WATCH OUT!!! New ortho nurse coming up!!! And I need some wisdom from y'all....

  1. Hello all!! My name is Christopher and I am a recent graduate and survivor of the NCLEX examination! I am new to nursing (having decided that seven years of counseling experience as a licensed professional counselor was a good way to barely stay above the poverty line). I was recently hired at our local health center (Anmed here in beautiful upstate South Carolina) and got a position as staff nurse on the orthopedics floor. It was not an area I had even considered but it is where I landed and I have decided to love it. (Plus, no weekends..how lucky was that???)

    I had ABSOLUTELY NO orthopedic nursing experience in my clinical rotations and only a few days of lecture on it in school. I am humbly asking for your collective wisdom.

    What are some cardinal rules of orthopedic nursing? What are some things that an orthopedic nurse just absolutely must know?
    What are things that are good to know?

    If you would like to respond to me personally at my e-mail, feel free to do so.

    Thank you in advance!!!:

    Christopher
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   P_RN
    Wow. I did many years ortho SC. See if there is a chapter of Naon there.
    http://www.orthonurse.org/

    Look for the Core Curriculum book. It's in outline form EVERYTHING you want to know about ortho. http://www.orthonurse.org/estore/practice.cfm

    If you join NAON even if you arent near a chapter you can be at-large member, you get the Orthopaedic Nursing journal with your dues.
    But look at the NAON site anyway.
    Last edit by P_RN on Sep 22, '06
  4. by   Kent
    WOW - all that time in Columbia! Now that in itself (surviving the heat) is an accomplishment!!!

    Yes, I am at the original Anderson Hospital...what is called the Anmed Main campus now. Anmed just keeps on building and partnering with other org.'s for new facilities. Best of all, I am only about a mile from the hospital...literally five minutes from driveway to lobby.

    Thanks for the links!!! All you others, do not be afraid to chime in!
  5. by   CallyRN
    I am excited. I just started a job at the local hospital here. I will be on the ortho unit. Right now we are in an internship kind of program where we go from area to area in the hospital but July 15, I will be on my unit. I am scared but I know I can do it. I haven't taken the boards yet. I am waiting for my school to get everything sent in so I can schedule them. So I am nervous about that too.
    But this is the unit I wanted all along. Please if you have anything to tell me about the wide world of orthopedic nursing, let me know. Or you can e-mail me.
    thanks
    Colleen
  6. by   jax
    I've worked ortho for a few years now, but still remember starting out very vividly. I would say in reply to what to know when starting out.

    Know where your bones are.

    signs and symptoms of compartments syndrome.

    Differences between Total hip replacement, Hemiarthroplastys, pins and plates/screws, and therefore the reasons for differences in range of movement and mobility.

    Drug and alcohol knowledge - ie how to recognizes detox/withdrawal in the early stages and jump on it before it becomes a big problem.

    Basics of traction.

    Good luck, Enjoy.
  7. by   jnette
    AND........ WELCOME !!! To the world of Nursing and to the BB !
  8. by   DawgsMom
    Don't break your own back...call for lift team!!!!
  9. by   ga.bones
    Learn how to physically handle your ortho patients. Handle limbs by supporting above and below joints, keep lower extremities in anatomical alignment by using pillows between legs when turning, be gentle,gentle,gentle. Have them do as much as possible by themselves, it hurts less. Pain issues will be your biggest challenge, be their advocate, learn about pain control in the modern world and don't be afraid to medicate. Don't ever accept an order for Demerol! Best of luck and congratulations, the world of nursing is so glad you changed careers.
  10. by   minnib
    juz' curious??? why not accept a Demerol order?

    thanks,
    mlb
  11. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    Quote from minnib
    juz' curious??? why not accept a Demerol order?

    thanks,
    mlb

    Curious here, too. Why not?
  12. by   sunflowerstate
    Thanks for the tips. I am also a new LPN still working on my RN.I recently accepted a position in orthopedics as an LPN/PRN and will be going to my orientation soon. Need all the tips you can give me. I am not a big person. Worried about pulling muscles in shoulder area especially. Do you think I should practice with weights to increase upper body strength or is it all in the mechanics?
  13. by   Lysa
    Why not Demerol??
  14. by   TillyC
    Dear Christopher,
    It all depends on what your ward does ie,TJR, Trauma, etc.
    Let me know and we can discuss the MUST KNOW stuff.

    All the best,

    TillyC
    Quote from Kent
    Hello all!! My name is Christopher and I am a recent graduate and survivor of the NCLEX examination! I am new to nursing (having decided that seven years of counseling experience as a licensed professional counselor was a good way to barely stay above the poverty line). I was recently hired at our local health center (Anmed here in beautiful upstate South Carolina) and got a position as staff nurse on the orthopedics floor. It was not an area I had even considered but it is where I landed and I have decided to love it. (Plus, no weekends..how lucky was that???)

    I had ABSOLUTELY NO orthopedic nursing experience in my clinical rotations and only a few days of lecture on it in school. I am humbly asking for your collective wisdom.

    What are some cardinal rules of orthopedic nursing? What are some things that an orthopedic nurse just absolutely must know?
    What are things that are good to know?

    If you would like to respond to me personally at my e-mail, feel free to do so.

    Thank you in advance!!!:

    Christopher

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