Clinic RNs

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    I'm a fairly new nurse (been practicing for a year), though I'm not completely new to the world of orthopedics. I have a B.S. degree in Kinesiology and spent 8 years working as a physical therapy aide before nursing school. My dream job was to work in outpatient orthopedics and after 10 months of sticking it out in a SNF, I finally landed a fantastic job working for an orthopedic surgeon in his office!

    I've been there for about a month now and am fitting in nicely. However, because I'm the only nurse in the office (it's a practice of 6 physicians and 3 PAs, but my physician is the only one that has a nurse....and it's a new position) and I've never really been exposed to this specific setting before, I can't help but wonder how what I do compares to other clinic ortho nurses out there.

    Any other outpatient ortho RNs willing to give me an idea of what their job responsibilities entail and what a typical day is like?
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    Not an outpatient ortho RN, but I did spend some time in a sports medicine/ortho office for a project I was doing. There were 2 RN's on staff along with a bunch of rad techs. The RN's checked the patients in and assisted the MD in the room for the visit. They seemed really on top of their game, anticipating which scripts the MD would prescribe (and wrote them out so he could sign them before leaving) or injections, casting, etc. Lots of education afterwards in the room. Hope that helps!
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    I am in a 3 surgeon private practice now. I am the clinical coordinator, no PAs or NPs. I came from orthopedic surgery, running the department of orthopedics and still scrubbing and circulating, and taking trauma call. I was given an offer I couldn't refuse. So,I started in the clinic in July of 2011. It has been going on 9 months. There are 2 nurses, including me, the other nurse only works 3 days and 2 rad techs. The rad techs take xrays and room the patients. The nurses schedule surgeries and answer the never ending phone calls. We try to see as many pateints as we can in the clinic, but we are bogged down with paperwork. The ideal situation would be, the rad techs taking x-rays and rooming patients, then the nurse follows with the doctor 1 on 1 and tag teams the patients all day, while their dictation is completed in the room with the patient. But, we don't have surgery schedulers and the nurses do casting. Plus, I had to make some changes in the way that phone calls were being handled. I went from 50-75 phone calls per day, to no more than 20 phone calls in a day. I just created new policies within the office and calls are routed differently. Plus, I changed my voicemail, even though it's lengthy, to indicate the types of messages allowed. I hope this helps. If I could help in any other way, let me know.


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