I graduated in 2001 but I was working in a hospital as a student nurse tech before that. Paper charting was the norm. I worked for the VA and we did have an electronic charting system and it was cutting edge. Because I was the young nurse I learned it faster and so I was unofficially elected to be the one to teach the older nurses how to use it. "Click there. No, click it twice. No, you have to click it twice real fast" That being said, there were still a lot of paper notes and orders. We still had large hard charts in chart racks. When certain doctors rounded we had to have all their charts pulled and sitting out for them because they didn't like to look for charts. At the end of the shift we did chart checks on each chart and there was a different pen color for day shift, evening shift and night shift. We had gigantic binders for our policies and procedures and the same for the MSDS book. Protonix was the latest and greatest med and only ICU patients got it. On the med-surg floor it was the norm to have 8-9 patients and one CNA to share between 2 nurses. My assessments were on a one page piece of paper that stayed on a clipboard hanging outside of the patients room. I would write orders and hand the chart to the doc and say "Hey I wrote this order. Sign it." and they did. I kinda liked trying to decipher doctor's handwriting. You would get to know the docs and their handwriting and it wasn't really that hard. We used iodine to change central line dressings. All of the patients meds were in a med cart drawer that was labeled and pharmacy filed it. Of course we still had to check meds as we gave them but we didn't have to go and gather all the meds. Everyone had their meds right there in a drawer together. We used multi dose vials for insulin and heparin. Nobody had to check my dose. An intern once accused me of administering insulin instead of heparin to a patient, which would've equaled 50 units of insulin. The way I knew I had NOT done that was because I had 3 patients on heparin and drew all 3 shots up at the same time so if I gave one insulin, I would've given them all insulin. Everyone was always looking for the narcotic keys. Who has the keys? I gave them to Jane? No Jane says she doesn't have them. And if you accidentally took them home in your pocket ooo boy you better turn right around and take them back. I once got stuck in a horrible traffic jam on my way to work. I was stuck on a highway and had no way of contacting anyone - no cell phones! I was TWO hours late to work. They had called my husband at home and he told them I had left for work at the regular time. So for 2 hours nobody knew where I was. On evening shift I "tucked" all my patients in for the night on my last rounds and for the most part they actually slept at night. We restrained patients all the time. Of course we had protocols and regular checks but we used side rails, wrist restraints, bed vests and enclosure beds. I also worked agency from 2003-2005. So I went all over to multiple units and multiple facilities. I think there was less standardization for care. I learned a lot doing that because I learned a million different ways to do everything.