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Orthopedic nursing

Posted

Specializes in Public Health Science. Has 2 years experience.

What is this like? Is it exciting or does it get a bit routine after a while? Do you get to bond with patients at all?

I want to know all of this stuff too LOL I'm sad this board is so quiet !!

Future MSN

Specializes in Public Health Science. Has 2 years experience.

Come one people. Post your experiences and share!

I have been on an orthopedic unit (30 beds) since 2018; when orthopedic cases are low we get other surgical cases (laparoscopic procedures, mastectomies/hysterectomies, etc). It is a busy unit in general and having multiple total joint patients involves a fair amount of pain med administrations and lots of coordinating with PT/OT, Case Managers, Surgical PA team, etc. as most joint patients are discharged quickly (24-48 hours). That doesn't mean you won't get to know those patients; you will spend plenty of time assessing and educating, completing dressing changes, assisting with mobility, etc. There is satisfaction in seeing your patients with hip or knee replacements out of bed and ambulating on the unit within 4 hours of arriving. Most patients have elected to have surgery and have been provided education from the surgical team and joint coordinators before the procedure so they are aware of what is expected post-operatively and they tend to be self-motivated.

One benefit of Ortho units is that they tend to be "clean", so patients with flu, Coronavirus, MRSA, TB, open wounds, etc are not assigned. We rarely have to gown up! That said, when all surgical cases are low we do get medical patients and we also float to other medical units. There are plenty of opportunities to use all those skills you learned in school.

50 minutes ago, Ruby29 said:

I have been on an orthopedic unit (30 beds) since 2018; when orthopedic cases are low we get other surgical cases (laparoscopic procedures, mastectomies/hysterectomies, etc). It is a busy unit in general and having multiple total joint patients involves a fair amount of pain med administrations and lots of coordinating with PT/OT, Case Managers, Surgical PA team, etc. as most joint patients are discharged quickly (24-48 hours). That doesn't mean you won't get to know those patients; you will spend plenty of time assessing and educating, completing dressing changes, assisting with mobility, etc. There is satisfaction in seeing your patients with hip or knee replacements out of bed and ambulating on the unit within 4 hours of arriving. Most patients have elected to have surgery and have been provided education from the surgical team and joint coordinators before the procedure so they are aware of what is expected post-operatively and they tend to be self-motivated.

One benefit of Ortho units is that they tend to be "clean", so patients with flu, Coronavirus, MRSA, TB, open wounds, etc are not assigned. We rarely have to gown up! That said, when all surgical cases are low we do get medical patients and we also float to other medical units. There are plenty of opportunities to use all those skills you learned in school.

I love this! Thank you!! I am really hoping to get in on an Ortho floor (or ULTIMATELY our ortho hospital!) when I finally graduate. IDK what it is exactly but I am called to it

Edited by Kotylynne

mmc51264, ADN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in orthopedic; Informatics, diabetes. Has 9 years experience.

I have been an ortho nurse for 8 years. I love it!! I am at a large teaching hospital so we get all kinds of ortho stuff. We have a separate spine unit so there is very little spine (which can be tricky).

We have amazing joint doctors, ortho oncologists. With Covid and new best practices, we are having less straigh total joints, so we too, get the overflow gen surg pts. Lots of variety and lots of things to learn about the comorbid conditions that a lot of our joint pts have.

I wouldn't work on any other unit!!

Future MSN

Specializes in Public Health Science. Has 2 years experience.

That all sounds very exciting. I cant wait to dive in when I get to this point.

On 7/17/2020 at 9:38 PM, Ruby29 said:

I have been on an orthopedic unit (30 beds) since 2018; when orthopedic cases are low we get other surgical cases (laparoscopic procedures, mastectomies/hysterectomies, etc). It is a busy unit in general and having multiple total joint patients involves a fair amount of pain med administrations and lots of coordinating with PT/OT, Case Managers, Surgical PA team, etc. as most joint patients are discharged quickly (24-48 hours). That doesn't mean you won't get to know those patients; you will spend plenty of time assessing and educating, completing dressing changes, assisting with mobility, etc. There is satisfaction in seeing your patients with hip or knee replacements out of bed and ambulating on the unit within 4 hours of arriving. Most patients have elected to have surgery and have been provided education from the surgical team and joint coordinators before the procedure so they are aware of what is expected post-operatively and they tend to be self-motivated. 

One benefit of Ortho units is that they tend to be "clean", so patients with flu, Coronavirus, MRSA, TB, open wounds, etc are not assigned. We rarely have to gown up! That said, when all surgical cases are low we do get medical patients and we also float to other medical units. There are plenty of opportunities to use all those skills you learned in school.

How is the stress level compared to other units?

Depending on how large the Ortho unit is and how many surgeons/OR rooms are being used on any given day; it can be more stressful than other units. Keep in mind that ortho patients no longer stay in the hospital 3+ days; the current research shows improved outcomes with hospital stays of 24-48 hours. It is not unusual to have 7-9 patients over the course of a 12-hr shift between discharges and admissions. On my unit, 1st shift gets the majority of discharges and some post-ops, while 2nd shift tends to be busier with post-ops and ED admissions. It can be more stressful at times but it can also make you more adept at managing multiple priorities and being flexible with changing workloads.

Future MSN

Specializes in Public Health Science. Has 2 years experience.

Thank you for sharing. I will keep this in mind. I am still a long time away working in a hospital setting but this is good to know.