January 11, 1982....
The day I started my nursing career at Mayo Clinic
Just a young thing, 21 years old.
It was back when nurses wore WHITE, and dresses above the knee,
but not the white hat's
(I'm not THAT old)
So this week marks my 33rd year a Registered Nurse,
I've seen a lot of changes over those 33 years.
Computer charting was in the infant stages.
As a new grad I started right out in the Cardiac Surgical ICU, my first choice.
The 3D South unit had just been remodeled for computer charting, the North unit still paper charting.
Bear with me for just a moment non-medical friends,
For the nurses out there you might appreciate this jargon...
every 15 minutes for the 1st four hours after surgery we had to record, wedge pressures, RA, LA, CVP, (all heart pressures) on paper, it did not go into a computer automatically like now days. We also had to replaced blood outputs every hour, on kids we replaced 2/3 of what they put out.
Another fun fact, Mayo Clinic's first heart transplants were being done
but I was too new to get in on that.
... a very stressful, touch & go, life or death kind of unit to work in, but being new, this is all I knew.
The day and night shift were not much different, seemed like patients were always going back to the O.R. for bleeding in the middle of the night, and it was nothing to have to "crack open" a patient's chest right in the room to apply the internal defibrillators right to that quivering heart (all the while trying to keep the blood from spraying out WHITE uniforms)
Oh those were the days!
Just a little synopsis of my career so far...
2 1/2 years in the Cardiac surgical ICU
2 1/2 years in the Neuro surgical ICU
16 years in the Emergency room....oh the stories I could tell :)
4 years in the Recovery room
7 years, in Vascular radiology pushing drugs (sedation nurse)
Neurology department, doing Spinal Taps or as they say now, Lumbar Punctures.
I hope to finish out my career here in Neurology, not sure how many years I have left in me,
I guess time will tell.
Come back in a few days to hear more about my current job... it's quite interesting :)