, her BP was down in the scary area of just being palpable, and only one number. I think every unit should have a manual cuff for these occasions. Now I carry one in my new job, and that's the only kind I use.
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    The old saying is that 'NECESSITY is the mother of invention'. I hold that it really is nursing.

    We all have so, so many 'tricks of the trade' that help us overcome difficulties with equipment or lack of supplies. Remember before we had the precut gtube/trach dressings. We would just chevron-type fold 4x4s. And I've made my own Montgomery straps to help secure wound dressings. I just think it's amazing how experience from the 'old days' so freq helps us out in a pinch!

    Anyone remember scultetus (sp?) binders - the old fabric ones?


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