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Medicine Changes

A story by Elsie Johnson



What a difference in medicine and procedures – treatments since I graduated from nursing school in 1944. We wore our white starched uniforms, white stockings and shoes with our red and blue capes with pride. We worked hard to obtain our caps which indicated the year of training you were in by the width of the black velvet stripe. The design of the cap could indicate the hospital from which you graduated. I object to the dress of the doctors and nurses you see in the hospitals today. You can’t tell a nurse or doctor from the cleaning personnel because of the dress! They get by now by calling the dress their scrubs. If a doctor approached the desk, we respectfully got up and let him sit. We wrote all our charting in print and signed them. New technology has brought many good changes. I remember we collected all the injection needles – cleaned them, sterilized them and also sharpened them! We also cleaned and reused enema tubing! We took temperatures orally or rectally – cleaning and reusing them also. Every night all patients were put to bed after having a nice backrub. I’m sure this procedure has been dropped. One summer we had a polio epidemic. I have never worked so hard in any other program than that one – we used the Sister Kenny Technique twice a day on each patient. Many were adults and also all ages of children, who missed their parents and needed a lot of TLC. I’m glad medicine, procedures and treatments have improved over the years – not only for my sake, as well as for doctors, nurses have improved over the years. Nursing isn’t the same for the nurse as well as the patient. We used to give person to person care. Aides do most of that now. Nursing care has become highly technical. I would be lost and unable to take charge of a hospital floor as I used to. This is why I call myself a Rusty Nurse instead of a Registered Nurse. I still carry a R.N. certificate for my ego.

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 bacteria,capes,caps,disposable,sanitation,scrubs,stockings,white uniforms
  Hutchinson, KS
Jun 23 2024


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