Nursing: Then and Now - page 3

by tnbutterfly 86,950 Views | 188 Comments Admin

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


  1. 18
    Multi-dose bottles of meds.
    One nurse would give meds to all pts.
    The med room was stocked with many, many multi-dose bottles of meds.

    Isolation meant the pt did NOT leave the room.

    Isolation meant double bagging everything - a "dirty" nurse inside the room would hold out a laundry bag while the
    "clean nurse" held out a second laundry bag. The dirty nurse would put their laundry bag into the clean laundry bag. This was repeated for garbage. Meal trays were 100% disposable. I still say we should go back to these practices!
    Cinquefoil, uRNmyway, Teacup Pom, and 15 others like this.
  2. 5
    Quote from tnbutterfly




    Ah yes..........Clinic brand shoes. I remember them well.
    Also known as "Nurse's Regulation" shoe and still in production.

    CLINIC SHOES : THE CLASSIC NURSING SHOE

    With all this emphasis on patient "customer service" from the federal goverment you girls could perhaps find yourselves back in those shoes, along with whites and caps in the near future! *LOL*
  3. 7
    Going back to whites would not be all bad. But no caps - they didn't get cleaned often enough, and men don't wear them.

    Clean shoes would be nice.
  4. 2
    Quote from DoGoodThenGo
    "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".
    Old school IV bonus round questions:

    What were the patented names of several manual flow rate regulators? What were their advantages over simple screw or roller devices? What was their usual general accuracy flow rate for gravity infused fluids (ml./hr)?

    Finally who were JV AC 280 and Epic 100?
    NRSKarenRN and lindarn like this.
  5. 6
    Quote from merlee
    Going back to whites would not be all bad. But no caps - they didn't get cleaned often enough, and men don't wear them.

    Clean shoes would be nice.
    Modern Kay's "Perma-Starch" caps require nothing more than a swishing in soapy water, rinsed and laid flat to dry. Perhaps ironing with a cool iron if you've got that kind of time. *LOL*

    Now if you want to go old school get yourself a box of Argo, Faultless or Linit powdered starch and knock yourself out! *LOL*
    VampyrSlayer, NRSKarenRN, Dalzac, and 3 others like this.
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    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.

    Smallpox vaccine.
    Last edit by nursel56 on Oct 23, '12 : Reason: changed the t to a d in the word "send"
  7. 8
    UK

    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
  8. 5
    Quote from LIZZYICU
    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.
    Yes 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.

    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
  9. 1
    OP 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.
    nursel56 likes this.
  10. 1
    So much has happened in the nursing profession and hopefully more changes for the better will come in the future.
    tnbutterfly likes this.


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