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Ortho vs Med/Surg

Orthopaedic   (21,144 Views 7 Comments)
by TopazLPN TopazLPN, LPN (Member)

TopazLPN is a LPN and specializes in LTC.

1,707 Profile Views; 19 Posts

I have been told all through nursing school that I should start off in a med/surg unit so that I can get a lot of experience in my first year as a nurse. However, I recently accepted an internship on an ortho unit... with the expectation that I will work as a nurse on that unit when I graduate. I am wondering, what kind of experience will I have as an ortho nurse compared to med/surg? Will working in a specialty area pigeon hole me as a nurse or will my skill set be applicable to other areas?

:thankya:

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6,372 Posts; 34,510 Profile Views

I did my senior clinical rotation on an ortho unit. While I disliked general med/surg, I found ortho to be fairly interesting and challenging. Patients with orthopedic conditions run the gamut from healthy young trauma patients to elderly men and women with a host of other medical conditions, so you will care for all types of patients and learn about numerous medical conditions in addition to gaining expertise in orthopedic care. I think the biggest reason that I liked it over general med/surg was the teamwork on the unit. With heavy, immobile patients everyone HAD to work together in order to deliver patient care. I never had to search for another nurse to assist me when needed. That was hugely gratifying!

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meownsmile is a BSN, RN and specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho.

2,532 Posts; 10,310 Profile Views

A lot of facilities combine med/surg and ortho on the same unit. You may just get the med/surg experience anyway. You are still dealing with surgicals on a ortho floor.

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CNA_Timmy specializes in Mental Health, Surgical-Ortho.

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Old post.... but... ortho is full of surgery to fix broken legs, hips and spines so there is your surg. And guess what group of people are good at breaking their hips... the elderly... which means while they are there for their hip surgery you are going to be taking care of all their coexisting medical problems, diabetes, chf, copd so there is your med. Also since the floor is already staffed and equiped for post op pts you will be getting more than otho cases for sure. My ortho unit gets every surgery except CTS and Neuro

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khirbz specializes in Medical-Surgical, Orthopedics.

203 Posts; 3,168 Profile Views

Although most of our patients are ortho patients we still get medical and surgical patients as well. Because most of the cases we have are elective surgeries thats why the ward is not always full so are an overflow ward. If the medical is full then we accept patients from other wards.

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Practicalone is a LPN and specializes in L&D, Orthopedics & Public Health.

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I worked in an clinic setting for 2months after graduating, then worked PRN at the OB/L & D department (I was a CNA in OB before graduating). Then my break came. They were going to offer me a full time position on Med-Surg (night shift), & the office manager for the docs offices called me and gave me a Mon-Fri 8-5 position with the Orthopedic Surgeons and I would not trade Ortho for Med-Surg ever. I still help out in the OB dept from time to time to keep my skills up but Bones & muscles are way more interesting and you learn a lot.

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MrChicagoRN is a RN and specializes in Leadership, Psych, HomeCare, Amb. Care.

2,589 Posts; 28,391 Profile Views

We get a number of new grads on our busy 37 bed unit.

Mostly hip & knee replacements, followed by spines and shoulders. Our surgeries run Mon to Friday, so we do get a few medical "boarders" when beds are short elsewhere and we aren't already full.

Also, many of our ortho cases also have medical problems, so you can certainly get a well rounded education there.

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