Hi New Nurse,
I am an LPN on my ortho unit(rehab not acute, although I work on acute at times) and I love it! Our patients are mostly stable but be on the lookout for the surprize pt that goes bad. PLEASE be aware if you are on the acute side you have a whole different set of rules because these pts are postop, sent from PACU and you have vitals usually q 4 and drains and bleeding, infection to worry about esp. in the 1st 24hrs
Anyway lets see here...my best tips are...
1. buy yourself a good ortho nursing book
, understand all of the ortho procedures(e.g. difference between arthroplasty and a total hip replacement)
2. know your a&p, some carry those 1 page laminated anatomy sheets.
3. know how to position, transfer your ortho pt based on what they had done.
4. know s/s of what can go wrong with whatever procedure that done.
5. INSPECT that dressing!!! and MAKE SURE you understand the Docs questions about the dressing changes, usually the surgeon does the 1st one
6. understand what parameters are set to call the DOC e.g. high temp, bleeding amount, increased pain, etc.
7. teach your pts about CDB, i can't tell how many pts miss this part..never assume.. always reinforce post op, safety, and whatever else you think pts need to know.
I am sure I can think of lots of others..but I am getting sleepy..so email me if you want.good luck!
Always ask the experienced ortho nurses, they are great and are use to teaching!