How Have Things Changed Since You Came to Johns Hopkins?

Do you remember the days when employees could smoke at their desks or when sheep "mowed" the lawns on the East Baltimore medical campus? How has technology (does anyone remember the pre-fax days or the big, bulky computers), the style of your uniform changed, or the services your department offers changed? Share your comments about how things have changed since you began working at Johns Hopkins. Feel free to post a "back in the day" photo.

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }


Virginia Shull August 1, 2013 at 2:56 pm

In 1971, I started work in the Microbiology Lab which was under the direction of "Spike Causton."
We were on the 5th floor of Carnegie with large windows looking to the north. Microbiology on the 70's was quite "low tech". You needed your eyes and your nose plus a few tubes of biochemical test media! There was lots of comraderie among the lab staff as we were all young, single, or married without kids. In the 80's Microbiology moved to the Meyer basement with no windows but more instrumentaion and space.
On Fridays, Maryland National Bank was a madhouse because of payday(this was before direct deposit). In 1987, I left JHH, moving out of the area, but now have returned to the JHMI umbrella as I currently work at Sibley in DC.


Rhonda Graham August 1, 2013 at 1:12 pm

I remember coming to Hopkins as @ candy Striper the suumer of 1983 and 1984. Our ID badges had our social security # with our name on it. We had to wear pink and white candy stripe jackets. I still have that photo ID. I remeber the elevator operators as a child. The traffic pattern went in both directions. The # 5 stoped @ Rutland and Monument street to take you down town. The newspaper boy would go from floor to floor. Paper Paper I still remeber his voice. JUST TO NAME A FEW. Born and raised in East Baltimore.


Laura August 1, 2013 at 12:36 pm

I have been on the JHH campus since 1990 and remember going to the Balmer pharmacy and having lunch with all smokers who couldn't smoke in the hospital and seeing a hazy when you walked in the place. They had the best fresh cut corn beef sandwiches going as long as you knew how to deal with the ladies behind the counter who took your order they were very intimdating. Fun times


Cheryl August 2, 2013 at 8:41 am gave me a flash back. So true and funny!


Peggy Foltyn August 1, 2013 at 10:35 am

When 19 out of 20 employees in the office smoked with no windows in the office
No air conditioning in the office – just big fans
When you had to put 10 cents in the cup if you wanted a cup of coffee from the office coffee pot
We got paid every Thursday and could go to the bank, which was located in the Hospital near the Monument Street Entrance upstairs and in the basement, to get our checks cashed. No direct deposit
When employees parked on the street because the only parking lot (Monument and Orleans) cost $1.90 per day.
When Turner Auditorium was filled with Poinsettia flowers at Christmas – a gift for each employee
When Hospital charge books were changed weekly and hand delivered to the units.
When employees had Blue Cross and Blue Shield medical coverage – paid by the Hospital
When retired employees received a “gold” credit card for free medical services at JHH for the rest of their lives


David J. West August 1, 2013 at 10:31 am

I miss wearing my white uniform. They are still on a hanger ready to wear. Green scrubs, well ,if I must. West


Rod Graham August 1, 2013 at 10:13 am

I started at Hopkins as a word processor in 1988. The computers were pretty primitive. I can still remember how nervous I became while trying to send my very first email ever. Seems to me we still used IBM Selectric electric typewriters when we had to fill out forms--and we had to White-Out or manually erase each typing mistake on all 4 or 5 carbon copies. Tedious.

Smokers puffed away without a care at their desks. Once smoking was outawed inside, some smokers merely closed their office doors and kept on puffing.

I remember one morning, quite a young woman in the typing pool suffered a massive heart attack. Luckily, a conference room nearby happened to be packed with young MDs who still remembered exactly what to do for her. They poured out of their meeting room and started literally to throw desks and chairs in all directions in order to clear out a good-sized space in which to work. (She later told us that, the morning after her heart attack, she woke up in JHH to a big breakfast of bacon and eggs.)


