need help for new orthopaedic nurse

  1. 0
    I am a new RN and decided to start my new career on the ortho floor. I absolutely enjoy my patients and most of the staff is so helpful and welcomed me with open arms.
    The one thing I lack is organizational skills. We have a 5 patient team and I usually feel as though I am drowning. If anyone has a report sheet that I can use to get report from and also use during my 12 hr day shift, I would be ever so grateful.
    Any advise is grately appreciated. Are there any web sites that I can go on to learn more about this specialty since I didn't get alot of ortho in nursing school.
    leeglpn2rn
  2. 5 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    I'd like to know the very same things myself. I was just hired and on orientation on an ortho floor and also did not get very much from clinicals or a full semester in ortho.
  4. 2
    #1- get a good preceptor!!!! they will be a good resource FOREVER
    i work nights so please know that this is for 7p-7a!
    i get to work 15-20 mins early to get in work mode and feel out the mood on the floor.
    i print out my papers that i need. i use physician progress notes that have a mar, vitals from 12 hours, diet, weight, blood sugars, labs, what radiology tests were run etc... search and see if you can get your hands on this!
    i write all meds to be passed in at least 4 hours and put in ziplocs for each patient
    i write if the need foleys in or out, blood sugars, cpms on or off, iv's on or off, etc...
    grab vital sign machine, meds (i passed 2100 meds around 1930 unless too close to last dose or something like vanco) another bag of fluids.
    for rounds, i would assess, do vitals and pass meds if possible. replace fluids
    while doing this, ask about surgery or phys therapy. listen to clues for possible problems (shortness of breath, chest pain- PE...dizziness when standing- low H&H...tight feeling and ^pain- compartment syndrome). ask if they want pain meds around the clock or only when asked for.
    don't ignore the family. these are the nurses when they go home!!! make them happy. explain as much as you can and they ask fewer questions.
    when done, explain that you are going to do the same thing to the other patients. this lets them know you arent just sitting around and about how long it will take you. assure them that you are a buzz away but it might take a second since you are at the beginning of shift and that it will calm down. offer juice, crackers. always tell them thank you when you do something. ortho patients love to be well taken care of.
    learn all you can...we teach every time we go into the room.
    know good body mechanics!!!
    ORLive, Inc.: Online Surgical and Healthcare Video and Webcasts had videos of all kinds of ortho surgeries. watching these puts a perspective on why things hurt and clue you in on how to move people.
    the work can get repetitive but be on your toes! things can go downhill quickly on a post-op patient. and people don't always tell you their full history.
    read the physician progress notes in the charts for a clue as to where treatment is headed. docs don't often spend time explaining things to you or patients.
    ASK QUESTIONS!!!! you are not a good nurse if you don't know anymore than the patient. we get paid to ask dumb questions
    have fun. we have the most fun patients that want to get better and do things for themselves again.
    Skeletor and CNAKassy like this.
  5. 1
    The best advice I can give on organization sheets is to see what nurses on your floor are doing. I have worked at two different ortho floors and have a completely different organization skills for each one. It just really depends on what your demands are. All I know if that for myself, I like to have all my important info on my patients on one sheet so I don't have to flip through a bunch of sheets, especially if a Doctor asks me a quick question about a patient. I put what meds are due when, who needs dressing changes, who has a foley or needs one taken out, I leave a spot for new doctor orders, a place for their activity level, diet, doctor, and if they are a total knee how high their CPM is. I also leave a spot for drains, input/output, and vitals. It is sometimes better to have a seperate sheet made for when you have a new surgical because their is more info that is usually needed on those. For example, you usually need to know what anesthesia they had, their estimated blood loss, what meds they got in the OR/ Recovery room, what pain medication they can have, their history, if they have a medical consult, significant things that happened during surgery. Things like that.

    Nursing Worksheets is a website you can look to see how a worksheet is made up. I actually took one I found online and edited it to be specific to ortho.

    Hope I was some help. Good Luck!
    Skeletor likes this.
  6. 1
    aaos.org (american association of orthopedic surgeons) is a great web site. It is also a great resource for pt info.
    Skeletor likes this.
  7. 1
    NAON (National association of Orthopedic Nurses)
    National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses


    Helpful informative site, has resources and books for purchase,
    has a mentor program for members. I just joined and the
    staff at their home office is very professional and helpful.
    They also produce a journal, Orthopedic Nursing which includes
    many CEU articles..
    Skeletor likes this.


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