You know you're Old School when... - page 3

by snoopy29

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Oh dear I really have set myself off on a trip down memory lane!! Recently a doctor called me "very old school" I think it was meant as a complement but unsurprisingly I was horrified but to be fair when I look back so many... Read More


  1. 0
    Quote from Emergency RN
    I can remember the difference between YOU'RE (a contraction of You Are) and YOUR (a possessive adjective of You)...

    Honestly, nurses used to get dinged on spelling and grammar. Nowadays, with some of the entries I've read in charts, I wonder if we're still speaking English.

    Oh, as for age old nursing tech that I don't miss; if anyone has heard of the Harris Flush, then you're probably as old school as they come.
    I saw a Harris Flush a couple of semesters ago in clinical - I had never heard of it before.
  2. 0
    I'm amazed at how student clinical uniforms have changed over the years. When I went to LPN school in '93 we wore what we called "smurf dresses" - blue and white striped a-line bags with white pinafores that had buttons down each side that went just to or below the knee, white hose, white leather shoes and our caps. We had to be checked off on our uniforms each morning of clinical before we could go to the floor.

    In my RN program now, we wear navy scrub pants with white scrub tops and tennis shoes or nursing shoes.
  3. 6
    PR Paraldehyde (God how it smelled like rotten eggs) for ETOH patients!
  4. 13
    Quote from Moogie
    YES! We were never to wear gloves during injections, enemas, bedpans, or derm treatments because we might make the patient feel bad. The only time we were supposed to wear gloves with derm treatments was if the treatment could be dangerous to non-diseased skin. Otherwise, we were applying all sorts of medications bare-handed.

    Like CT Pixie, I also remember taping the buttocks open for the heat lamp and Milk of Mag treatment, wet-to-dry dressings, full side rails, mechanical hoyers, flat bottom sheets on the beds...

    ...and yes, those lovely bed cranks. I don't know how many times I ran my shin into one of those things. Now THAT's a painful memory.

    I worked inpatient derm for a while and we still had to wear our head-to-toe whites, even though the treatments we gave could permanently stain clothing. We asked administration if we could wear old scrubs leftover by the ICU staff and were told no, because if we wore scrubs, it might make the patients feel "dirty". So all of our uniforms were permanently stained and most of the nurses who floated to our floor would wear patient gowns over their uniforms---but that didn't make the patients feel "dirty", I guess :icon_roll

    One of the biggest changes was in the length of hospital stay. In the late seventies and early eighties, moms who had given birth (non-complicated vaginal birth) stayed for at least five days, often a week. Moms who had C-sections might stay up to two weeks. Prior to the introduction of same-day surgery, folks who had hemmorrhoidectomies would stay five days or even more; we didn't let them go home until they were having nice, soft stools that wouldn't irritate their bottoms.

    We would never send anyone home with an IV, an unhealed wound, a PICC line or anything like we see today. Even if all a person needed was a couple of days of IV antibiotics, he/she would be in the hospital, not kept at home to receive home care (if lucky) or for the patient and/or family to do the treatments without nursing help or supervision. A few months ago, when I had surgery, my wound dehisced my first night at home. The doctor later told me that a "lot" of women experienced dehiscence after an abdominal hysterectomy---I had two ER visits due to the dehiscence, plus a CT scan---all of which consumed both time and money---so wouldn't it have made a bit more sense, if the doctor knew that this was a pattern, to keep post-op patients even one more day? Ridiculous.

    I honestly miss what nursing was back then---not the parts about not wearing gloves or the backwards treatments we did---but I miss getting the chance to get to know the patients, to have the time to assess and meet psychosocial and spiritual needs. Now it seems that acute care is like a drive-through fast food place. You're in, you're out, here's your burger and your take-home meds, buh-bye!

