Any old timers remember the days

  1. I was responding on another thread and I remember the 'GOOD OLD DAYS'
    So I thought it would be fun to look back to our training

    When I trained with Florence Nightingale we did very easy straight forward placements each year.
    You did 8 weeks Med/Surg every year days and nights
    Speciality was midders, paeds, ER all 8 week placements.
    All our placements were preceeded by 8 days college and followed by 2 days college then Annual leave.

    We never had study days in placement block and we worked 37 1/2 hours weeks on the ward and got paid a salary, which wasnt great but you did get enhancements for weekends, nights and hols.

    It was see one do one policy, and woe betide you if you couldnt do most of what you needed to do by the time you were leaving your 1st year.

    There was no consideration for being a student and you worked hard-you learned your skills from the higher student and there was only ever 2 RNs on day duty they did the drugs and you did the rest. There was always 1st 2nd and 3rd year students on duty-and the 3rd years were obeyed. They ran the ward as they had to do management placements.
    I couldnt wait to be a Staff Nurse so that I could do no work!!!!!!!!Can you believe that nowerdays.

    We were so practically skilled when we qualified that we thrown in the deep end, and you managed. D grades ran wards, I was often the only RN on night duty for the renal unit and carried a bleep.

    As a student if you phoned in sick sometimes the RN would visit or phone the nursing home to check if you were really sick.

    It was so much fun, we laughed all the time and played jokes everyday. You knew when you were due to leave you would be thrown in a bath full of
    stuff. There just wasnt the stress we get nowerdays. Auxillary Nurses were great.

    Then when you became an RN the students would know the new ones and we would say look they are serious now and say they had Staffitis.
    You would call sister Sister and the Staff nurses Staff. As a student you would never sit down on duty, if it was quiet you went and talked to the patients or looked for work. Nobody ever sent me home early or to go the library.
    You had tests at the end of every placement and you would just have to study in your own time.

    The good old days lol
  2. Visit madwife2002 profile page

    About madwife2002, BSN, RN

    Joined: Jan '05; Posts: 10,271; Likes: 6,113
    Director of Nursing Services; from US
    Specialty: 26 year(s) of experience in RN, BSN, CHDN

    13 Comments

  3. by   Ann RN
    Oh! This brings back some great memories during the best time of my life. I went to a 3 year diploma school. Our rotations were also 8 weeks, similar to the above. Yes, we spent 8 weeks in the ICU, even in the OR. We scrubbed; I even got a chance to do some simple suturing! I thought I was so important! We were not allowed to call our time in the hospital "work", we had to call it "clinical". No matter what area or specialty we were in, there was always an instructor right there with us.

    We lived in the 'dorm" across the street from the hospital. Oh, the times we had in that dorm!

    We graduated in a white dress uniform complete with cap (it looked like a witch's hat!). In my first few jobs we still wore white dresses. Does anyone wear all white anymore?

    We had team nursing. It seemed to make med-surg so much easier. Maybe I'm just old!

    We still had glass syringes for ABG's that we had to heparinize ourselves!

    I miss the "good old days" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  4. by   karenG
    ah the good old days.......

    I trained in 1979!! 8 weeks introductory block- during which time you learnt how to make beds, do bedbaths and other essenstials (including passing NG tubes on each other!!) then 12wks on the wards.. 1wk block and then holiday maybe! we worked 40hr weeks, the week began on a monday and if you were very lucky you might get a weekend off!! though I seem to remember getting one weekend in 12 off!!

    our work day started at 730 with a 15 min coffee break, 45 mins lunch and then 15 mins coffee in the afternoon. we finished at 5 (got changed and hit the pubs!) that was an early.. lates meant starting at 1230 and working through to 9pm. night duty started at 9pm and you finished at 730- except you didnt because you had to hand over to the day shift... We started nights in the second year and commonly worked 10 night stretches to get 7 days off..

