You know you're Old School when... - page 8

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... Read More

  1. by   FLOBRN
    I remember all of those. Old school is also using glass syringes to draw blood ( and then having to clean them), using reusable IV needles in NICU for scalp veins AND....going to work in Nova Scotia and being told to put a BREAD POLTICE on a patient. Now being trained in Tacoma where even in the early 70's we had an IV pump for every IV, I was like WHATTTTT??????????

  2. by   limestone
    This is a great thread! Brings back memories....

    In our provincial psychiatric hospital, we used cigarettes for rewards in the token economy programs, even on Admitting units. In our canteen we sold papers and tobacco for those patients who could roll their own.

    Now, decades later, we are forbidding those same aging patients, mostly suffering from schizophrenia, from smoking in the hospital, even when they are involuntary. We give them nicotine patches and preach quitting smoking when they are discharged. For some of them it's the only pleasure they ever had in life and the health care system contributed to that in a major way.

    And when I was a community nurse, I remember patients boiling their needles and glass syringes in a pot on the stove for when I came to give insulin or other injections.

    Generally in hospitals in the 60's, it was: The Doctor is God. Give up your seat for them, clean up after them, let them on the elevator first. They had their own section of the cafeteria, and only the OR nurses got to sit with them, as they were considered a cut above the rest of us.

    You could look out across the cafeteria and tell from the sea of caps which hospital any nurse had graduated from (we all attended hospital-based schools of nursing).

    And we all remember the strict rules of residence life--all of us virginal student nurses had to live there with a vigilant house mother keeping tabs of our every move. No marrying allowed till you graduated!
  3. by   canoehead
    Mercury thermometers that had to stay in for five minutes to get an accurate temp. Putting them in mouths all around the ward, doing P, R, BP on everyone, then taking em all out. Or even worse, forgetting you put one in and coming back 20min later finding the thermometer still intact in mouth.