    We have gained so much in forms of technological innovation and evidence-based practice since the '70s and '80s, but we have lost the whole foundation for the therapeutic relationship, at least in most acute care settings. There's still the opportunity to develop relationships (at least with family) in ICU and if there are long-term patients who are there for whatever reason---but honestly, I think nurses and patients have lost a tremendous, intangible experience because of the short stays we have now.
    I completely agree with not being able to meet therapeutic relationship needs. I feel like I can barely meet their medical needs with all of the redundant charting and CYA that has to be done. I enjoy the therapeutic aspect of nursing a great deal and find I just don't have the time for it. I had a little old lady with dementia last night who did not understand that she was moved to a private room because of MRSA in the nares. She thought that if she took something for her "cold" that she could go back to the room she was in and liked. After explaining to her and reassuring her multiple times I just had to give up and get on to my other patients. I was working a 4 hr shift and had a new admit and not to mention learning our new admin rx system. Needless to say my 4 hr shift turned into 7. More and more of our patients come in with dementia and these folks just plain take more time. Time we do not have to give unfortunately.
    sevensonnets, CoffeeGeekRN, scoochy, and 10 others like this.
  5. 9
    I remember when blood bags were hung without pumps. You just timed them. One drop per 5 seconds. Of course some positional IV really made it difficult to keep on track.
  6. 16
    Maybe someone already said it - IV bottles were glass and IV needles were metal. A few years back, a young nurse look at me as if I had 2 heads when I said that I was better at starting IV's when our IV needles were metal and left indwelling.

    Some things have not changed for the better. Subordinate staff, that is, the aides, lived in fear of the RN. Not that we want people necessarily afraid of us, but it was much better when the aides realized that the RN was actually in charge and there'd be consequences to pay for the aide who challenged that. Things were better when more military-like.

    Now, anything goes because managers are afraid to discipline or even correct. Managers and Administrators fear c/o racism or genderism or religionism, so refuse to make problem employees shape up or ship out. I"m not saying there weren't problems or unfairness, but there are today, too, no matter how fair and reasonable we all try to be. Anyone who's upset today can utter the right word or 2 and bring Management to its knees, whether justified or not.

    Hospitals were into real customer service and we didn't need Press-Ganey to show us the right way to do things. We gave correct nursing care and somehow achieved the same goals.
    ExtraShotNoWhip, Cat_LPN, jalyc RN, and 13 others like this.
  7. 3
    Stretchers were lighter and look flimsy by today's standards. The reminded me of ironing boards on wheels.
  8. 4
    The baby bus that came rolling down from the nursery to the postpartum unit , with room for 10 babies all wailing to be fed on schedule. Moms were made to do 10am, 2pm and 8pm care, otherwise they could leave the babies with the nurses because they needed their rest.

    Working an isolation unit without disposable gloves. Having immune suppressed patients and contagious rooms side by side and with the same nurse. We handwashed religiously after coming out of every room, every time. And had the lowest infection rate in the hospital.
  9. 10
    Love this thread !! You know you're old school when:
    IV's were hung in 'series sets'. All IV's for 24 hours were hung with IV sets connecting one to the other, and all were glass bottles !
    Pulmonary edema was treated by 'rotating tournequits' on three of the four limbs to decrease venous return.....
    Dressings were not individually wrapped and the sterile utility room had large stainless containers. Forceps were used to remove what you needed for a dressing
    You started IV's with your bare hands.
    Cardiac monitoring was done by attaching metal electrodes to the chest held by a large rubber strap
    All drugs on the 'code cart' had to be hand mixed on the spot
    A routine assignment on "PM's" was a wing of 21 patients assisted by an LPN and aide
    "orientation" was one or two shifts, and about 1 day of class.....
    Everyone got backrubs.... ( why did we stop this??)
    There was no unit dose, INCLUDING narcotics. All meds were poured for the WHOLE wing and placed on a tray. ( they were labeled with cards)
    All dosages were CALCULATED by the RN.
    IV pumps were rare....
    Still, we got it done, and we gave GOOD care !!
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