    By the second year you were running wards.. and thought you had it cracked! we were very practice orientated- I remember a degree student (who we looked down on because they never got their hands dirty!) asking my why I was marking a womans abdomen who was having daily girth measurements taken.. and explaining why oh so carefully!! we learnt by the see one, do one method and you learnt very quickly not to ask twice.

    sister was all knowing and we were terrified of her. she would send you home for dirty nails... etc. we wore our uniforms with pride- including american tan tights!! hair was above the collar... no nail varnish, no long nails, no jewellery except wedding rings, no earings unless they were studs, no makeup. the staff nurses were only slightly less feared than the sisters and matron was definately God!!!

    we had fun.. we worked our tails off.. and we played very hard too!!! there was always something going on..

    and now.. I'm still working my tail off and the enjoyement seems to have gone from the training. there were 36 in my group, we had 3 intakes a year and so that meant lots of us pesky students on the wards to do the work.. at times there would be 20 students on a ward as well as qualified staff. meant the wards were well staffed.

    oh and the beds had to be made by 1030.. with the pillow case ends facing away from the door and the wheels all facing the same direction.. any bed not made to standard was ripped apart and you had to remake it with sister watching..........!!

    good old days....

    Karen
  5. by   madwife2002
    We had no money but we went out every night of the week-everybody loved nurses so you got free rides in Taxi's and the clubs let you in free mon-thur, in manchester anyway.
    All the men bought us drinks and we danced til we dropped. You couldnt let anybody in the nursing home after a certain hour so you would blag a lift and then say you couldnt get them in lol. Plus all your mates would pile into the car as you were pulling off. If you had a date you would make sure you got taken out in a car and were bought a meal or you wouldnt see them again
  6. by   suehp
    Oh yes I remember those days!

    We had 6 weeks introductory in class , then a further one week for medical then we hit the medical ward for 12 weeks. During that time we had to LEARN how to make beds etc as already been said! Then it was one week to evaluate (how they loved that word) and then 2 weeks holiday. We then came back for one week surgical then hit the wards for 12 weeks where we had to get our assessments in and do aseptic technique etc, then one week to EVALUATE again then 2 weeks holiday. And so it went on like this for 3 years....

    We wore white dresses with white hats. We had yellow epaulettes and stripes on our hats showed eveyrone which year we were in!

    As someone has already said - most Sisters or Senior Nurses were respected and we were terrified of them...all of them in their blue dresses and frilly hats. In A&E we used to go round with a pillow case under our arms to look like we were busy doing something when the Sister was on duty as she was really scary!!!

    We lived in the Nurses Homes next door to the hospital and had a hell of a laugh there. In my group there was originally 14 of us, all except one was the same age (18 when we started), 2 dropped out (the one that wasnt 18 and another girl went onto university). Becasue we were all the same age we were very close....it is our 20th anniversary this month and unfortunately I wont be able to make the reunion which I am gutted about.

    We had such good times and at my leaving do a few of the girsl who stayed local came to see us and we reminsiced about the Good old days with all the photos we took....

    Those were the days.........
  7. by   suehp
    :spin: Meant to add that when we first qualified you could take off the yellow epaulettes and had plain white hats...you had to wait for about 2 weeks to get your blue epaulettes...everyone knew you were a new nurse...

    We had so much fun, thanks for bringing this thread up..it is nice to remember
  8. by   Fonenurse
    Oh the memories! Did you ever send green newbies to pharmacy for a long stand or a bowman's capsule? I remember running the ward on nights as a first year student, doctors mess parties, practical jokes, commode races, putting leavers in the bath etc.

    I remember being newly qualified in a strange hospital, and travelling home in uniform with a sign on my chest asking the public to wake me at my station and it worked every time! I got free entry into clubs, cheap meals, and even free tickets for west end shows when I worked at Hammersmith.

    Thanks for this thread - it's brought back some lovely memories...
  9. by   Ann RN
    I remember partying with the young docs - now I'm old enough to be their mother! One of my favorite residents calls me ma'am!

    We "borrowed" the anatomically correct female manniquin from the "Fundamentals of Nursing" lab, strung beer cans around her neck. & hung her out the 4th floor dorm window. Hospital security (directly across the street) thought someone had hung themselves and called city police! They never found out who did it!

    We used to have the best snowball fights in the winter between the student nurses & the docs across the street.

    I forgot about commode races! We had those too.

