You know you're Old School when... - page 7

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   renge1
    I was a CNA in mid 80's before becoming an LPN in the mid 90's
    As a cna I remember:
    .not having to be certified..just walk in they hire/train you
    .we didn't wear gloves, no universal precautions, just good hand washing
    .we used the different colors to chart for each shift. red/green/blue or black
    .we worked 4days on and 2 days off and it rotated like that..always knew days off
    .metal bedpans
    .mercury thermometers
    .syringe feeding patients
    .passing ice water, towels/washcloths & doing vitals at start of shift (3-11)
    .doing walking rounds with oncoming shift and changing pt together
    I am sure there is more, but don't remember....times sure have changed
    Last edit by renge1 on Mar 10, '10 : Reason: sentence out of order
  2. by   sunluver
    I remember when you calibrated the A-line and Swan-Ganz catheter with a mercury spygmomanometer, a three way stop-cock and a 60cc syringe! Using ice water for cardiac output and performing the calculations on paper! Using needles to get rid of sub-q emphysema, leather restraints, keeping your transducer "wet" with sterile water, no anesthesia for circumcisions on babies, HHH enema's, emptying foley's without gloves, community sitz baths, being the only person in the nursery with 5 babies and I had no liscense, nursing school in 1985 and wore blue striped pinafore, only dresses, white hose, white shoes (clinical nursing style) NO TENNIS SHOES ! We wore white. Nursing caps until we were half way through the program, and then had a "pinning and striping" ceremony! It was a HUGE event and we only got 1/2 of our stripe, but oh my goodness were we proud. The seniors would get "pinned" by the director of the program, not by their boyfriend or spouse or child . We wore our white's and it was the only time we saw the director smile, much less have Amy form of casual conversation with our instructors. I believe we have done ourselves an injustice by letting go of a lot of the "old school" values. Nurses do not get the respect they used to, from administration, physicians, or patients ! We allowed a lot of it. I still weary whites and my cap on Sunday's and get a lot of "ribbing". I do not care, I tell them I worked very hard to get the cap and pin and am very proud of it! I wore it one time on nurses day, marched myself into the CEO's office.....he looked at me and asked what I was weari
    g and I responded "This, sir is a professional nurses uniform, and I see by the look on your face that you have never seen one before". I then turned about so he could see me and thanked him for his time and went back to the ICU where I was the charge nurse! He did thank me before I left and said I looked "nice". I was called on by the floor to start an IV and I had my "whites" on that day (yes I had my nurses cap on too), and when I went in the room the patient's eyes got really big and when I asked her if anything was wrong she responded "I haven't seen a real nurse dressed in whites in a very long time". She also said that she likes it because she knew immediately that I was a "real nurse " because of the "whites and cap". She said it looked better than nurses wearing scrubs because they look like they are wearing pajamas, and it is tough to tell housekeepers from lab from physicians! She said older people cannot see well and whites make a big difference, in a good way! I still wear my whites and my cap. I challenge any nurse who went to school when whites and caps were worn to wear them again and evaluate the patient's response. Get ready because the staff and the physician's will give you a hard time, but stick to your guns because I know the patient's will like it and after all..who did we go to school to learn to take care of? The patient't are the heart and soul of our love of nursing and I will forever be a patient caregiver, liason, and nurturer. I am dedicated to the love of nursing! Thanks for reading this very long statement.
  3. by   RetiredTooSoon
    Quote from Pepper The Cat
    Determining glucose levels by testing the urine. We would put the urine in a test tube then add a pill. Urine would change colour and you would determine glucose level by mathing the colour of the urine to a chart. I remember standing there desperately trying to match the colours up.

    Croup tents
    I remember reading a book in elementary school about a girl who developed diabetes and had to test her urine twice a day. Insulin was only given morning and night and was not titrated to sugar levels.

    I remember being taught how to set up croup tents. We used humidified oxygen in the OR for our post-op T&As and jaw cases back in the late 90s and early 2000; not sure what they do now, as Feb. 2000 was when I had to leave nursing due to a medical condition and haven't been able to return.
  4. by   RetiredTooSoon
    Quote from Nepenthe Sea
    Thank you so much for explaining the banana bag. I really wondered what that was!
    Where I did my final rotations, the banana bag was saline with a mix of B vitamins.
  5. by   nursedora
    I remember "old school" treatments, a mixture of betadine and sugar, a half hour with the pts buttocks exposed to a heat lamp, then a handful of this mixture and a sterile 4X4, that didn't stay sterile too long, but anyway, the wound healed in no time. White painted, metal cribs for the peds ward. Urine Specific Gravity glass beaker and wand, now we have a paper "dip stick." Yes, I too remember the glass mercury thermometers, glass IV bottles, and take care to not bend the arm, else the IV needle will break, had the tournequte handy in case it did... And women did not take care of male pts bathing and hygene needs, the male orderly did that. Sometimes I miss wearing my cap, I worked hard for that piece of attire! Yes, LPN's earned a cap and a pin! I can remember setting up a croup tent in the wee hours of the night/morning, and even though it took four wash basin's of ice to fill the resevoiur, could do it without waking the pt in the next bed. Are croup tents even used now days? Yes, I remember cleaning the needles, wash them, run the bevel across your thumb nail to see if there are any burrs, file the burrs down, run across your thumb nail again to make sure is smooth, then autoclave them. This done mostly on night shift. All nurses wore white, yes, everything was white, undergarments, stockings, shoes, dress, and if a sweater was worn, it could be navy blue, but prefered to be white. And your uniform better be washed, starched, and pressed! Shoe laces too! And the Dr. wasn't called by his first name, but by his title, Dr. Smith, same as the nurses were "Nurse Smith" the profession was professional. Nurses always went to lunch or break by two's, never thought of going out to your car or anyplace alone. And at night, an orderly would escort the female nurses safely to their car. Oh, how the days have changed!
  6. by   RetiredTooSoon
    Quote from CBsMommy
    Although I wasn't a nurse way back when, it seems the patient got better care than they do today. I know that technology has been a good thing (overall) but I really wish that we had time to sit and really talk to the patient. I hardly see that at clinicals. Thanks to all of you nurses out there that have stuck it out! It's great to hear these old stories!
    My last nursing school rotation in 1996 was Hospice. The manager had me passing meds-20 patients, most on q2h meds, plus meds for BTP. When I said that wasn't exactly how I had envisioned a hospice rotation and had hoped to learn about end-of-life care, hold the patients' hands, get to know them, she snapped at me that there wasn't TIME to get to know the patients or hold their hands.

