Nursing then and now

Mercy Hospital Alumni held their 85th banquet

Staff report

Mercy Hospital School of Nursing Alumni held their 85th annual banquet this fall. Following the luncheon, a discussion by president, Ginnie Wagner was held of the projects being done to assure that the articles regarding the alumni will be kept intact was held.

A shadow box was purchased to have the bronzed nurse’s cap and nurse’s pin secure.

It is to be placed in the hallway by the SOMC emergency room, which has pictures and articles about the medical profession located there. The pictures of Sister Hilary and Sister Priscilla will also be placed there.

A bench with three pictures of Mercy Hospital, one of Madonna Hall, the nurse’s pin, and on the front ledge inscribed with Mercy Hospital was purchased and paid for by one of our alumni members. Another bench that will have the bronze plaque with the names of 378 nurses has been purchased by the alumni. The two benches are now in place to the left and right of the doors to SOMC Family Health Center, located at the corner of Kinneys Lane and Waller Street.

The winner of the Mercy Nurses Scholarship for 2017-2018 is Morgan Jackson. There is enough money in the scholarship fund for at least nine more scholarships. Donations to the fund are encouraged.

Honored class members of 1962, celebrating 55 years were Christine Bihl Danner, Gayle Prince Shinkle and Linda Stanley Harris. Class members of the class of 1957, celebration 60 years, were Joyce Brown Miller and Claire Dixon Carrier. Class member of the 1942, celebrating 75 years was 98 Cloteen Wooten Creekbaum, who celebrated her 98th birthday in September. Cloteen gave a short speech in the difference between nursing then and now.

There were no disposable needles and syringes. Needles were placed in alcohol, sharpened with an emery board, and checked for rough edges by a cotton ball. Syringes were autoclaved. NG tubes, called Levin tubes, were washed, sterilized and reused, also enema tubing and cans, insulin syringes and needles were kept in alcohol, rinsed with sterile water and used over and over, fresh water was at bedside at all times. Nothing was thrown away.

Nurses worse starched, white dress uniforms, white shoes, white hose, and nurses caps. We would know where the nurse went to nurse’s school by their cap.

Cardiac patients were kept on complete bed rest for 6 weeks, they were not allowed to have ice water, get out of bed to go to the bathroom, and they were given bed baths. Also patients were given back rubs three times a day, snacks in the afternoon and at bedtime. IV drops were counted patiently, using the second hand on our watch. If the patient moved, the rate would change and we would start counting drops again.

Penicillin was starting to be used during the war and then in the United States, making a big difference in the patient’s recovery time.

Nursing today is completely different. We had MDs, RNs, LPNs, lab techs, and x-ray techs. Today computers, cell phones, IVACs, ICUs, CT scans, MRIs, sleep studies, stem cells, etc. OB patients, surgical patients, etc., go home the same day. Big change!
Mercy Hospital Alumni held their 85th banquet

Staff report