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"The Good Ol' Days!"

Nurses Article   (43,375 Views 152 Replies 340 Words)

BostonTerrierLover has 16 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Adult/Ped Emergency and Trauma.

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One of my favorite things about allnurses is reading the posted "Stories" of how things used to be. I am amazed to learn about nursing in the past, and how things are different now. You are reading page 4 of "The Good Ol' Days!". If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

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Desperate times called for desperate measures.

Unwed mothers had few choices back then, and not every place had decent "social services".

Usually what a desperate teen or other unwed mother wanted was to get shot of the infant (hopefully to a good home) before her reputation (or what was left of it) was ruined.

Of course one also didn't require tons of "ID" papers like today in order to get on in life; thus one's true BC (listing parents) may have rarely been called for. Indeed up until recently and still for all one knows it is/was possible to obtain a passport or other government ID with a litany of "other" paperwork and or simply two or more persons swearing an oath to who you were.

This is so true, My Papas birth parents went on to marry and have 4 more boys. Papa finally figured out who they were when his birth father passed away. He attended the funeral, stayed pretty far away from the family, but him and my grandmother said all 4 boys looked just like my Papa.

Its bitter sweet for me, my papa was adopted, my birth grandmother was crazy (literally) and left him and their 5 kids when my mom was 6 years old, and my father abandoned me and my mom when I was 1. So my true heritage will forever be a secret that I will never know.

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GitanoRN has 48 years experience as a BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in Trauma, ER, ICU, CCU, PACU, GI, Cardiology, OR.

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the good ol' days..hmmm one thing that comes to mind is my first job out from school working 7-3pm every am our nm would inspect our "starched white uniforms" nurses would wear their cap at all times. besides that the females would wear dresses or skirts below the knee and if any looked suspicious she would pull out her measuring tape:lol2: and the male nurses would have to wear their black stripe around their collar. in addition, i would always knew when she was coming down the hall because of her chalk white stockings making a swishing sound :rotfl:. below you can see a similar male uniform named "ben casey" accepted by the facility where i worked. lastly, everyone addressed each other by their last name ex: mr.gitano.

ben casey.jpg

http://www.mirandauniforms.com.au/mediwear.php

Edited by GitanoRN

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Esme12 is a ASN, BSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma.

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I am a resident at a home, The nurses seen this "thread" and wanted to add my story.

The nurses here had to get me in here to take the time to read me each story, post by post. I cannot tell you how good it has done my heart to read what you have said in your post Bo-Te-Lo-RN. As long as you keep passing along our stories, and the plights we had as young nurses, we will never be older ladies, and gentlemen, falling apart somewhere in a home; but still young somewhere, working night shift, dreaming, young and reckless- but you would never know it while "on" the clock.

We would be starched, good posture, and attempting to hold that nursing cap up high, until it was time to go, that red and black cape was yesterdays lab coat. After I read your kind words, I had to go pull it out, and run my fingers over the wool stitching of it.

I had a great life Bo-Te-Lo-RN, and I have much thanks for your kind dose of youth and appreciation for us old crusty bats!!!

After reading this, I know the Nursing Profession is still in good hands- but I warn you that it faces all the problems it did when I was at my climax of the profession. Addictions, Harsh Attitudes, and poor work environments still stalk some of our Nurses, and my heart pours out to them. It is only through the fight we started when Ms. Nightingale lit that lantern, that still burns today, tomorrow, and on through time as long as courage beats fear, and underdogs never give up.

You friends have brightened my day!!!!! That rarely happens anymore. But, I will always at least know my generations strife and success wasn't in vain.

Always remain young at heart.

:hug::kiss No, you have brightened and enriched mine.

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GitanoRN has 48 years experience as a BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in Trauma, ER, ICU, CCU, PACU, GI, Cardiology, OR.

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my first job i made $75 a week and lived at the hospital.

that brought back memories of my salary as well, and we use to be so happy if we got a nickle raise

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All this talk of mercury thermometers reminds me of when I was about 8 years old, my two front teeth were missing and just barely starting to grow back. My mom was taking my temp and I was messing with the thermometer in between those teeth and I busted it and got a mouth full of mercury:eek:

I could not for the life of me figure out why everyone was freaking out, mom ended up taking me to the ER, where they monitored me for 8 whole hours....I have sinced gained a respect for those old mercury thermometers.

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applewhitern has 30 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ICU.

