Nursing: Then and Now - page 7

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. 3
    Quote from Good Morning, Gil
    My question is: how did nurses have time to smoke back in the day? lol

    I always call patients Mr or Miss ______ unless they prefer something else or are my age or younger. I'm in my 20's; is this not standard practice? I think it's rude to call someone 50 years older than me by his/her first name.
    Oh there was time to smoke, go to the powder room, go to have your meals (in the cafeteria for days and perhaps evenings), take breaks, have a quick convo with one's bf, hubby or fiancÚ (then as now many nurses were dating or involved with a member of staff or someone who had regular business at the hospital such as LE ), and so forth.

    Depending upon your unit there could be a decent census of stable patients whom today would be discharged home or to LTC. So aside from meds, treatments and what not there really wasn't *that* much else to do. Even for many CC patients treatments/interventions may have been limited compared to the options today.

    With team nursing it also was (again depending upon the unit and staffing) sometimes easy to sneak off for a break or what not. That is until your head nurse sniffed you out.

    Finally there was end of shift charting. If not the nurse's station then the lounge or anyplace else one could find room and smoking was allowed.

    Get the hottest topics every week!

    Subscribe to our free Nursing Insights newsletter.

  2. 1
    Quote from tnbutterfly
    Post op patients did not ambulate as soon and as often as they do now.
    Neither often did new moms.
    tnbutterfly likes this.
  3. 1
    Quote from nhnursie
    Dont think I saw this but patients were admitted the night BEFORE surgery!!!!!!
    Patients were often admitted night or even a day or several before scheduled surgery or procedure. Much depended upon what sort of tests/lab work the MD wanted run beforehand, or required prep.

    So many things are done today on an outpatient basis and or much of the prep done at home before patient arrives that "youngsters" forget there was a time that didn't happen. A two or even three day bowel prep for a colonoscopy was done inpatient. You'd find those soda pop looking green bottles of magnesium citrate in many fridges on the floor, but getting patients to drink them all down was another matter cause it most certainly did not taste like pop. *LOL*

    Depending upon what tests or whatnot were ordered the physican or physicans may wish to see the results early enough before the night before.
    tnbutterfly likes this.
  4. 1
    Quote from Good Morning, Gil
    My question is: how did nurses have time to smoke back in the day? lol

    I always call patients Mr or Miss ______ unless they prefer something else or are my age or younger. I'm in my 20's; is this not standard practice? I think it's rude to call someone 50 years older than me by his/her first name.
    Welcome to the new world of assumed informality.

    Telephone your credit card's customer service department and the rep named "Bob" (even though they are most often in India ) acts like he has known you for ages and begins addressing you by your Christian name. Go to a restaurant and your waiter is now also your close friend and upon seeing your name on the credit card begins calling you again by your Christian name.

    Back in the old days it was "Nurse Rogers" or "Miss. Kent", or "Doctor Jones". Patients were Mr, Miss. or Mrs, unless some other honorific such as "Father", or whatnot applied.
    tnbutterfly likes this.
  5. 2
    Quote from phoffman
    I remember having a brown glass bottle of whiskey in the med closet to give a Doctor ordered measured dose (in a med cup)
    We mixed chemo IV's at the start of shift.
    We also added yellow vitamin to IV (I loved the smell, so my co-workers would save those for me)
    My grandfather had pernicious anemia and needed a vitamin B shot 1x/month. As a student nurse I gave it to him in my aunt's (nurse) absence. The syringe was glass and the needle needed to be sharpened!
    Ahh Vitamin B, the essential ingredient for making a nurse's best IV friend the "banana bag". Slap some tape on the thing and you've got a system nearly if not equally as accurate for most gravity infusions as today's pumps.
    NRSKarenRN and tnbutterfly like this.
  6. 3
    Quote from brandy1017
    I remember the two day all day affair of nursing boards back in the day! And you only learned if you passed, not how well or poorly you had done. Months would go by while you were working and waiting and if you failed you could lose your job or at least be demoted till you passed. Talk about pressure! I passed but a couple coworkers didn't, one lost her job and had to go to a different hospital, the other worked as a HUC/CNA till boards were passed.
    In Manhattan, NYC the boards were usually given IIRC at the New York Coliseum on Columbus Circle (now the Time Warner Building).

    Twice a year you'd pass and see scores of mainly women and girls in various states of panic stretched out with Lippincott and other review manuals doing some last minute reviewing.
  7. 1
    Quote from Psychtrish39
    @Do good.. I went to school in the early 2000s and we learned gravity drips as well. You are right all nurses should know how and I am glad that I do so if in a natural disaster or no pumps.. I can do it "old school" and I am darn proud I am old school and new school both.. Love this post.... love hearing how nursing has changed...
    Quite honestly regulating the flow manually probably is the easy part. It's getting to that point, the actual math that seems to scare most student nurses. Thing is the standard formulas haven't changed much over the years, and long as one knows basic math it's all pretty much plugging the numbers in then solving the problem. Oh and knowing when to round up or down unless you've found a way to give fractional drops! *LOL*

    Student nurses today by and large have it easy as most progams allow them to use calculators and various formulas/methods to solve. Back in the day it was pencil,paper, showing all work an in most cases using only the formula one's med dose calc teacher gave, PERIOD.
    tnbutterfly likes this.
  8. 2
    Quote from nursel56
    Just had to come back and add another one --- "then" you waited for ☞6 weeks☜ for the results of your "state boards" - (pre-cursor to the NCLEX) so I get amused when people freak out if they don't get "the good pop-up" in a few days.
    Oh the days when one could graduate on Friday and start working as a GN on Monday without skipping a beat. The biggest question usually running around a class of grads was those who would work before taking the boards versus those who wanted to take some time off and or use the period to study.
    nursel56 and tnbutterfly like this.
  9. 2
    Speaking of the harrowing 2-day ordeal of State Boards...... One of my classmates was so worked up about taking the boards that she fainted and missed part of the first day's testing. In fact, I don't know what became of her....whether or not she was even allowed in the testing room at all. I try to block out all memories of those 2 days.......except for the miraculous fact that I passed!!!!
  10. 6
    Quote from DidiRN
    One thing I remember and see a huge difference now is when I started back in the mid 1980s, is how patients and families had a lot more trust and respect for you.
    Know am going to get *****slapped for saying this but..... part of that "trust and respect" came from the professional pulled together look of whites with or without a cap.

    Yes, one knows in shouldn't matter but dress does play a powerful role in how others perceive us in our employment roles.

    There is no reason why airline pilots still need to wear those military inspired uniforms, I mean aside from going to and from the plane no one actually sees them at their job, but yet they do and when they saunder (or in some cases strut) through the airport some people stand at little straighter.
    Last edit by Silverdragon102 on Oct 25, '12 : Reason: changed to all **


Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and Create Job Alerts, Manage Your Resume, and Apply for Jobs.

A Big Thank You To Our Sponsors
Top