Greg Lannon August 1, 2013 at 9:53 am

In the late 1970's, I was speaking with Bob Myers, the long time Manager of the adult emergency room at Johns Hopkins Hospital about an incident that occured with a patient coming to the ER that he would never forget. At that time, the emergency room entrance for the ER was directly off of Monument Street where cars would turn right onto an elevated ramp which took patients right to the ER door. Bob told me about the day a patient was brought to the ER in a cart pulled by a horse. However, halfway up the ramp, the horse was struggling to make it to the top and Bob was afraid the patient might roll off the cart! All ended well though and the patient was seen and treated.


Lori August 1, 2013 at 9:40 am

I remember when it was perfectly normal and acceptable to smoke in the Staff Lounge!
I also remember trying to find the perfect scrub DRESS to wear,along with my Clinic Nursing shoes and support white hose! I remember glass IV bottles and glass chest tube bottles.
I remember working with the best-Dr. Haller,Dr. Oski,Dr. Jeffs, Dr. Fivush,Dr. Plotnick,Dr. Casella. Also worked with Residents who were destined for greatness- Dr. Dietz, Dr. Nogee, Dr. Hamosh, Dr. Kessler.....


Juanita Taylor August 1, 2013 at 9:22 am

I remember when the credit union was in the Carnegie Basement where I used to cash my check.


David Plaut August 1, 2013 at 8:21 am

Back in the day when we all worked on the East Baltimore campus I felt like I worked at a small hospital where everyone knew everyone else. You could walk down the hall and have impromptu meetings with the people you passed. Feels more like a large corporation now.


Minke August 1, 2013 at 7:55 am

When came in 1968 as a x-ray student, there was still 2 places that radiology hand developed x-ray film. We were also taught when we could light our cigarettes so not to "fog" the processing films!


Ron Wardrope August 1, 2013 at 7:28 am

I just celebrated my 30th year here at Hopkins, i started in the Adult ED on July 18, 1983, and was surprised at how big this place was on my first day of work. You could have wine and cheese in your classes in orientation as long as you werent in clinical, you could smoke in the lounge and cafeteria, ever notice how stained the ceiling tile grids and holders were in the areas. You could go over to the Sheraton for a drink, the Merry Turtle, which is now where the Smith (wilmer) is now. There was a little white church that was located where the left towers of JHOC are now, and was so weird to see on a Good Friday the wrecking ball take it down in preparation for the JHOC building. You wore the scrubs in the ED no matter how stained they were for the entire shift. We would walk up Monument street at 3am to the 7-11 and get COFFEE! The best was learning never to park on the ROOF of the OLD Parking Decks that were located where the new Clinical Towers are. You would get off at 12 midnight and have to craw to your vehicle.
There are many more changes that I have seen, but these are the most memorable


Margie Burnett September 10, 2013 at 12:54 pm

I too remember the Merry Turtle at the Sheraton, ash trays in the nurses' station, narcotic cabinet keys on a rope that we slid up & down the halls to each other (disgusting thought!), leather restraints, and hospital intercom announcements noting the end of visiting hours with an invitation to leave the building @ 8pm. The credit union in Reed Hall, the Broadway re-paving project, the demolotion of the Broadway Garage (where Weinberg is now) and the finding of historic tombs that stopped work for a bit.
I also recall when we had time to take a patient outside just for a change of the days when they were here long enough to get to know them and their families!
How times have changed!


Linda Wilkins August 1, 2013 at 7:14 am

I remember the elevator operators in Osler, the bank in the basement in Carnegie, smoking at your desk, the Hotel next to the 550 bldg. (the Sheraton Inn I believe), the first CT scanner at Hopkins, the resident housing on Caroline St..............


Stuart August 21, 2013 at 6:18 am

Was the last of the elevator operators Miss Alice? I think that was her name.

The resident housing was called The Compound, hence they were called "resident physicians" and they were on call continuously. No limits on work hours then!


Betty Flowers August 1, 2013 at 5:31 am

I remember yellow tape on the floors used as directions from building to building.


Tasha August 19, 2013 at 9:01 am

They should bring that back. I've been here 8 yrs now and I still get lost sometimes! HAA!


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