What’s the job of an Orthopedic Nurse?

Are you curious about what kind of job an orthopedic nurse does? In this article learn everything you can about orthopedic nurses including their typical duties, certification requirements, and so much more. 

Presently, orthopedic nursing is becoming more popular and growing in the field of nursing and it is more than just treating bones that are broken. The orthopedic nursing field is quite diverse, and it focuses on assisting patients who have suffered from a different variety of musculoskeletal diseases, disorders, and injuries. 

So, that brings us back to the question: what does an orthopedic nurse do? Orthopedic nurses treat patients who have suffered from:

  • Broken bones
  • Bone fractures
  • Osteoporosis
  • Arthritis
  • Joint replacement
  • Musculoskeletal tumors
  • Degenerative disorders
  • Pediatric conditions
  • Neuromuscular disorders

Typical duties of an orthopedic nurse

Besides their versatile specialty, orthopedic nurses work with patients who are recovering from orthopedic surgery or injuries, and some even work in the operating rooms.  Orthopedic nurses assist doctors with procedure preparations alongside helping patients manage their pains and regaining their strength through their postoperative recoveries. 

Also, orthopedic nurses have a vast knowledge of nursing which means they can cover basic nursing tasks as well. Their basic duties include:

  • Wound care
  • Attending to new patients
  • Dressing changes
  • Assessing patient symptoms
  • Pain management
  • Insert IVs
  • Collect blood work, samples, and urine samples
  • