Trying to get a good start...

  1. Hey all! So I'm graduating nursing school this month (actually my final is tomorrow - Yay!!) and I was offered a position on the Ortho/Neuro unit at my hospital. I decided to take it even though I'm totally freaking out about it now. Don't get me wrong, I know it's going to be a great experience, but everyone keeps telling me all these horror stories and about how heavy the unit it and how I'm going to hate it. It's really discouraging! I'm also a tech on a mother/baby floor right now so you can imagine how different the work is going to be and how totally naive I am going to be going up to a floor like ortho/neuro.
    So here's where the help comes in...
    1) How do I respond to all these negative comments? I want to tell people to just shut up sometimes, but I'm looking for something a little more diplomatic
    2) Does anyone have any suggestions for books or anything that I can read up on to better prepare me to work a unit like this? In nursing school we barely talked about ortho/neuro and it was during our first year, so I really don't remember much, and I want to have a decent knowledge base before I get up on the floor in August.
    3) Are there any professional organizations for ortho/neuro nurses that would be beneficial for a new grad to join to get extra information about the profession?
    4) I know narcs are obviously a HUGE portion of the meds that are passed, but what are other common meds that are important to know well on a ortho/neuro floor?
    I want to be as prepared as possible before I go into my orientation. I know this floor is going to be a challenge, and it's going to be tough, and I'm okay with that, but I figured anything extra I could do to help me from needing to look stuff up during my shift, and to try to get a good grasp on concepts could only help me in the end.

    Thank you for all of your help. I truly appreciate any comments/info you can give me!

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    Joined: Jun '07; Posts: 42; Likes: 20


  3. by   Boog'sCRRN246
    I've worked Ortho and Neuro...they were housed on different units though. I have to agree that the combination of the two on one unit will be a huge challenge. The neuro unit I worked on had patients with traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, strokes, seizures, and an epilepsy monitoring center. Ortho had, well, orthopedic injuries. Hips, knees, femurs, get the idea.

    Just tell everyone you are looking forward to something new and challenging. As for books, I don't know of any specific ones, but in my experience, traction was used on both units, so brush up on the different types of traction and when they would be used. Brushing up on good body mechanics is extremely important also b/c I promise you will do a lot of lifting and pushing and pulling.

    There are organizations for both ortho and neuro nurses...I just can't think of them right now! On neuro, we gave a lot of sedatives, anti-epileptics, and coumadin for stroke protocol. Ortho had a lot of anti-hypertensives, coumadin, lovenox (post-ops not moving out of the bed much)...I'm sure there's more, but I'm blanking right now. Oh, and lots of Dilaudid and morphine PCAs.

    I hope I was of some help! Good luck