Nursing student starting clinical on ortho floor


Long story short, our LTC clinical site backed out at the last minute. We are now going to an ortho floor instead. Our clinical starts next week. Can you give me an idea of what to expect? I'm in an accelerated program and have only been in school for about a month. Everything is still very, very new. Thanks for the help!

Sour Lemon

Has 12 years experience. 5,016 Posts

There are different types of ortho floors, but the one I worked on was knee replacement/hip fracture heavy. I'd review proper ways to transfer and move people with fractures as well as common complications of fractures both pre-op and post-op. Pain tends to be a big issue, as well. Either they have a lot of it, or they don't have any. The ones who don't have any stay pretty determined to climb out of bed and break their other hip. There are lots of legitimate fall risks.

You may want to review your anticoagulants if you've gotten to that point.

mmc51264, ADN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in orthopedic; Informatics, diabetes. Has 10 years experience. 3,104 Posts

Follow/work with PT if you can, they can be a HUGE help in explaining good body mechanics for working with people that have gait issues.

Listen to different nurses and try to get different rationales for differing things that you see. Some of the younger nurses can be very judgemental about pain medication. I don't like to generalize, but it seems more of them, especially if they have not had a major injury or experience personally with pain, tend to blow it off OR they have the opposite problem of over medicating.

Remember that these pts should not get OOB alone so if they call, try to answer promptly. Don't help them alone, but you and an aide or your clinical instructor can do SO much to help these pts, especially if a nurse has a heavy load. Getting them a drink, or making sure they can reach whatever they need is a big help in preventing falls.

We LOVE having nursing students on out unit!!!!

I work on an ortho floor that does not do spine. Our spine pts are on the neuro floor. That has a different set of challenges.

Edited by mmc51264
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