The nursing profession is constantly evolving. From scrub design to medication deliver, here are a few “then and now” facts about nursing brought to you by the nursing team at Joyce University.
Then: Nurses wore white from head to toe; this included a nurse’s cap, white stockings, and white shoes.
Now: We wear scrubs in a variety of patterns and colors and athletic shoes or clogs.
Then: Nursing notes were written by hand and used paper charts that used reams of paper.
Now: We utilize the electronic medical record (EMR) to record our nursing notes electronically.
Then: Nurses calculated the IV rates by timing the drops per minute into the IV tubing chamber.
Now: IV rates are entered by the nurse on an electronic pump device which calculates the drops per minute.
Then: Nurses paged physicians on the overhead speaker system quite frequently day and night.
Now: We text physicians on their phones or pagers…thank goodness!
Then: Nurses used “stock” medications for patients.
Now: Medications are bar coded for each specific patient.
Then: Nurses received items from pharmacy and central supply on the “dumb waiter” (small elevator system).
Now: We receive medications for patient via a “tube system” or electronically from a locked cart.
Then: Nurses monitored patients who were permitted to smoke in private rooms.
Now: No smoking is the norm in all healthcare organizations, extending from the building to the property area surrounding the building.
Then: Nurses cared for patients in “wards” or rooms with multiple beds.
Now: The norm is shifting to private rooms with private bathrooms for each patient.
Then: Nurses monitored strict visiting hours on most nursing units.
Now: Visiting hours are becoming “open” at many organizations with no time restrictions.