You Know You're an Old(er) Nurse If . . . - page 6

You know you're an older nurse if: 1. You remember working with nurses who wore caps. :nurse: 2. You remember nurses (and doctors) sitting at the nurses station drinking coffee and smoking... Read More

  1. by   P_RN
    anybody remember bourbon and bismuth paste? it came in a peanut butter jar and it was used on "decubitus ulcers." and said decubitus were always the nurses' fault. oh and pts in dt's would try to eat it.

    white shoe polish on the shoelaces.

    bedpan flusher.different from the hopper.

    wangensteen suction.

    demerol or ms tablets to be mixed in a glass cup and drawn up in a glass syringe.

    full length slip to be worn under your 3/4 sleeve uniform.

    no rings, no earrings, no necklaces.

    cap to be worn on the crown of your head and not way in the back a la hollywood style.

    wheeling your patient down to the ekg department for an ekg.

    unit kitchens for making iced tea, coffee, custard and what was that other stuff.......junket.

    dumb waiter that brought trays, supplies etc to the nurses station.

    all meds documented on the main chart. night shift would write you out a little box at the end of their shift (in black ink) and you would do the same for swing shift (in green ink) etc.

    body casts for spinal surgery.

    screened doors on the isolation unit

    incinerators with a chute next to the laundry chute. you deposited trash there and sometimes the flames would shoot up before you could get it shut.

    nurses called miss. mrs. i worked or years not knowing some of their first names.

    having to rotate through central supply to learn sterilizing and making up or packs.
    (still did this when i worked in the or in the 70s.)

    sending your bandage scissors to maintenance to have them sharpened.

    light bulbs over patient doors activated by a string pull instead of call light/intercom.

    oh my.....
  2. by   General E. Speaking, RN
    I remember using an 18 ga needle to poke a hole in something (nifepidine?) in order to administer the liquid sublingually to get a BP down fast.

    someone else mentioned Theophylline drips.

    rolling meds carts that you used a pack mule to load up so you would have everything you could possibly think of before starting on your long journey down the hall.

    scalp needles for IVs in peds with a paper cups taped to their heads- they looked like they were going to a birthday celebration with their little party hats on.

    night shift writing in red and day shift in black.

    HHH enemas

    when AIDS patients became emaciated and died a horrible undignified death

    hearing the pharmacy tech over the PA system saying "Narcotic keys to the desk, please. Narcotic keys to the desk" Guess he needed to reload the metal double lock box.

    Peri-lights for episiotomies that looked like something from outer space

    whiskey at the nurses station to prevent DTs

    flushing EVERY peripheral line "saline lock" with heparin- I still call them heplocks!

    the metal contraption that you used to screw the syringe into place in order to administer the med- can't think of the name of it.

    AZT listed in my drug book as a "new" drug.

    No fitted sheets- two flat sheets were used and tied under the bed at the top and the bottom. Also, making sure the seam of the sheet was facing down so it wouldn't irritate the skin
    Last edit by General E. Speaking, RN on Dec 6, '06 : Reason: delayed reaction
  3. by   TreeSawRN
    You used bendable metal foot cradles and wooden foot boards to prevent foot drop (do they still use those?)

    There was no PPE or MSDS's.

    You sloshed Cidex in a basin [without any PPE] and soaked the largyngscope and blades for 20 mins between ED trauma room cases.

    You remember stair-stepping compressions, pre-cordial thumps and intracardiac epi.

    You wanted to be like Dixie McCall RN

    This has been great- but makes me feel very old at 50.

    I was also one of those who graduated [1978] when nursing caps were on the "outs", but I also wore mine for a while [until the teasing from co-workers got to me] because I too was so proud to be a registered nurse and felt that I had really accomplished something....Hm. I still do.

    Last edit by TreeSawRN on Dec 7, '06
  4. by   Dorito
    Thanks for all the great memories. My fav's were the glass IV bottles and Gomco jars. I was always scared to death I'd break one of the jars when I did I&O's and they would charge me for it.
  5. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from shodobe
    i must be "old" because i remember most of these! just keep repeating over and over, "retirement is only 8 years away"!
    [font="comic sans ms"]i know i'm old -- i remember most of them, too!

    cleaned up the messiest stool without gloves, and didn't even panic about it -- just washed my hands and carried on.

    actually did mouth-to-mouth on my patients. had one vomit in my mouth, but went ahead and did it on the next patient to arrest on me anyway.

    hand crank beds -- the first electric bed i ever saw i played with until i put the attached iv pole through a flourescent light by accident. (that was spectacular!)

    putting maalox on bedsores.

    offering doctors your seat when they came into the nurse's station.

    mannitol in 50cc glass ampules -- they came up to the unit with a file taped to the ampule. first you heated them gently on the stove to warm them up and dissolve the contents, then you filed them open with the file! and if you warmed them too quickly, they exploded.

    paraldehyde -- anyone else remember chasing their patients around the unit, begging them to take their medicine before the cup dissolved?
  6. by   Narcoleptic Nurse
    LOL, These are great. I have been in Home health for 15 years and caught myself surprised they don't do some of those things in house anymore. And I am old enough to have trouble remembering how things were. Then I glanced through the Largest student loan thread and grinned realllllllly big. I was really blessed and I lived really frugally then but I graduated with a BSN from University of Washington with a loan for $350 and 10 years to pay it back!!! Something to be said about those good old days.
  7. by   pegasus12164
    OMG: I remember most of these things.
    I started as a CNA in 1981.Gor my LPN in 1989.
    I tell these stories to new nurses and they look at me like I'm crazy!
    I remember our first AIDS patient in 1989. He was placed on isolation, and staff used isolation garb, the hooded kind, that reminded me of space suits or the chemical spill suits.Almost imbarrased to mention it.
    Pegasus, LPN:xmas_smilies_daz:
  8. by   santhony44
    [QUOTE=fetch33;1956723]Checking urine specific gravity at the bedside by putting a drop of urine on a little hand-held device.

    How about putting the urine into a glass cylinder, then putting in a little glass bobber thingy and giving it a spin- it settled in the urine and you read the line. Hygrometer??
  9. by   santhony44
    Quote from kriso

    the metal contraption that you used to screw the syringe into place in order to administer the med- can't think of the name of it.

    There was a plastic version called a carpuject. I can't remember the name of the metal one either, but I always had one in my pocket. If you didn't have your own personal one, you could never find one when you needed it.
  10. by   fetch33
  11. by   Retired R.N.
    I remember the time when nursing care plans were summarized on the Kardex. Treatments were given as scheduled, medications were passed on time, diets were delivered from the kitchen as ordered. Head nurses and their assistants coped with physicians' rounds and gave medicines. Staff nurses did patient care, and nurses' aides refilled water pitchers and emptied trash cans. The work got done, the nurses and aides all got time for meals and breaks, and nobody ever had to spend any time writing out a NANDA-approved nursing diagnosis.
  12. by   vaccinator1
    Dalmane and Valium were stock items!
  13. by   vaccinator1
    The item we use to give Morphine and Demerol is called a Tubex and as far as I know they are still used, except now they are plastic.
    Last edit by vaccinator1 on Dec 6, '06