A Little History:
It’s 1958 and Ensign Thomas Eggleston is giving an inservice to US Navy Nurses LT. Frances Hogan, LCDR Magie Ziskovsky, and LCDR Edna Schnips about the Van Der Graaff teletherapy machine. The nurses were participating in the Nuclear Nursing Course at the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, MD. This machine was considered a medical breakthrough in its day. It looks antiquated now doesn’t it? I can only imagine what these Navy nurses were thinking while they stood next to this medical wonder.
Things have changed since I became a nurse. There were no CAT Scans or MRI machines when I graduated from school. There were no IV pumps either. We ran our IVs by counting drops that flowed into a drip chamber, and we monitored the hourly flow rate by glancing at a strip of medical tape that we marked off in CCs and ran down the side of each IV bottle. The nursing text books were different back then, too. There was no mention of AIDS and a diagnosis of Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Nurse Ratched's Place*
Sometime around 1998 in the Texas Medical Center:
DrV: (enters exam room) Hey, How are you? I’m Bryan Vartabedian (extends hand).
Father: (arms crossed, smiling, leaning against wall) Oh I know who you are, Doc. And I know where you went to school, where you’ve lived, if you’ve been sued and a few other things. And I’m fine, by the way.
DrV: Um, Okay. (Shakes hands with father. Looking to child, scruffing his hair). And this must be Caleb.
An odd moment, for sure. When it happened I didn’t know what it was about. After similar encounters I understood. It was about where patients found themselves in the early days of the information revolution. And there was the father who wheeled into the exam room two large boxes of printouts perched on a dolly. Inkjet validation of his role in the decision about his son’s surgery.
These situations illustrate Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at 33 Charts*
* Bzzzzzaaaaapp *
Suddenly, the light went out. There was complete and utter darkness. Then, about 3 seconds later, the lights returned. My computer with its flat screen poised before me, remained dark. I hesitated a moment, then pushed the power button. Within a few more moments, the computer restarted. All seemed intact.
But what if it wasn’t?
Today with our myriad of computer systems, electronic medical records, e-mail messages, paging systems, digital xray machines, blood chemistry analyzers, automated blood pressure cuffs, etc., etc., etc., what would happen if we had no power or functional electronic medical record, just for a week?
Could our health system function?
We have entered the era when our medical students and residents have never entered a written order and “flagged it.” Our unit secretaries wouldn’t have a clue how to take off an order from a “flagged” chart. How would we order a stat portable chest xray without a computer? And what about our written notes. Would they include the date and time in the lefthand column, or would that be forgotten in our hurry to write our manual progress notes? Would our digital phone systems work? How about our pagers? Doctors can no longer find manual blood pressure cuffs on our wards since hospitals have moved to automated blood pressure cuffs that upload their readings into the electronic medical record automatically. Have our nurses and medical assistants lost the art of taking a manual blood pressure? Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Wes*