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 things have changed so.... so you know your old school when you remember......
Metal bed pans that had to be washed in the bedpan washer. Kind nurses used to warm them with hot water as they were freezing cold and would have patients hopping off the bed
Female nurses only being allowed to wear dresses and hats. The number of stripes on your hat indicated how long you had been training and when qualified you got a cotton one with lace trim. Evil things they were you used to spend half your life pinning them back as confused patients knocked them off
Unless you were married you had to live in the nurses home whilst training. Lights were meant to be out by 11pm and the house mother used to do spot checks on the rooms to make sure no men were hidden away!!!!
Once a month an army bus used to come and pick all the student nurses up and take them back to the barracks were 300 army boys were waiting for a free disco, free food, free drink and far to much free love
We were not allowed to tell patients our first name and were called Student Nurse Smith. When a patient died we would dress them in a shroud, put a flower in their folded hands and then they would e wrapped in a sheet. A window would be left open to allow their soul to leave. They would go off to Rose Cottage, never called the mortuary. The nurse in charge would always say "there be 2 more before the week's out" as in those days people only ever died in threes!!!!
The wards were long open plan called Nightingale wards. 15 patients down each side. We had a back trolley and every two hours would work our way up and down the ward turning and cahnging every patient. We used to rub something onto pressure areas but I can't remember what it was. If you had lots of dependent patients then it was like painting the forth bridge - as soon as you had finished it was time to go round again!!! At Christmas a huge tree would be delivered and we would decorate the beds with tinsel - wouldn't be allowed today becuase of infection risks.
Consultant ward rounds were like a royal visit. They occured at the same time on set days. The Consultant would only talk with the Sister and you were expected to have every pt in bed, sheet folded to middle of the chest looking tidy!!!!! Never figured out how to make a pt look tidy.
Getting your silver nurses buckle was like a right of passage. As soon as you got your results from your final exams the whole set headed off to the only jewellers that stocked buckles and chose their badge. I still wear mine but it's fair to say the belt is notably bigger
Male nurses and female doctors were rare. Now in my department we have more male nurses than female definitely a change for the better.
We took temperatures with a glass mercury filled thermometer covered in a disposable plastic cover and BP's were taken with a manual syphg and stethescope.
I am sure there are more but please other old school nurses share your memories with me