    How horrible is it that when someone is coming to the end of their lives that the very people who are charged with the gift of being able to guide them through those last days are supposed to just pass pills, get them dressed and walk away?

    My friend died on that same unit in 2005 and it was much better then, as it was when my dad died in hospice October of last year, but I still remember telling me I didn't have time to get to know the dying patients I was caring for. That made no sense to me.
  7. by   snoopy29
    Thankyou I am so grateful to every single nurse that has shared their memories, I have enjoyed every moment of my walk down memory lane.

    There is so much nursing history in these posts that I intend to print this post out and keep it . Maybe every ten years we should do this because every day things change but it's only when we look back we see just how different things are and the newbies of today will be the old school then!

    Once again thankyou for your time and precious memories
  8. by   XB9S
    Soap and water enemas,
    Pouring water down an NG tube as bowel prep whilst they were sat on a commode
    Being on bedpan duty when you were hungover as a student nurse
    Making a tray of tea for sister and the consultant for after the ward round was over, and it was in a china tea pot with cups and saucers
    Egg white and oxygen for pressure ulcers
    Back rounds, where we rubbed the pressure areas to prevent sores
    Are Silastic foam bungs around any more, remember packing bum abcess with those and making silly shapes out of what was left in the tub
    Where I first worked we used to wear cuffs and aprons as well as starched hats
  9. by   KYCNM
    The candling was done for agar plates of vaginal smears to test for gonorrhea. The gonorrhea only grows in an anerobic environment. We placed the agar plates immediately into the gallon pickle jar, the set a lighted candle (like a votive candle) on top, put the lid back on the jar and when the candle burned up all the oxygen, it went out, and you had an anerobic environment for the cultures to grow. This was done multiple time a day until the jar was full or clinic was done. Then the bottle was taken to the lab.
  10. by   travelingdeb
    Quote from Sue Damonas
    I remember one of our instructors telling us that we should never wear gloves while changing a colostomy bag because it would make the patient feel bad.
    Oh my - I had forgotten this but yes we were told to not wear gloves with a colostomy bag changing as it might embarrass the patient.

    I have enjoyed reading these posts and remembering the "old days".
  11. by   naslpndfn
    This is absolutely great reading! I am not quite 'old school' but a long way from new grad. I am really enjoying hearing from the 'old school nurses'. My aunt is 91 and is in that category and as she suffers from dementia, she recalls more vividly her nursing school days and ward work as a new grad. I enjoy visiting her and hearing her tales of the way it was. Keep the memories coming and thank you for sharing your stories. I am sending this site to every nurse I know.
  12. by   travelingdeb
    Quote from emnicams
    As a new nurse (2 years experience), I'm horrified by the no gloves thing. Did you... did you..... have to give a suppository with no gloves?!? OMG!
    We had finger cots for that - just covered the one finger you used to insert the suppository.
  13. by   KYCNM
    Not receiving your cap until you completed a period of probabion, then there was a capping ceremony.
    Insulin therapy in psychiatry (the patient was given insulin then when you began seeing signs of shock, they were given glucose)
    Electroshock therapy using brevitol and a rubber mouth block
    Setting up recyclable catheter trays, lumbar puncture trays, and other sterile trays to learn what equipment would be available when you learned that procedure
    Starting IVs in the antecub space with a 1 1/2 inch 18 gauge needle and restraining the arm on a full arm IV board
    Hypodermoclysis for elderly cancer patients who couldn't take in fluids
    Milk and molassas enemas for elderly cancer patients (these were given in small amount and retained to provide nutrition)
    Sharpening needles for injections then placing them in a covered basin (sorted by size) and sterilizing them when you set up an injection you lifted the needle out of the basin with sterile forceps, then returned the lid
    Glass syringes and barrels that had numbers that had to be matched because they came in pairs
    Working in central supply
    Washing surgical gloves after cases, powdering them to keep them from sticking together and placing them in a glove folder (cloth holder) then sterilizing them for use tomorrow (you also had to make sure you marked the size of the gloves on the tape on the outside of the package).
    Washing instruments after surgical cases, matching instruments together by type and resterilizing them.
    Not counting p.o. (demerol, MS and codiene tablets) narcotics because they came to the unit in multidose bottles
    Crushing a 4 mg MS tablet in a syringe with the barrel (remember they were glass) then drawing up 1 cc sterile NS to inject for pain (using impecable asepsis)
    Having special insulin for the Hebrew patients that was not derived from pork pancreas (it was bovine, not porcine)