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.