A mix of photography, recipes, personal thoughts, faith, and lots of family stuff, but not necessarily in that order.

Monday, January 12, 2015

I wore white dresses...

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) 
and currently.... 
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  :)


  1. What a career you have had. Keep up the good work.

  2. Congrats on your 33 year anniversary! Think of the lives you've impacted!

    1. Seems like a long long time, when I say 33 years, but it doesn't feel that long.

  3. Congratulations on 33 years of caring for others, Jackie. I have no difficulty imagining you as the type of nurse who would be long remembered for her tender and compassionate care. Thank you for doing what you do. I could not.

    And, yes, how times have changed.

    Being older than you, I started out in journalism by typing all of my stories on a manual typewriter. And, of course, cameras were only film and I spent a lot of time in darkrooms.

    1. Thanks Audrey! I remember doing school assignments on type writer...so I've been there too.

  4. My first job, as a high schooler just turned 16, was dietary at Anker Hospital in St. Paul. That was 56 yrs ago!!! White uniforms were below the knees and the caps.....well, some were quite spectacular (those from Rochester!). That was even before computers took up whole rooms at Univac and the digital super highway was an unknown commodity. I can somewhat relate to all that you have seen (but in a minute way) as I have seen so much change in the last 14 years that I was in the Winona Hospital/Parkview pharmacies. "Break-neck" speed is what's occurring now!!! But....oh those white uniforms!!!!!!!!

  5. Isn't it fun remembering the past and all the changes.