Monday, July 02, 2018

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 and it really opened my eyes.

The biggest surprise to me was that smoking was allowed in the ER. Overflowing ashtrays were everywhere and the medical personnel would be exhaling smoke as they entered a patient’s room.
In the early 80's Dr. Collins (who specializes in pulmonary diseases) started to complain. At first he was laughed at but he kept at it ruthlessly and 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 the hospital became tobacco free inside and out.
THANK YOU,  DR. COLLINS ...                                                          

NOW … 2018
A few weeks ago a friend and I were having breakfast at Paneras and I saw Dr. Colliins seated at a large table with a bunch of men … many of them retired doctors. When he got up to fill his coffee cup he spied me and, to my chagrin and in his typical booming voice he called out “hey guys it's Ginnie from the ER”.

I turned all shades of red as they waved and smiled but then I realized this was really nice… a typical Dr. Collins production and a far cry from the old days in the ER when the most I would get from this crew would be a stat order for the results of a lab test.    


Blogger Marie Smith said...

They are human after all Ginnie. He did well to get rid of the smoking. Hard to believe it was ever like that in a hospital but it was the same in Newfoundland.

4:17 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

It's hard to believe how it used to be.

5:43 PM  
Blogger NCmountainwoman said...

How great to be greeted after so long. I also remember when doctors advertised cigarettes, especially the menthol ones. My how things change.

8:06 AM  
Blogger Arkansas Patti said...

Amen to his efforts to get rid of smoking. When I had my gallbladder out in 76 there was still smoking in hospitals and so was I. However 21 days on Demerol made quitting easy. Never used the ashtray by my bedside.

11:18 AM  
Blogger possum said...

I do remember those days. I had the head nurse put a NO SMOKING sign on my door the year I spent weeks and weeks in the hospital after a serious accident. The nurses used to hang out in my room and smoke and joke around- it was like a second break room. It got lonely after the sign went up! But I was breathing better!

I am glad your old ER crew remembered you and greeted you!

11:29 AM  
Blogger Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Good for that doctor to try and end what seemed like a no-brainer.

5:04 PM  

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