    Thanks for the smiles today!
  10. by   karenG
    oh yes!! one of the lads in my group was sent to theatre to get some fallopian tubes... another got sent to another ward for a long wait!! and we did fall for it every time..

    the parties.... :hatparty: I trained at Greenwich- we used to get USA navy ships tie up in Greenwich and invite the nurses down for 'drinks'. Poor lads.. they didnt realise quite how much we could eat (because we had no money for food- just beer!) or drink........ one poor soul admitted he was the ships laundry man.. he laundered 50 white uniforms for us..

    the canadian navy and the australian navy all bought us drinks.. and food..! I have memories of partying all night, having a shower and being on duty at 730 feeling like death warmed up!!

    and it feels like yesterday....

    Karen
  11. by   madwife2002
    Quote from karenG
    oh yes!! one of the lads in my group was sent to theatre to get some fallopian tubes... another got sent to another ward for a long wait!! and we did fall for it every time..

    the parties.... :hatparty: I trained at Greenwich- we used to get USA navy ships tie up in Greenwich and invite the nurses down for 'drinks'. Poor lads.. they didnt realise quite how much we could eat (because we had no money for food- just beer!) or drink........ one poor soul admitted he was the ships laundry man.. he laundered 50 white uniforms for us..

    the canadian navy and the australian navy all bought us drinks.. and food..! I have memories of partying all night, having a shower and being on duty at 730 feeling like death warmed up!!

    and it feels like yesterday....

    Karen
    I cannot count how many times we got in at 3-4 am and went in to work for 7.30am.
  12. by   RGN1
    This thread is GREAT!!!!!!!! My training was pretty similar to the above mentioned. 23 out of the 27 in my set were Irish & on their own for the 1st time in their life. BOY did they know how to party!!!

    I remember one very bad night when we had all gone just a little tooooooooo OTT with the Tom Cruise (hehehe - booze to the non-cockney's out there) & got in a little tooooooooo late (or should that be early!).

    In class the morning after the night before we were supposed to be doing aseptic technique. Oh you should have seen the state of us. Even the tutor gave it up as a bad job & sent us all out to the canteen for coffee!! We had to stay in over lunch another time to do the class.
  13. by   Owain Glyndwr
    Quote from madwife2002
    We never had study days in placement block and we worked 37 1/2 hours weeks on the ward and got paid a salary, which wasnt great but you did get enhancements for weekends, nights and hols.

    It was see one do one policy, and woe betide you if you couldnt do most of what you needed to do by the time you were leaving your 1st year.

    There was no consideration for being a student and you worked hard-you learned your skills from the higher student and there was only ever 2 RNs on day duty they did the drugs and you did the rest. There was always 1st 2nd and 3rd year students on duty-and the 3rd years were obeyed. They ran the ward as they had to do management placements.
    I couldnt wait to be a Staff Nurse so that I could do no work!!!!!!!!Can you believe that nowerdays.

    We were so practically skilled when we qualified that we thrown in the deep end, and you managed. D grades ran wards, I was often the only RN on night duty for the renal unit and carried a bleep.

    As a student if you phoned in sick sometimes the RN would visit or phone the nursing home to check if you were really sick.

    It was so much fun, we laughed all the time and played jokes everyday. You knew when you were due to leave you would be thrown in a bath full of
    stuff. There just wasnt the stress we get nowerdays. Auxillary Nurses were great.

    Then when you became an RN the students would know the new ones and we would say look they are serious now and say they had Staffitis.
    You would call sister Sister and the Staff nurses Staff. As a student you would never sit down on duty, if it was quiet you went and talked to the patients or looked for work. Nobody ever sent me home early or to go the library.
    You had tests at the end of every placement and you would just have to study in your own time.

    The good old days lol
    And you try and tell the young people that today and they won't believe you. No, they won't.

    Cheers

    Monty Python
  14. by   Ann RN
    Our class developed a strong relationship with a fraternity from a nearby university. Every Thursday night a bunch of them would pick us up at the dorm and take anyone who wanted to go back to the frat house for a party. And they always took us back, too. We all became very close. We acted as guides for the frat house during Parents Weekend. A few of the parents looked at us funny and wanted to know why we knew so much about where the rooms were! Right before graduation they held a formal dinner for us. They made sure each and every girl had an escort to pick her up at the dorm (in a suit!). I wonder if school now is ever like this.

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