Saturday, September 18, 2021

ER Memories (#2)

Looking back
to the late 70's I am amazed at how casual it was in the ER where I worked. Almost everyone smoked and the medical personnel would often be exhaling smoke as they entered a patient’s room. We even had one doctor who loved his cigars and you always knew when he was nearby because the smell of those cigars followed him everywhere.

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, fast forward to 2010 when I visited a sick friend and saw this sign for the first time:


          HURRAY… the entire hospital, inside and out, is now smoke-free!

                                            THANKS, DR. COLLINS.


Blogger Arkansas Patti said...

So glad he got the ball rolling. I remember those days when it seemed everyone smoked. Patients could smoke in the hospital and fact that is where I finally quit. I was on Demerol every 4 hours, made it easy. Now days I think how awful it must have been for the non-smokers. I haven't smoked in 45 years and now I choke up if I pass a person on the street smoking.

4:55 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

The change within our lifetimes has been quite remarkable. Once upon a time, it was almost as though there were something wrong with you if you didn’t smoke. I guess I am overstating that just a bit, but only just a bit. 😀

6:56 AM  
Blogger Marie Smith said...

It was a slow process but…yay!

12:55 PM  
Blogger Joared said...

It is amazing how smoking which so permeated our society has finally been purged from much of our life. Just goes to show what change we can accomplish as a nation if we're willing to dedicate ourselves as I think of our environmental concerns.

I recall our Dr. here giving my husband a cigar which I thought was strange since the Dr. was stopping smoking. I don't know why my husband accepted it since he didn't smoke cigars. Ironically, years later after the Dr. had sold his practice but had continued to work part time with those doctors, he abruptly ceased seeing patients. I finally found out he had lung cancer from which he died.

2:39 AM  

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