    Psych rotation where we were warned suicidal patients would try to bite the thermometer, and we were to prevent them (how??). One SN yelled so loud when he saw someone bite down the real RNs actually came out from inside the glassed in and locked nurses' station.
  4. by   retiredlady
    Heart attack patients not having them move at all, we turned them, shaved them, and fed them. Absolutely no coffee!!!! for so many days (can't remember how many)
  5. by   nursemarion
    Those crazy glass suction machines for cholecystectomy post-ops AFTER their long ICU stay. Lumbosacral strain patients that had traction and PT and stayed for days. VIP rooms where the rich would stay for a "rest" or "tests". Steel tubex syringes that were always getting lost. The hopper room with the bedpan washer. Soaking everything in pink disinfectant (can't remember the name) before it went back to sterile processing. A real nurses station instead of everything on computer, stacks of charts and paper orders that had to be carried to the pharmacy. The first computer system in the hospital "order entry" we called it and a lot of people quit over it. Mostly I remember the feeling that patients trusted us. We were angels in white, not an enemy to sue or report.
  6. by   leader
    Yes, its old school but I must say "I salute all of you!!!" Job well done!
  7. by   traveler RN
    I have enjoyed the trip reading all the posts and wonder how we managed to get the work done, but we did. remember staying 1 hr past shift to chart on paper nurses notes, kardexs and med cards, rectal tubes prn, using sugar and peroxide paste on open decubs, the big med carts you had to push, the glass IV bottles and syringes and the DRIP factors. I remember the paradehyde for the etoh abusers (p.u. did it stink!), no gloves for iv's and blood draws, and going home with blood on your uniforms so everyone knew you were a nurse (absolutely crazy), shift reports were given either by the charge nurse or placed on a tape recorder and attended by the entire oncoming shift. I don't miss those old hand crank beds and "hospital corners". I actually had an instructor bounce a quarter on one of my beds and watch her pull all the linens off for a do over! And the funniest I remember is making my rounds at night with a flashlight at beginning of shift asking people if they needed a sleeping pill!
  8. by   dnnc52
    I remember when we took ACLS and anytime you got in a jam it was always "Give an amp of bicarb" . tx for hypertension crisis was a drug called Hyperstat.
    or the 3 colored pen red=nights, green=evening and black was day shift. working an ER on night shift without any MD in the house and getting telephone orders for management. how about tx male inct with a Cunningham clamp?
    All white shoes that" Could not resemble tennis shoes".
    Only allowed to wear a wedding band.
    the bad thing is I really miss some of the good old days....
  9. by   HyperSaurus, RN
    After having my laparoscopic cholestystectomy, I'm really glad that they no longer have to be ICU stays with suction machines. I hated the Jackson-Pratt (when it was pulled out)
  10. by   way2busy
    What a wonderful thread. My first job was in a Catholic hospital every oncoming shift there was a nun who stood in the only door you were allowed to report to work in . You had to kneel and if your dress did not touch the floor you were sent home with out pay. This was 1975 so you wore your uniform long. In the winter they liked to keep the place cold so you were allowed to wear a uniform pants suit but had to wear a pants liner ( it is like a slip under your pants) the nun would then check if you were wearing it if not you were sent home. It was so cold in the place you were happy to wear it you were only allowed to wear a cardiagan nurses sweater in either navy blue or white.
    If someone passed you shut all of the patients doors and made sure there was no one on the elevator and the hallway was kept clear Then the body was taken into the morgue where you had to sign them in. There was usually quite a few in the morgue cause in those days the mortuary didn't always come to get them right away.
    I still have a glass medicine cup and it was the med nurses duty to do the dishes before the end of shift . We only had one set of keys and if you went home with them it was a $50 fine. I was only taking home $180 for 2 weeks work.
    We made all of our own tube feeding in a blender it smelled horrible usually the ppl you were giving it too were in a coma I am sure they would have been grateful.
    Rubber sheets need I say more lol.
    You used to have to make your own kraya paste from a powder with water. The colostomy bags and ileostomy bags were these horrible red rubber things that you had to pull off of the poor patients skin twice a day or more. Their poor skin it was always a battle to keep them free of open areas.
    There were 4 eye hooks one in each corner of the sloarium and if you had a confused patient and they could be in a wheelchair you would hook a chain underneath the chair and then put the hook into the eye and the patient had the feeling they were going somewhere but just in a circle. All of the solarium had a circle in each corner.
    The nuns made all of the restraints and the vest was always referred to as a pneumonia vest. If the paitent gave you a hard time you would ask them would like like to get pneumonia of course they would say no and the vest would go right on
    If a patient gave you a difficult time one of the Sisters would talk to them and that would be that. If at night they gave you a hard time you would put a pillowcase over our hair and pretend to be a nun worked every time.
    In the morning everything came to a standstill so communion could be given and it was the nurses responsiblity to walk Father around no matter what was happening.
    Precordal Thumps.
    We called the Doctors at home if necessary no answering service
    Unmarried females were not allowed to place a foley cather if there wasn't a married nurse in the house( that is how they referred to the whole hospital) or a male orderly that was quaified then the Doctor would have to do it.
    There was no one in the lab at night we used to keep 4 units of universal donor blood in the surgery refrig just in case you needed it during the night;
    Respiratory only worked in the day time.
    This is one I have never seen in another hospital they were called orderlies on call they had a room that they stayed in (most were med students) they would come and do all of the heavy lifting on the day and evening shift. It was wonderful.
    The families were not allowed to call the nurses station every call came in through the operator and at the end of every shift you would put down each patient condition and give it to the operator on your way out.
    We used to rotate shift I don't remember how it went but so many shifts on days, then evenings, the nights and then you had a long weekend. You could plot our your shifts months in advance.
    When you worked the night shift we used to play cards in between rounds. And the patients got so much better care than they do today. Each floor had a full working kitchen and a fully stocked refrig for the staff or patients it was nothing for us to cook a meal for a patient in the middle of the night.
    The Doctors did the full body assessment you only assess for what they were there for.
    Brings back a lot of good memories that is when I really loved nursing couldn't wait to get to the hospital each and every day.
  11. by   hidesert
    I love hearing all this, I was not a nurse yet, but I AM that old
  12. by   JessicRN
    "snowing " patients with Bronfman cocktail
    Glass chest tubes
    Sterilizing your own equipment

