Remembering Cherry Ames, Revisited

Originally published back in 2009, and a visitor favorite, we're re-posting our nostalgic remembrance of Cherry Ames for your reading pleasure this National Nurses Week, 2012.  Enjoy!

There was no one quite like Cherry Ames - at least not to those of us who, as adolescents and teenagers, dreamed of being nurses during the era from 1943 into the 1970s.  The lively pink-cheeked, dark haired young nurse was the star of the Cherry Ames series of books authored by the prolific Helen Wells. 

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Remembering Cherry Ames

There was no one quite like Cherry Ames - at least not to those of us who, as adolescents and teenagers, dreamed of being nurses during the era from 1943 into the 1970s.  The lively pink-cheeked, dark haired young nurse was the star of the Cherry Ames series of books authored by the prolific Helen Wells.    Her sleuthing healthcare heroine traveled from hometown America to exotic locales including jungles, army bases, and anywhere else her enthusiastic bedside manner and crisp white cap were needed.  Though I don't recall the details of every one of the series' many volumes, I am relatively certain that the patients all lived, the mysteries were all unraveled, and that Cherry always returned home unscathed by tropical illnesses, war wounds or salacious surgeons.  That girl knew how to get the job done right, and move straight on to the next highly-specialized nursing assignment - and there were plenty of them!

As an assessment of my own professional skills, I decided to look back over my nursing career and see just how many nursing specialities Cherry and I had in common.  After all, we're both Illinois natives who kind of grew up around the same time!  The results were interesting - and maybe even motivational:

Nurses I HAVE been:

  • Student Nurse

  • Visiting Nurse

  • Veterans' Nurse

  • Senior Nurse

  • Private Duty Nurse

Nurses I HAVE NOT been:

  • Army Nurse
  • Chief Nurse
  • Flight Nurse (though I desperately wanted to enlist as a nurse in the Air Force during the Viet Nam era - but my father, a combat veteran, put his foot down on that notion)
  • Cruise Nurse
  • Boarding School Nurse
  • Department Store Nurse

More nurses I HAVE NOT been - yet!

  • Island Nurse
  • Camp Nurse
  • Jungle Nurse
  • Dude Ranch Nurse

Want to learn even more fascinating insights about Cherry?  What was it like growing up in Hilton, Illinois?  Where is Hilton, Illinois?  How did Cherry get her name?  What are the clues to Cherry's hidden past?  Learn the answers to these and many other burning questions by visiting the wonderful Cherry Ames Page !  Enjoy a nostalgic trip back to the days when nurses wore white (mostly) and no one had ever heard of out-patient surgery or HMOs.

Copyright © Christine Hammerlund – 2009.  Christine Hammerlund is a registered nurse and the owner of Assured Healthcare, a healthcare staffing service headquartered in Gurnee, Illinois.

Four Fave Healthcare Tech Advances

tech-image

At one of my networking group meetings, someone recently asked what I considered to be the four most important advances in healthcare technology over the past twenty or thirty years.   Considering the huge leaps in knowledge, daily bio-medical discoveries and amazing technology breakthroughs, that would be a very time consuming task.  But, off the top of my head, I did come up with a list of four personal favorites: Computer software that supports the needs of the staffing industry - specifically, full service medical staffing.  In order to make the best, most efficient and safest matches of healthcare professionals with the people who need them, we process a lot of critical information.  The specialized software programs we now have access to enable us to rapidly query, sort and filter extensive database records to quickly fill a staffing need.  This ability is a far cry from the pull-out drawers of color coded candidate file cards that were still the norm for many staffing agencies well into the 1990s.

New glucometers and sugar testing devices used by diabetic patients.  What a relief and convenience for people who often need to test multiple times a day.  The devices now used can test from various parts of the body, patients can use them on their own, there is less scar tissue and higher accuracy, and these devices are far more specific and reliable than the urine sticks used way back in the past.

public-access-defibrillator
public-access-defibrillator

Publically accessible defibrillators.  It may take a while for them to be in common use before we fully realize the value of these devices, but that day is coming.  With the growth of an aging and highly mobile population,  the number of lives saved by defibrillators can only increase.  The technology of these devices has been streamlined and simplified to walk the person providing aid through the process, further increasing the odds of survival for someone stricken with a cardiac-event while in a public or private venue.

The migration to electronic medical recordkeeping, or EMR. Let's face it, this one is a no-brainer.  Anything at all that helps to minimize risk to a patient caused by illegibly scrawled prescriptions, diagnoses, instructions, chart notes and medical records is a blessing.  Other advantages are the same as the computer software benefits described above - patient diagnostic and treatment records can be queried, accessed, reviewed, and properly routed to the patient and multiple treatment providers quickly and ACCURATELY!

This list is sure to grow with the blog - keep an eye out for future tech faves!

Copyright © Christine Hammerlund – 2009.Christine Hammerlund is a registered nurse and the owner of Assured Healthcare, a healthcare staffing service headquartered in Gurnee, Illinois.