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100 years of nursing rules: Illustrated!

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20 Responses to 100 years of nursing rules: Illustrated!

  1. carolslee1949

    Quite a few years ago, nurse friend got on an elevator and the man, obviously a physician, said to her, “Haven’t you ever heard of ‘doctors before nurses'”? She responded with, “Haven’t you ever heard of ‘ladies before gentlemen'”?

  2. Nocturnal8

    If you were sitting and charting it was expected for you to give the Dr your chair

  3. Judy Sexton

    I started nursing in 1967 you did stand up for the doctor, you walked behind him and carried the charts for rounds.Youwore a completly white uniform with whitJe hoes and shoes.You wore your school pin and hat.Hardly anything was disposible and you had to sterilelize equipmet and mix tube feedings in the diet kitchen.Just a little about the good ole days/

  4. bmck97004

    The illustration of the nurse standing when a Dr. walks in (which is what I was taught to do…) has a major error – we would have NEVER been allowed to have our hair that long, hanging down across our collar!

  5. Grammy

    Also in the 1970’s you had metal bedpans to empty,and take into a small room to dump and sterilize and take back to the patient.

  6. Franny G

    I have been in Nursing since 1959 and have a number of stories to share. Let’s start here: Who remembers the use of Wangasteen suction?
    Who carried hemostats and bandage scissors?
    Who still uses these instruments?
    How many remember Zolights?
    Who remembers using a Pneumatic Tube System?
    What was the temperature supposed to be for a Sitz bath?
    Who wore an apron as part of their student uniform?
    How ere Patients with MI’s treated then?
    What color tennis shoes did nurses use in those days?

    • Lois Albrecht-Anderson

      No tennis shoes worn back then–only white nurses shoes–preferably clinic brand
      I rememember much of what you posted–even though I was not a nurse till 1970.
      PS I do carry bandage scissors and hemostat even though I now do home health.

      • Paula Wright

        No tennis shoes. Nursing student uniform
        was a aqua colored dress with a white pinafore,
        kind of like an apron. And of course our Caps
        after our capping ceremony.

      • tmcgrady

        I started working in 1964. I remember all except the Zolights. When I first started my hospital was only RNs, aides and orderlies. We did our own respiratory treatments, drew blood, recovered patients after 3:30 and didn’t have an ICU. When patients coded they passed away. I was not taught CPR in nursing school as it had not yet been developed. I worked in the operating room and we had nothing disposable. We washed the cotton sponges, all the linens, all the gloves except the ones with holes. We re-sharpened knife blades and rubbed burrs off needles. A lot of sterilization was done by soaking in solutions but we also had steam to sterilize. We held down little kids while they dripped ether to put them to sleep to take their tonsil and adenoids out. Patients were put in oxygen tents and we would create hyperbaric chambers (we didn’t know at the time that was the forerunner) by putting an oxygen tent at the head and another at the foot of the bed and enclosing the entire patient. I lived through the stand for the doctors and carry the charts. That’s just how we were taught !

  7. granannie

    IN 1972, WHEN I WAS IN NURSING SCHOOL IN NEW YORK CITY,NY, THE DOCTORS WOULD SIT IN THE NURSES STATION AND WRITE THEIR ORDERS AND UPDATES ON THE PTS. CHARTS EVERY MORNING, CHARTS WERE HELD IN HEAVEY METAL HOLDERS AT THAT TIME. I WAS A STUDENT AND WATCHED EVERYTHING AND EVERYBODY VERY CAREFULLY. ONE OF THE SURGEONS WHEN HE FINISHED WITH THE CHARTS HE THREW THEM ACROSS THE ROOM, NURSES WERE DUCKING THEM ONE BY ONE. ONE CHART HIT ONE OF THE NURSES, HE NEVER EVEN LOOKED AROUND. ALL OF A SUDDEN THECHART THAT HIT HER WENT FLYING BACK ACROSS THE ROOM HITTING THE SURGEON IN THE HEAD, WE WERE ALL SHOCKED. SHE SAID ‘TIT FOR TAT, YOU SON OF A BITCH!’ THE DIRECTORS OF NURSING, MEDICINE, SURGERY, HEAD OF THE HOSPITAL WERE IN MEETINGS ALL DAY. REPS FROM THE MAYORS OFFICE, POLICE COMMISIONERS OFFICE, MORE COPS THAN IEVER SAW WHEEN THERE WAS NO PARADE, LAWYERS, ETC., ETC., ETC. SHORT FINISH IS, NOTHING HAPPENED TO THE NURSE, THE SUREON WAS PUT ON A FORCED LEAVE OF ABSENCE AND THE NURSES STAYED IN THE NURSES STATION AFTER THAT. DRS. WOULD STAND AROUND THE STATION DOING THEIR UPDATES AND NOTES, AND LEAVING THEM IN A NEAT PILE IN THE NURSES STATION. SEEMS THE NURSES FATHER, AND HUSBAND WERE BIGWIGS, IN GOVT. AND LAW. I ASKED WHERE THE NURSE CAME FROM. I WAS TOLD SHE WAS FROM NEW YORK, BUT SHE WENT TO COLUMBIAN PRES. NURSING SCHOOL, AND THE NURSES FROM THERE DIDN’T TAKE ANY SH*T FROM ANYONE. I HAVE BEEN AROUND NURSES FROM THERE OVER THE YEARS, I ALWAYS FOUND THEM TO BE EXCELLENT NURSES, BUT UNFRIENDLY AS ALL HELL.