    -#13 ewald NG for every OD (a tube the width of a quarter shoved down your throat and 2-4 liters of NS inserted and removed manually (no closed system)
    -Honey applied for vulvectomy incisions daily
    -Sucking on miconizole suppositories for thrush of the mouth for all cancer patients
    -No LPN only RNA and they only worked in convalesent hospitals RN's only in hospitals
    -Patient load 12 pts on days 20 patient on nights nothing automated all manual
    -peritoneal dialysis manually (bag in left in 40 minutes bag dropped to ground to remove fluid only to repeat over and over manually
    -Patients with MI's spent 6 weeks in the hospital minimum the first week on strict bed rest even had to had bed baths. The 2nd week they were allowed to dangle their legs. Etc
    -Dressing sets were rationed only 6 sets per floor you had to share sets between all your patients including sterile gloves (one glove for one patient one for another the third patient got forceps only no gloves
    -IV metal intracaths were rationed (6 of each size per floor ) it was nothing to start an IV on a patient using a #14 intracath.
    -Only interns started IV's nurses were not allowed
    - banana bag we still use often : 1 liter NS with 1 mg folic acid,100 mg thiamine, multivitamin and magnesium sulfate if needed.
    -pneumovac system for everything as no computer.
    -Hoyer lift no way you lifted 2 person manually when you were alone which was most of the time I remember how excited we got when someone invented the belt for lifting a pt.
    -rinsing out your draw sheets before putting them in the laundry
    -primary care nursing on an oncology floor (you were responsible for 20 patients's care even when you were not there the nurses followed your plan.)
    - peritoneal lavage as no ultrasound
    -rapid volume infuser consisted of a plastic tube that slid over a normal IV widening the entrance so turned an 18 cath into a 12 gauge so fluid could flow faster.
    -changing the a central line dressing easily took 45 minutes due to strict sterile technique.
  13. by   heron
    I remember:

    Mercury thermometers and bp cuffs. Using tongs to remove sterile gauze from a stock container.

    Mixing all my own iv meds, including chemotherapy, in the nurses' station med room.

    Chest tube drainage being glass bottles on the floor, hooked up to a portable suction machine.

    "Telemetry" consisted of a portable monitor the size of a large microwave in the hallway, connected to the patient with a looooong cable. We could see them on the fly whenever we went down the hall. Ventricular ectopy was treated on the floor with lidocaine drips titrated by counting drops. Ditto for pressors (levophed, usually).

    Rotating tourniquets for pulmonary edema.

    Iced saline lavage for gi bleeds ... oh my aching feet! ... when you got the bleed under control, the patient went on a Sippy diet ... milk alternating with maalox q2hr. Anyone remember tagamet? What a breakthrough ... but it cost $10/pill in the early 70's. Then there was the pitressin infused directly into a bleeding vessel ... the only thing we ever saw on a pump.

    Blakemore-Senstaken tubes for bleeding esophageal varices with the end of the tube tied to a football helmet to keep pressure on the varices.

    Treating dt's with 4-point leather restraints, IM librium and paraldehyde by rectum (with a glass syringe because the plastic ones melted).

    White polyester pantsuits ... they were still a bit scandalous when I started and many facilities didn't allow them.

    And, of course: metal bedpans, blenderized tube feedings, cloth precaution gowns, posey vests tied in back, IPPB treatments with mucomyst q4hr for COPDers, blood gases drawn with glass syringes rinsed with heparin and sent down on ice, clinitest tablets and acetone testing for diabetics.

    Do I miss the old days? Nope ... one Rn and 2 aides who weren't allowed to do VS on night shift for 22 patients. The only good thing was that the paperwork was minimal ... med charting and nurses' notes was about it. Let's hear it for JCAHO and CMS!