Sunday, July 25, 2010

THEN … 1978

In 1978 my husband, our three children and I moved South from New York. Jobs were scarce in the area so I felt relieved to get one in the ER of our local hospital. It wasn’t my “dream” job but it was full time and provided us with much needed health insurance.

As it turned out I ended up spending 23 years in the ER ! I would work with the Dr’s and nurses … ordering lab work and tests, etc. Looking back on that time it amazes me how casual it was. Almost everyone smoked and the medical personnel would be exhaling smoke as they entered a patient’s room.

It was around the mid 80’s when one of the MD’s (who specializes in pulmonary diseases) started to complain. At first he was laughed at (especially when he warned us of second-hand smoke) but he kept at it ruthlessly.

The first things to go were the ash trays in the ER ! Then, little by little the powers to be started to rally behind him and by the mid 90’s all smoking was banned inside the hospital, including in the cafeteria.

However, when I retired in 2001 they still had designated smoking areas outside at perhaps 20 different locations …

NOW ... 2010

Today I visited a sick friend at the hospital and I was really pleased to see this sign. HALLELUJIA !! The entire hospital, inside and out, is smoke-free.



Blogger KGMom said...

Ginnie--I worked for the PA Medical Society in the mid-1970s to mid-80s. The journal no longer accepted tobacco ads, but it had right before I started working there.
We now have a friend dying of lung cancer--sadly, she was a life-long smoker who just stopped 6 months before being diagnosed. The cancer has spread to bone and her brain. Such a sad result for her, her husband and her children & grandchildren.

7:20 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Hi Ginnie,
I remember my son and daughter's pediatricians office back in the seventies. She was a chain smoker and had an ashtray and a lit cigarette in every room while she was doing her examinations. Back then it didn't seem strange at all.
Love Di ♥

4:35 AM  
Blogger Beatrice P. Boyd said...

We have been watching older "classic" films recently and it's amazing to see how many people are smoking in them. By comparison we can watch a "current" film and never even see a cigarette. Glad things have changed for the betterment of everyone's health - smokers AND nonsmokers

10:57 AM  
Blogger Syd said...

I am so glad that there are smoke free buildings today. Thank goodness. I have no desire to be around smokers or their deadly smoke.

4:11 AM  
Blogger RoyalTLady said...


I used to have friends who smoke in a meeting room, blowing smoke in the air, that landed in my face, found their ways into my lungs and stink my clothing. When I went for an X-Ray, the doctor asked me if I were a smoker and I bluntly said ""YES... a passive smoker Doc"... My lungs appeared grayish and smokey...

I no longer suffer this because I have stopped having meetings... I am only stuck with Harith... he is now 2 and half yrs. old.

8:59 AM  
Blogger kenju said...

I worked in a hospital in Norfolk back in the 60's and the same was true there. Then a woman pathologist died from an aneurysm while continuing to smoke and take birth control pills too. It made some people pause - but not for long - and smoking wasn't banned there until a few years ago.

4:25 AM  
Blogger Cazzie!!! said...

Yes Ginnie, I remember when I began my ursing in the 1980's alot of staff and patients were able to smoke in the hospital. Then they banned it in certain areas and then the whole campus. I also remember as kid, when McDonalds family restaurant allowed the habit.
Today, there are designated smoking areas at my hospital...well away from the hospital itself.
As a kid, I was used to everyone smoking, I am lucky I did not ever take it up.
Great post.

3:34 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

People complain about changes, but I was just opining on another blog that sometimes they are good and welcome.

10:37 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home