Orthopedic nursing involves correction or prevention or skeletal deformities. An orthopedic nurse may care for patients of all ages with different musculoskeletal injuries and conditions, both potential and actual deformities. They provide assessments as well as educate patients about equipment that may help their deformities, such as braces, prosthetics, and other orthopedic equipment.
An orthopedic nurse will care for patients after orthopedic surgery to help them regain their strength and mobility. They may work with patients who have a variety of different musculoskeletal conditions, including fractures, musculoskeletal injuries, and arthritis, providing pain management, support, and education to allow patients to have the highest level of function. Orthopedic nurses may also work with patients who have problems with their muscular skeletal systems prior to surgery. Some of these injuries or conditions are total hip replacement, arthroscopy, total knee replacement, or spine surgery.
As an orthopedic nurse, you will learn about various equipment and other modalities used to make patients more comfortable, improve their mobility, and prevent complications. In addition to total joint replacement, orthopedic nurses work with pre- and post-operative orthopedic patients that have hand or upper extremity surgery, limb reimplantations, microsurgery, sports injuries treatments, and spine procedures.
In orthopedic nursing, one must have a genuine ability to relate well to other people, and they also must be considerate of a patient’s conditions and be able to communicate with patients in understanding their fears and anxieties. Orthopedic nurses work in hospitals, physician practices, operating rooms, patient homes, orthopedic units, rehabilitation centers, and other places. They will monitor traction, splint and cast care, and handle other orthopedic equipment.
A diverse nursing specialty, orthopedic nurses may practice in trauma, pediatrics, the operating room, gerontology, medical or surgical units, home care, extended care, emergency departments, sports medicine, offices, advanced practice, patient education, case management, and staff education.
If you want to start a career in orthopedic nursing, you need a nursing degree. Consider an online LPN to BSN degree or an online RN to BSN degree if you’re already a nurse. Otherwise, compare these programs from the University of Phoenix:
» Online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
» Online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)