    • Frittzie

      I would sooooo have paid to see this incident. !!!!! And when the Doc returned from his enforced leave of absence—–PRICELESS

  8. perrywinkle

    Hair had to be above the collar, fingernails at the level of the finger with only clear polish if any. With almost nothing disposable glass syringes were washed and sterilized, needles resharpened, rectal tubes boiled and reused, (and how they stunk if they boiled dry!)as well as rubber catheters. Gloves? Never unless you were in surgery-and they were also reused. Full bedpans were discretely taken down the hall to the bedpan hopper.

  9. Paula Wright

    I graduated in 1970 from LPN school. And yes, we did have to stand when a Dr. entered and we did give up our chair to him. BUT my favorite
    of these rules is # 4.

  10. Run1953

    I was in Nursing School from 1970-1973.
    White uniforms (dresses), white nylons, white nurses shoes, and caps. Hair above the collar, short nails, no polish. We stood up for doctors, walked down the hall to the bedpan hopper, used dun waiters and pneumatic tubes. We were not allowed to smoke or drink on the street and we had to wear skirts or dresses when in public and for non clinical classes.

    • facebook_user_1202677976426490

      I graduated from nursing school in 1972. I remember having to stand and offer my chair to doctors. But we had a lot of doctors who would tell us it wasn’t necessary. I actually witnessed a surgeon throw a scalpel across the OR ( just because he could get away with it ). We had one surgeon who had a nasty temper and almost grabbed a nurse by the throat until she stopped him by telling him she would file a lawsuit. After the hospital board got to him, he actually became very pleasant from then on ! Maybe he attended Anger Management classes ?
      I do remember the pneumatic tubes that took lab specimens and messages to other departments. We also had to mix baby formula !
      Nursing was easier back then in a way because the patients weren’t as ill and we didn’t have the knowledge or equipment like we have now. The patients were in the hospital for longer periods so there were less acute patients in the hospital as there are now.

  11. megbabyrn

    I graduated in 1976. Worked in a tiny 4 bed CCU that Dr. Meltzer started @ Presbyterian in Philadelphia, PA. We had resterilizable blood gas syringes, rubber IV tubing. I di cardiac cath lab in 1979-1980, I processed the film in a dark room with spool film, crazy trying to do this in the dark. As an RN, we didn’t learn this stuff!! Heart attack patients stayed for 10 days. We gave our patients with impending DT’s, something in metal cups, it melted the plastic ones!! Open-heart patients( and at Pesby, we were awesome then!), they stayed in the unit 10-14 days. Crazy stuff we did then. I remember working in the ED there as well, “rod and gun club”. Thank god for the gloves we just started wearing in 1981, I stabbed myself coding a 21 year old, shot in the chest, we cracked it open, I did CPR, but right before, I stabbed myself injecting epi. So glad to hear he was hep B and HIV neg. we just started testing for that. Also, just started doing RPR’s on all female, males in with STD symptoms, Omg, that is all we saw. Imagine that, we saw a huge increase in Syphillis rates for 1981!! No you jack asses, we finally tested for it routinely!! Made me crazy!!

  12. Nrthrn Dncr

    Graduated in 1982 but started out as aCNA in the early 60s. The one thing I remember that no-one has mentioned yet is how we had to remove the flowers & plants from the patient’s rooms at night because they USED UP O2!???? Anyone else remember that & that we had to mop the floors every night after HS cares.

  13. Waseem Ahmed

    Dear seniors, I have so many questions to ask. First of all Why should a nurse give her place when a doctor arrives ? Health care is a team of many department. Then why do the nurses alone are considered inferior ? I feel bad about it.
    Thank you.

  14. son.mariano

    Here in the Philippines, some of us nurses here are doing just the same. But, we must remember that we are nurses, not physicians’ assistants, and we have our own rules, obligations and responsibilities. So I am just telling, nurses are no robots, we are not computer program that when they (the physicians) put orders in the health management order sheets we are just there to follow. My mentors told me, if you know that they may harm their patients, we must remind them their limitations and provide a good insight of what really is happening to their patients. Be the advocate you are meant to be. Otherwise, it defeats the purpose of our professions. Standing behind physicians are demeaning, I say. Standing with them as equals, as professionals, that is the good way to be.

  15. meaRN

    I did have the apron in nursing school. LPN ’94 and RN in ’97. We had to wear white leather nursing shoes not tennis shoes. No nail polish. Nails shorter than finger tips. Hair up off collar. Minimal make-up. My great aunt would was not a nurse taught me about I think it was White Swan shoe polish? A nurse on one side and a baby on the other in a blue box? She showed me how to polish my shoes. I cleaned her house once a week in high school. And first year of college. She taught me more than just shoe polishing. Wise soul.

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