Before performing this advanced floor cleaning skill, we practiced in the nursing arts lab. Our instructors frequently reminded us of how lucky we were that we did not have to shovel coal into the boiler as they did. We always referred to an older nurse as a "coal shoveler." It was a badge of honor in that it defined a really tough, experience nurse that could be counted on to do anything for her patients.
Another part of cleaning a patients room was to scrub the ashtray. We had round metal ashtrays with a spring-like device around the circumference to hold the cigarette. The spring had to be removed from the ashtray and all signs of ashes scrubbed out.
We did have
Another rule required the nurse to clean the dietary tray and dishes if there was emesis present on the tray. Student nurses sometimes argued unsuccessfully that the food made the patient sick and dietary should do the clean up.
I always liked that strong disinfectant smell when we were done. It meant our clean up duties were complete and we could learn more advanced skills like sharpening needles