Monday, March 12, 2012

Employment History - The Early Days

I actually started to work full time in 1968. I was a staff nurse on one of the oldest medical/surgical units of Easton Hospital - 3 North. There were two six-bed wards (no privacy with that) with running water and toilets down the hall. There were private rooms that usually held the most difficult patients as in confused with dementia (called senility then) who were restrained to their beds and who usually hit you when you tried to give them care. The private rooms were also reserved for isolation, mostly TB, and reverse isolation, usually for the severely burned. I ruined several uniforms with silver nitrate (then used for treating burns).

Uniforms - not scrubs. Nurses wore white, white stockings, white shoes and of course, the cap. If someone walked down the hall dressed in all in white and wearing a cap, you knew she (mostly shes back then) was a nurse. Today, everyone wears a scrub and their name tags shows their first name in huge letters and their discipline in very small letters. Nurse? Aide? Housekeeping?

I had a patient who hit me in the mouth and drew blood. I had another one who hit me on the head with a huge alcohol bottle (placed outside of an isolation room), knocking me out. I helped a newly admitted patient take off his leg prosthesis but the sock on the other foot was more difficult; it was stuck to his skin, having been on his foot for many months.

And with all of this and working weekends and holidays, I can say:
I hated every minute.
Not what you expected me to say?
I worked for low pay for lots of responsibility.
I have a bad back from caring for patients with no help.
I hated every minute because
it was not what I wanted.
But I made the best of it for almost 44 years.

I took care of hundreds, maybe thousands, of patients/clients/residents.

Now it's time to take care of Mitzi...and Morgan.


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