You Know You're an Old(er) Nurse If . . .

  1. You know you're an older nurse if:
    1. You remember working with nurses who wore caps.

    2. You remember nurses (and doctors) sitting at the nurses station drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes while charting.

    3. You remember when charting was done (handwritten) in 3 different colors (black or blue for day shift, green for evening shifts, red for night shift).

    4. You remember when IV fluids came only in glass bottles.

    5. You remember when breast milk wasn't a biohazard. :redlight:

    6. You remember when chest tube setups consisted of glass bottles, rubber stoppers, and tubing.

    7. You remember when white polyester uniforms were the standard for nurses.

    8. You remember when you'd have given your eye teeth for a comfortable pair of nursing shoes (we haven't always been able to wear athletic shoes).

    9. You remember when the hospital's top nurse was the director of nursing and not the chief nursing officer.

    10. You remember giving lots of IM shots for pre-ops and pain meds.

    What else?

    HollyVK (with patient care experience going back to 1972) :gandalf:
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  2. 400 Comments

  3. by   1Tulip
    1. You stood when the doctor came in the station/floor. (OK, I'm really not that old, but my supervisor was and she made me do it.)

    2. You carried (or rolled) the Kardex along behind the doctors when they made rounds.

    3. You had all the meds written on little cards that you put in a slot on a rolling med tray, above a cup that had all the pills in it.

    4. Narcotic lockers and keys. (Ever go home with the Narc keys in your pocket and had a sherriff's deputy come to your house to pick them up? Remember the multi-dose bottles of morphine and you kept track of the volume used by putting a strip of tape on it and marking it at each shift change?)

    5. No unit dose. Big jars of pills, from which you dispensed.

    6. Resharpening needles (no, I'm not that old, either. But we had a class that included the arcane skills in it because I went to school in the south and some grads ended up in rural areas.)

    7. How to sterilize a surgical pack in an oven. (See above class)

    8. Making up sugical packs.

    9. Mercury thermometers.

    10. Pharmacy closed on nights, supervisor carried the keys.

    11. Seconal and Nembutal. Everyone got one of those each HS.

    13. Before cimetidine was invented... 30 ml of heavy cream, 30 ml of maalox alternated every two hours.

    14. Iced saline lavages to stop GI bleeds.

    15. No IV pumps. You had it memorized: 8 hr bottle (and yes, they were bottles) = 125 ml/hr, 12 hrs = 80 ish mls/hr, 6 hr bottle = 166 ish/hr. and you knew the gtts/min because you knew the manufacturer of the gtt chamber. An Abbott chamber 8 hour bottle ran at 31 gtts/min.

    16. No hand-held calculators. I and O, med doses... everything long hand.

    17. Early volume cycle ventilators had no PEEP. You stuck the expiratory hose into a big jar of water with a ruler attached so you knew how many cm/water pressure PEEP you were creating.

    Could we go on and on or WHAT???
  4. by   santhony44
    Some of your co-workers weren't born yet when you became a nurse.

    You remember when there was no such thing as outpatient or day surgery.

    You remember when gallbladder surgery meant an NG tube and a long painful incision; your patients hated you because you made them cough and deep breathe.

    You've seen a CVP done with a water manometer.

    You've burned your fingers and strained your eyes testing for sugar and ketones in the urine.

    You've used those results to give sliding scale insulin.

    You had a little plastic cap case to carry your cap to clinicals because you didn't dare wear it outside of the hospital.

    You routinely cut needles off used syringes.

    You did most things without wearing gloves.

    You've seen a woman labor under "twilight sleep."

    It was a normal thing when patients smoked in their rooms.

    You've treated ulcers with "sippy diets."
  5. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    The bedpans were freezing cold, since they were made of metal.
  6. by   Bibagirl
    treatment for bedsores consisted using a heat lamp, and betadine ointment.
  7. by   TazziRN
    Women in labor were shaved and given enemas, then restrained in the delivery room.

    There was no rooming in.

    Parlodel was prescribed for new moms to dry their milk.

    Dads weren't allowed in the OR during c-sections.

    Abdominal bleeding was diagnosed with a belly tap.

    Needles were recapped after use.
  8. by   asher315
    The GP's ruled every area of the hospital. They delivered and cared for newborns. They did all types of surgery, critical care and the ER.
  9. by   LMonty911
    You remember when there wasn't a nursing shortage!
  10. by   Bibagirl
    "pm care"
    back rubs for patients, (although I still do them!)
    gomco suction, on a little trolley, rolled over to the patients bedside when they required an ng tube to suction
    from my OB days:
    I recall seeing leather wrist restraints strapped to the side of the labor table
    In fact, a separate room for labor, then the patient was moved to the delivery room, (that's where the leather straps came in)
    One of the delivery rooms had the walls painted black so it could be dark for the birth, (the Leboyer method of delivery, very 70's)

    I absolutely love nursing nostalgia!
  11. by   km5v6r
    The only gloves on the unit were in the treatment room and it was locked at night.

    Treating skin breakdown with a brisk massage to improve the blood flow.

    Manual B/P's.

    Mercury B/P machines (no I don't remember the real name and can't spell it anyway) attached to the wall.

    Sliding a bare hand under a sleeping pt to see if they were wet.

    Treating that wet pt's excoriated skin with Maalox.

    Demerol/Vistaril and Atropine IM on the floor 1 hour before OR.

    Admission the afternoon before for morning OR.

    12 lead EKG done with conductivity paste and suction cups.

    Saline pads on the code cart to place under the defibrillation paddles.

    Tap water enema's until clear at HS and in the AM before the barium enema. Followed by enemas after the test.

    Emptying pockets at home only to discover supply charge tickets.

    Assigning admissions not only on male/female but smoking/nonsmoking.

    Parents of peds pt sent home at 8:30 PM.

    Hand cranking the head of the bed up or down.

    Blocks under the legs on the head for trendlenberg.
  12. by   mom23RN
    These are fantastic!!!!! I am hysterical!!!
  13. by   Simplepleasures
    When it was considered whimpy to wear gloves when cleaning up a patient.

    When the gloves where "too expensive" and rationed out in lunch baggies.
  14. by   JBudd
    When all the supplies from toothbrushes to packs of gauze to angiocaths had yellow stickers on them, to be place on the patient's card at the doorway, so they'd get charged for them

    bedpan hoppers

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