"The Good Ol' Days!" - page 9

I was blown away to find out student nurses could not be married during school, when one of my instructors went to a Public Charity Hospital based Diploma Nursing Program. I loved hearing about... Read More

  1. by   rita359
    Speaking of beds, we had a ward (5 beds in one large room and one bathroom) with all hand cranked beds. They only had one height(high) and had step stools to help patients get in.
  2. by   CrazierThanYou
    Quote from hey_suz
    Have you ever read Nurse by Peggy Anderson? It was written in 1978, and is just an amazing piece of nursing and hospital history- a real slice of life. My favorite parts of that book involve smoking. Doctors smoking in the nurses' station, patients smoking in bed, stuff like that. It seems unbelievable now! It even seems hard to believe that in 1990, there was a smoking lounge in the hospital where I wore a candy-striped pinafore. Did that really happen?
    I have a picture from the 70's that was taken of 3 nurses in our local hospital. They are sitting in the lounge, dressed in all white, all holding cigarettes while the table in front of them is sporting cigarette filled ashtrays.
  3. by   nursingismything
    well, let's see... I can probably come up with some thoughts since I've been in nursing for 32 years and practically my whole family on both sides are/were nurses.
    -when my grandmother was in nursing school, in the early 1900's the nurses cleaned the floors, and cooked the food in addition to taking care of the pt. Like someone else said-no antibiotics back then, not until WWII, if I am correct. Her student nurse uniform consisted of long skirts with starched white aprons and cuffs on the long sleeves that were changed regularly. And her long cape & her heart shaped cap. I still have her nursing school textbooks and notebooks, some pictures, too. It was a three year diploma program. She worked as a nurse for a long time, in the hospital, private duty and she also went all over town delivering babies. She passed away on the unit where she had been the head nurse.
    Nursing school for my mother in law was practically the same story-three year diploma school, nurses had to be single, yes they did almost run the hospital, same uniform only a short one- including cape, cap, pintucked dress uniform. My mother in law tells the story about how she smoked a cigarette on the delivery table right after having my husband. LOL!
    My own student nurse uniform was pin striped with an over the head white apron and cap. We didn't have to cook the food or clean. Some things have changed in 30 years but a lot of it is the same. More and more responability as the years go by. I can even remember taking BREAKS, now I work 12 hour shifts and the only break is for lunch for roughly 20 to 30 minutes. I will never understand that-we are supposed to be promoting wellness and healthy living but they can't even lets us take breaks. But I digress!
    One thing that I remember from back in the day is having a huge medicine cabinet and pulling the meds out of it. Oh, and the narc count-now we use the pyxis system and we don't have to count narcs anymore. In my first job, we had a lounge right beside the nurses station where we could smoke if we wanted to. we had wooden boxes where we put the dirty needles after we'd cut them with the needle cutter. And doctors would come into a pt room for a procedure, and leave dirty needles, blades--sharps in the bed for the nurse to clean up. Where I work now, we have no Na/CNA's---bummer! Also ---back in the day we could use restraints at our discretion, now we need a doc order, etc. And there were no HIPPA laws. Sometime in the 1990's I stopped wearing white dresses/white hose/caps and started wearing scrubs.
  4. by   nursingismything
    Also---I forgot---I always say that someday I am going to write a book on hospital etiquette! Kids running in the halls, visitors using the patients toilet (ewwwwwwwwwwww!), visitors pressing the call bell to see who will answer, visitors staying late, sitting on the floor, talking too loud!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yipes, it makes me crazy! I can remember when I was a kid, visiting someone in the hospital and seeing a picture of a nurse all dressed in crisp white with her finger to her lips as if to say shhhhhhhhhhh..... posted on the wall of the hospital right near the elevator. It was a wonderful reminder to mind your manners. Oh, how I would love to see something like this in hospitals these days!
  5. by   jhanes
    Thanks for your aunt's story--and for the Thos. Jefferson quote!
  6. by   jhanes
    I got my Nursing Education in the early to late 1970s as well. One hospital I worked in had a Nurses' Lounge where the walls started out off white at the bottom and turned more brown the further up the walls that you looked. The ceiling, which had been white some 20 years before, was yellow. It stank in there, but al most all of the nurses smoked, so I gave report and got the h-e-l-l out asap afer report.
  7. by   jrbl77
    Very interesting post. Next month, i will be out of nsg school 35 yrs. have worked as a staff nurse since then. have seen many changes, but the best improvement I think I have seen is the wound vac. When I think of pts of mine in the past that would have benefitted- my their lifes wouldn't have been shortened or so miserable to the end.

