New grad in Ortho/neuro

  1. Hello Everyone. I'm graduating in December and I have an interview planned for an ortho/neuro floor. I have never had clinicals on this floor so I'm not real familiar with it. I am interested in med/surg nursing, but there aren't any positions open right now. I just want to know if it is a good place for a new grad to start. Also, what kind of patients qualify as "neuro" patients. And what do you do in a typical day? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
  2. Visit palmettogirl profile page

    About palmettogirl

    Joined: Oct '08; Posts: 23; Likes: 13
    Specialty: 2 year(s) of experience in ICU, med/surg


  3. by   italianrn07
    palmetto girl,
    Ortho/Neuro is a specialized unit, but I think it would be a great place to start. You will learn a lot and use many nursing skills. The orthopedic patients we see are people who have hip or knee replacement surgery, have surgery to fix broken bones from falls, car accidents, etc. The orthopedic patients take a lot of time due to equipment and drains. The neuro patients we see are brain injury, brain tumors, spinal injury, migraines, back surgery, stroke patients. You will gain experience in skills such as feeding tubes, trachs, giving blood, and definitely organizing yourself. Ortho/Neuro can be a very busy unit, but well worth it. good luck!
  4. by   palmettogirl
    thank "unglamorous" as it sounds, that's the kind of stuff I want to learn to do!
  5. by   SanskeetRN
    Congrats on the interview! I started as a new grad on ortho/neuro as well. At first it was a bit overwhelming but now I love it. On our floor we say we deal with backs, bones, brains and boobs (we also get plastic surgery pts as well) so you will see many different things.

    The experience is invaluable. You will have geriatric to young adult and everthing in between. We have had 19 year old up to 104. You will get experience with new surgicals, trauma, stroke, TBI's, and alot of the patients have comorbidities so you will have some med/surg, and some have mental health issues so psych as well. All in all, it will give you a very rounded background and exposure to branch into almost any field.
  6. by   phm191
    I started my first job as a RN in July on a similar unit, surgical care, which has ortho and other post op pts, and couldn't be more pleased with my choice! I am really enjoying the pt diversity of the unit and am learning a lot every time I step on the unit. I think it's a great choice! Good luck to you!
  7. by   P_RN
    People with ortho problems most always have something for you in the medical realm. Total joint patients tend to be older so you have heart, lung etc assessments. Neuro patients are people too. If they have surgery you do the same post op as on a surgery floor. Make certain you get a preceptor or internship offer. Do not allow them to throw you out on the floor unprepared.
  8. by   truliblessed
    Hello everyone, In two weeks I will start my first RN job on an ortho floor. Just wondering what would be considered a safe patient:nurse ratio? Also, to have an edge is there anything I should know more about before I start on the floor.For example, special machines for ortho patients.
    Thanks in advance
  9. by   P_RN
    continuous passive motion machines for total knees. Some doc use them all the time, some docs never use them. You'll have to wait and see. Epidural pumps all kinds, all brands from tiny4 x 4" to 12 x 12 ginormous ones. Iv pumps, rolling walkers with wheels or with tennis balls, all kinds of slings and shoulder and knee immobilizer. Remember never try to figure something out. Get some good on hands instruction before you wind up doing it wrong. You'll have blood reinfusion systems, blood drains of all kinds, I could go one and on. Oh all kinds of cooling mechanisms from a glove filled with ice to an igloo cooler with a pump to recirculate ice water around the wound. Don't jump in without a GOOD preceptor and hang on her/his every word.
  10. by   khirbz
    I just had my first month in ortho ward and its been wonderful learning all those nursing cares that is only exclusive to orthopaedic wards. I've worked in medical surgical nursing before but its entirely different in ortho. I had a four week preceptorship program which I was able to gain confidence in working with ortho patients. In a few weeks from now I will gain more knowledge in the field of orthopedics and I'm liking it already...
  11. by   truliblessed
    Good to hear that because I ,too, will be starting on an all ortho floor in a week. What's the patient:nurse ratio where you work? I was told I wouldn't have more than 6 patients on the 3-11pm shift. I am really anxious to get started!
  12. by   khirbz
    Yes. Usually we have just 5 patients. Because when you get six its already very busy. I think its very busy because I'm just a little new but I think when I'll get a few months experience then thats the time I'll have a good time management and good prioritization. Goodluck on you first week.
  13. by   mzthang581
    I am a new grad on a ortho floor. I just passed boards last week, but I have been on the floor now about 3 weeks and I really enjoy it! THe nurse to patient ratio on my floor is 1:4 and sometimes 1:5 for all the staff RNs.
  14. by   KatsieRN
    I know this is a very old post but I was just hired onto an ortho/uro unit and it makes me SO happy to see such a positive things about new grads on ortho units. yay!