form oncology to orthopedic


I am currently a NYC oncology nurse and will be working at Washington Hospital Center as an orthopedic nurse for a travel assignment. The nurse manager said that there will be trauma patients, open knee, hip fx pts, osteosarcoma etc. This is mainly a surgical floor and i come from a medical oncology floor....any advice?


6,011 Posts

Specializes in ORTHOPAEDICS-CERTIFIED SINCE 89. Has 30 years experience.

Congratulations on the new job.

You need to get into the "post-op mode" Find out what the vital sign parameters are. There are a LOT of vitals post-op. Check wound and drains, get up to speed on epidurals, pca pumps, transfusion and reinfusions, remind yourself how to check pulses and color sensation and movement of the extremeties. Learn what to elevate and why, and what not to elevate and why. Make sure your patients put out urine....30cc hr/ at least and when and how to cath if necessary. Depending on what kind of nursing (I particularly like team) you might have up to 10 post-ops with your partners. Learn the charting, learn the dos and don'ts. And good luck, I loved it for 22 years and would go back in a New York minute if I were able.


6 Posts

Specializes in ortho, med/surg,rehab,stroke. Has 31 years experience.

Find a physical therapist you can spend some time with to learn how to move patients and then keep them moving. Learn the hip precautions, knee flexion and extension tricks, how to help them use walkers and crutches, where to put ice and how to punch that pillow exactly right to make them more comfortable so that they can rest quickly and then go some more. And while you're there, brush up on your pain management skills and try not to cause nausea because that severely slows motion. We just get 'em going, get 'em going and then keep them going. Your goal is to prevent complications. Then you want to check out the National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses. I've been a member for nearly 20 years and I love them. You can get more info at


6,011 Posts

Specializes in ORTHOPAEDICS-CERTIFIED SINCE 89. Has 30 years experience.

I absolutely forgot about naon....Ive been certified there since 1989. Beaucoups of information from them with a neat journal that comes with membership.


135 Posts

My 2cents,

Become familiar with ;

.signs and symptoms compartments syndrome/DVT/PE

. drug and alcohol withdrawal

. bowel regime/aperients

good luck

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