    Of course there have been many changes, I remeber mixing chemo drugs in the back med room, nothing special, just did it. Peritonel dialysis temp caths being placed in the procedure room on the floor. They leaked terribly. We hung 8 glass bottles and had to carry a stop watch to time everything. Oh. by the way the pts were usually in a semiprivate room.
    It amazes me all the changes. Pts used to get a complete bed change twice per day. As a new grad, I woked on a 64 bed unit. On nights we would have 3 or 4 nurses and evenings maybe 4 or 6. I also remember a pt or 2 bleeding out from their carotids, there was nothing to do, but try to comfort the family and clean up the mess after it was all over.
    I have about 10 more yrs to work, wonder what other changes I will see. I can imagine my some former teachers and adminstrators rolling over in their graves if they saw some of the changes!
  8. by   jrbl77
    Just remembered one more thing, Drs making rounds with their cigars and leaving them on the handrail outside the pt room. We could always tell when certain Drs had rounded.
  9. by   jhanes
    To the mind of this RN, who has been out of Nursing School 32 years, healthcare was better before Big Government and the corporations rung the CARE out of healthcare, as evidenced by your description of hospital care in the 70s. That's the way that I experienced it as well. How short our memories are! We have been heading 180 degrees in the wrong direction in health care since about 1965. It was way cheaper back then, by a factor of 12-14, when one compares medical bills, insurance premiums and inflation from 1965 to today. And in fact, about 80% of people had insurance coverage back then, about the same as today--but nobody coiunted people covered by charity care (ex-Medicaid) as insurance back then, like they do now, so really, more than 80% were covered nthen; much less than 80% today, so where is the benefit from Billions $pent? When you look at it that way, we were better off as a population before Medicaid and Medicare and the so-called Great Society.
  10. by   Code_VSA
    My instructor in the LPN program (1974) was from Quebec, Canada. She would tell us during her rotation as an OB student nursed, they would have to get up during the night and go to deliveries. As proof to the Nuns that they actually went, it was required to bring back the placenta as proof. She said one night, it fell out of the back of the horse drawn buggy and dogs got a hold of it.

    My other instructor, an ex-Army Mash nurse, said that during the 40's, nurse's weren't allowed to take blood pressures. It was a doctor's job. When asked if the movie/sit-com "Mash" had any facts to it, she would just smile mischieviously and walk away.
  11. by   Dalzac
    I started as an aide in ICU in 1977. We could smoke at the desk then. The monitors then were a bouncing ball type oscillascope. We had to mark the leads when we ran EKG's. We did 15 minute VS without the help of any machines The drips were not on any pumps. We had team nursing, the RN was in charge and did all the charting, the LPN gave all the meds and watched all the iv's, the techs did ALL the patient care, I an O's, urine tests with the strips and there was no floating for anyone. Staffing wasn't done by acuity. If you were scheduled you came to work. And no one was sent home or floated if census was low. You just cleaned everything. And rearranged files and such.
  12. by   traumajunkie63
    What Could You Share about the "Way Things Were Back Then?"[/QUOTE]
    it really wasnt that too long ago.. i went to a DIploma Nursing School...we stayed in the dorms, had to be in by midnight during the week or the front doors were locked and even had a "house mom"...i graduated in 1985.....
    i too love to hear the stories about the days of old....
  13. by   MaleICURN
    Well, I graduated 1974.
    That would be a book, to catch all the differences. Let's try just a few.
    1. Nurses BEHIND the doctor. NO questions. Doctor said: "20 mg of Morphine" - answer "Yes, Sir"
    2. No disposable stuff whatsoever. Daily sterilization of syringes (glass) and needles (steel). Cleaning inside needles.
    3. Bedpans, urinals - metal.
    4. No IV pumps, I remember first IV pumps (very primitive by today's standards) used for pressors only.
    5. 3 color charting - depends on the shift: morning - blue, afternoon - green, night - red.
    6. Monitors on ICU, sometimes one monitor for a patient, no central monitor (however, sometimes happened a central, alarms printed with hyphens r/t number of the bed [bed nr 3 = ---], no differentiation for alarms, like the same sound for disconnected electrode or VF).
    7. Smoking - patients, nurses, doctors - one exemption was OR, however in the OR lounge everybody smoked.
    8. Very HOT OR - at least 98-99 degrees, no patient's warming blankets.
    9. Only one nurse dispensing meds for the whole unit (except ICU).
    10. Three 8 hrs shifts.
    11. Gloves ONLY for the OR, specifically the surgical team.
    12. Continuous staff cover for OR (no calls).
    13. Making gauze dressings (today's 4x4's or 2x2's).
    14. Celebrating coffee meeting for the whole team after each medium/big surgery (maybe except for little cases like T&A).
    15 Long turn on surgical cases (see # 14).
    16. In each and every hospital each unit had a physician present 24/7 (not on call), on occasion a physician present on unit called himself for help (e.g. emergency big surgery).
    and so on, and so on...