i know the forum encourages students to post on this forum when they are looking for help from nurses, but i really think you' should also post this question on the general nursing discussion forum (https://allnurses.com/forums/f8/
) and put a title on it that will attract the older nurses like: "nurses trained before 1970--need your help!"
i miss your mark by a couple of years. i started nursing school in 1973. however, there was an older lady in one of my community organizations who had been encouraging me to go to nursing school for some time who had gone before wwii. she had shown me some of her nursing textbooks that she still had! i loved hearing her talk about her experiences and it scared me, too, because at the time i knew nothing about the profession. she went to a school of nursing that was part of a hospital. you had to be single. she lived in a dormitory that was next to the hospital and owned by the hospital. the students were expected to work shifts on the hospital wards. this is how they got their clinical training. often, they worked the night shift and it was the only time they were allowed out of the dorms after their curfew times. there was no housekeeping staff, kitchen or central supply. the nurses did it all. they made all the meals and served them to the patients. the nurses cleaned the rooms. when a patient was discharged, the nurses did the terminal disinfection of the bed and the room. there were no disposables. needles were sharpened and sterilized for re-use. there were sterilizers on every unit. the nurses made up their own sterile dressing kits and sterilized them. medications were kept in bottles in locked cupboards like mini-pharmacies. medications for each patient were "poured" into paper soufflé cups and placed next to a medicine card. these cards and soufflé cups were placed in special medication trays that the nurse carried around from patient to patient. thermometers were the old glass ones with mercury in them; red tops for rectal and blue tops for oral. they were washed and sterilized for reuse in the utility room.
these are just some of the things i can recall her talking about and a few that were still in use when i was doing my student clinicals.
if there are any older hospitals in the town where you live that might have had nursing programs
back in those days, you might give them a call. someone on their staff knows where there are some records of what went on in the school at that time. if that hospital has a school library they might even have copies of the old nursing textbooks preserved somewhere. looking at these is an absolute hoot! some of these hospitals even display class photos of the first classes of nurses to graduate from their programs. you might also contact the american nurses association as well as your state nurses association. every once in a while the ana goes back to do nostalgic pieces for their publication, ajn
, on the old days. there was also a recently published book on the history of nursing. can't think of the name of it, but you might be able to find it on one of the bookseller sights.
welcome to allnurses!