Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Monday, March 28, 2016

10 Old-School Nursing Skills You Don’t See Anymore

vintage-nurse-and-patient-crop

I used to be a nursing assistant back in the 60's and 70's and found this interesting. I worked in the orthopedics floor of St Francis Hospital in Colorado Springs and also at Kair More Nursing Home as well as a Nursing Home in Nampa Idaho. I also worked as an OB-GYN Nurse in Henderson NV in the late 70's so this brought back memories and I wanted to share it with my blogging buddies.

Nursing, along with the rest of the medical field, is constantly evolving to ensure better patient outcomes. Nursing skills, in particular, have changed quite a bit over the last several decades. Some skills have even been discarded completely for the sake of safety or efficiency. Here are 10 interesting examples of old-school nursing skills that have either drastically changed or are no longer practiced:

  1. Reusing syringes and urinary catheters

Believe it or not, new nurses, many of today’s disposable medical items, like urinary catheters and syringes, were made to be reused in the not-too-distant past. These items were sterilized between uses, a process that was eventually deemed too costly as disposable items became more common.

  1. Charting patient care on paper

While it’s still possible to find rural and small-scale clinics that utilize paper charting, the majority of health-care facilities these days chart electronically. In addition to providing all members of the health-care team with easier access to patients’ charts, electronic charting is typically more efficient and more accurate.

  1. Using urine dipsticks with sliding-scale insulin

Sliding-scale insulin has been in use longer than glucose meters. Before these meters were used to determine how much, if any, insulin to administer to a diabetic patient, nurses had to rely on urine dipsticks. Urine-dipstick results aren’t as accurate as those provided by glucose meters, so it’s no surprise that they aren’t used in this manner anymore.

  1. Regulating IV fluids manually

Before infusion pumps were invented, it was necessary to manually regulate IV fluids. To do this, nurses had to count drops and calculate drip rates for each and every patient receiving IV fluids. Now, thanks to infusion pumps, administering IV fluids is easier, more accurate, and much faster.

  1. Palpating for blood pressure

The vast majority of health-care facilities throughout the United States take patients’ blood-pressure measurements automatically, but this wasn’t always the case. Nurses used to rely on palpation to obtain blood-pressure measurements. To obtain a patient’s blood pressure in this manner, nurses would inflate and deflate a compression cuff while feeling for the disappearance and reemergence of the radial pulse.

  1. Shaving patients prior to surgery

Up until fairly recently, hairy patients had their incision sites shaved prior to surgery. New evidence suggests that this leads to an increased risk of infection, and many hospitals have eliminated this practice. Now, instead of using a razor, nurses use clippers to cut away excessive hair as a part of their preoperative preparations.

  1. Shaking mercury thermometers

Now that digital thermometers are used to obtain patients’ temperatures, the sight of a nurse shaking a mercury thermometer is extremely rare. In the past, however, nurses could be seen shaking mercury thermometers in hospitals on a daily basis. The reason that these old-school thermometers were shaken is that the mercury would often cling to the inner sides of the thermometer. Prior to taking a new temperature reading, bringing the majority of the mercury back down into the bulb by shaking the thermometer was the best way to ensure accuracy.

  1. Cutting urinary catheters during removal

While cutting urinary catheters during removal is not recommended, some nurses and doctors still utilize this practice. It’s considered unsafe for two reasons primarily. Firstly, traction on the catheter could cause it to retract into the bladder if it’s cut. Secondly, the balloon might not deflate, which turns a simple catheter removal into something much more difficult and costly.

  1. Irrigating NG tubes with Coca-Cola

Many old-school nurses swear by Coca-Cola for NG tube flushing. In theory, this is due to the coke’s acidity. Regardless of the reason behind this method’s supposed effectiveness, it’s not recommended as it can affect the plastic tubing. Before using coke, juice, or something similar to flush an NG tube, refer to your facility’s guidelines. More likely than not, using water when flushing an NG tube will be the preferred method.

  1. Treating congestive heart failure (CHF) with rotating tourniquets

CHF patients used to be treated with rotating tourniquets. Essentially, these tourniquets were applied to the lower limbs to diminish venous return. These days, however, we have a wide variety of effective diuretics that can be used to help decrease the strain that excess fluid volume puts on the heart. Not only is this treatment more comfortable for patients than applying tourniquets, it’s much more effective.

Are there any old-school nurses working with you on your unit? If so, do they still practice a few of the skills mentioned in this article? Leave a comment below and let us know!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

EASTER BASKET

For the challenge at Digital Whisper this week

Easter Basket found on the internet
Created using Rebecca McMeens Carson Kit

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

SPRING

For the challenge at Three Muses this week
 
Background by Foxey Squirrel
Flower images are from my stock file and Photoshop brushes
Butterflies are from the Journey of the Butterfly kit by Digital Whisper


LET'S DANCE

For the challenge at Take A Word this week

Background from Lil Owl
Image I found on Pinterest
Photoshop brushes and filters

Sunday, March 20, 2016

TRUNK

For the challenge at Three Muses this week

Background is from my collection
The rocks, wire, stars and trunk are from Gatsby
Image and edgy overlay border is from Foxey squirrel

GREEN

This is for the challenge at Take A Word this week

Background by Foxey Squirrel
Image is a vintage image from my collection
Photoshop brushes

GUITAR

Created for the challenge at Digital Whisper this week
Come join the challenge and post your artwork

Background by Lil Owl
Elements by Foxey Squirrel
Photo of my 15 year old Granddaughter, Abriana who loves to play the guitar with her Daddy.
Photoshop brushes used to enhance the piece

Saturday, March 12, 2016

ST PATRICK'S DAY

For the challenge at Digital Whisper this week

 Background by Foxey Squirrel
Clover by Emeto
Image from the internet
Photoshop Brushes
Background from the Journey of the Butterfly kit
Clover and leaves and filler by Emeto
Image from Beautiful ladies wallpapers
Photoshop Brushes

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

ANYTHING WITH WINGS

For the challenge at The Three Muses this week

Butterflies from Emeto Magic Kit
Fairy from Donna L.
Photoshop and Ana Von Holdt brushes

Sunday, March 6, 2016

CELESTIAL

For the challenge at Take A Word this week


LAVENDER

For the Digital Whisper challenge this week

This was created using the eyes of my niece, a butterfly from Emento Magic and Photoshop Brushes