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I had to wear white from head to toe; the white stockings, white cap, white dress. Smoking was permitted anywhere and everywhere~ my white cap turned bright yellow from all the smoke in the nursing lounge. You rarely had an IV pump. You mixed your own meds, including potassium, which is now a big no-no. You stood up and offered your seat to a doctor. A doctor could blatantly blame you for his mistake, in front of the patients, and you were not to say a word! They could throw a chart at you, too. Long hair had to be put up. No earrings unless they were studs. Only clear nail polish. RN's had to write an opening assessment on everybody's chart, for the LPN's, every shift. RN's had to hang all piggyback meds, not just pushes. The doctors had their own cafeteria, they didn't eat with the rest of the staff, and they were given huge platters of shrimp, etc., that we weren't given. The doctors all came in for breakfast, in their own cafeteria. One thing I remember is that MRSA was just being taken seriously, and we had to dress out for it (isolation.) But the doctors would waltz right in and sit on the patient's bed! I don't remember them ever wearing isolation stuff, and certainly not washing their hands. I don't mean to be "down on doctors" but this is stuff I remember.

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applewhitern has 30 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ICU.

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We still used the old glass thermometers on pediatric patients in the early 90's. My brother and I would play with the mercury when we were kids. Didn't know back then that it wasn't safe!

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OCNRN63 is a RN and specializes in Oncology; medical specialty website.

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I remember as a student there were few electronic thermometers, so each pt. had the old mercury thermometers. One day I dropped one, and I was terrified I'd get kicked out of the program for it. We didn't have IV pumps in med surg. back then, so you had to time your IV and put a piece of tape the length of the IV with marks on it for when the IV would reach each time till it ran out. You had to remember when your piggy backs were due to run out.

Pts. who had cataract surgery were sandbagged on either side of the bed and not allowed to get up. Pts. who had a choley had huge surgical wounds and were sick, sick, sick.

The head of the hospital was an older nun who would make rounds every day, checking each floor. Everybody stood at attention when she came through the unit. She was actually a nice woman, but boy, did she command respect.

Yikes. Sorry about the typos in there. Neuropathy makes your fingers do weird things when you're typing, and auto-correct doesn't help. I can see when I've made a typo, but when auto-correct changes a word, I don't always notice.

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OCNRN63 is a RN and specializes in Oncology; medical specialty website.

5,978 Posts; 54,030 Profile Views

I had to wear white from head to toe; the white stockings, white cap, white dress. Smoking was permitted anywhere and everywhere~ my white cap turned bright yellow from all the smoke in the nursing lounge. You rarely had an IV pump. You mixed your own meds, including potassium, which is now a big no-no. You stood up and offered your seat to a doctor. A doctor could blatantly blame you for his mistake, in front of the patients, and you were not to say a word! They could throw a chart at you, too. Long hair had to be put up. No earrings unless they were studs. Only clear nail polish. RN's had to write an opening assessment on everybody's chart, for the LPN's, every shift. RN's had to hang all piggyback meds, not just pushes. The doctors had their own cafeteria, they didn't eat with the rest of the staff, and they were given huge platters of shrimp, etc., that we weren't given. The doctors all came in for breakfast, in their own cafeteria. One thing I remember is that MRSA was just being taken seriously, and we had to dress out for it (isolation.) But the doctors would waltz right in and sit on the patient's bed! I don't remember them ever wearing isolation stuff, and certainly not washing their hands. I don't mean to be "down on doctors" but this is stuff I remember.

Even in the early 90s when I worked in peds, it was SOP to add potassium to fluids. IIRC, we mixed a few of the abx.

I remember when I was a student seeing nurses gingerly knock on the door of the doctor's dining room if they needed something, and boy, you better really have needed something.

("Excuse me doctor, but your patient was smoking in bed with his oxygen on and he caught on fire. What would you like me to do?")

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applewhitern has 30 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ICU.

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@Gitano: Wow, what a cutie! Even in all whites. Other things I remember: Triple H enema (high, hot, hellava lot.) Altitude adjustment: wean vent, see if they would fly. 4 ounces of hot tea for constipation. Yeah, I remember not having wall suction, those horrible gomcos! I never could figure out those old-fashioned bottle things, but some old-school surgeons insisted on them!

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Merlyn specializes in none.

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I remember working in the 1970's at a hospital that was just for Cardio-Pulmonary. A patient was on a respirator that was hooked up to a trach. Doctor's order was that the patient could still smoke. You had to take the collar away, give her a puff of a cigarette and then put the collar back on. She was on the TB unit. In this hospital Cardiac Caths were done in the OR with 5 0r 6 Doctors around the patients was knocked out. I just had one done in January - One Doctor two nurses They just gave me Valium PO. No Problem. After The Cath they sent me for triple Bypass in NYC VA. The operation was nothing. Three days later no pain. complication - Blood colts. The hell is the recovery. Comadin. I can't shave. My hair is gray anyway All I need is a trench coat, standing outside of a school yard and I go to jail. As My wife, The Historian, Masters Degree, adviser to NatGeo, Discovery, and other things, says there were no good old days. These are the good old days.

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WannaBNursey is a ADN, ASN, RN and specializes in ER, Med-surg.

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I love these stories! I can't believe some of the things nurses had to endure just a few years ago!

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