Recently, I was tagged on FB for a blog post entitled A List of Rules for Nurses . . . From 1887.
The first several rules are about keeping the ward clean, warm and bright! I’m glad I’m not mostly responsible for sweeping and mopping floors, bringing in coal, and filling kerosene lamps. However, in the ER, it just might surprise you how much of the room the nursing staff overturns just to keep the patients flowing through the unit.
In some ways, nurses in 1887 might have had it marginally better. They still worked 12 hours shifts but got time off on Sunday for the Sabbath from 12pm-2pm. I doubt my nurse manager would approve anything of the sort if I was working a Sunday shift. Should I ask?
One of the rules reads: “Any nurse who smokes, uses liquor in any form, gets her hair done at the beauty shop or frequents dance halls will give the director of nurses good reason to suspect her worth, intentions and integrity.”
Honestly, I don’t know if this standard has changed– simply morphed.
Let’s take the action of a hospital to not hire smokers. Or the case of this nurse getting fired for posting a photo of an empty but recently used trauma room (even though it was a repost from a doctor’s Instagram account and he was not fired.) Even today, nurses have to be very careful about what they post to social media– it can be detrimental to your job.
What do you think? Are nurses better off today than one hundred years ago?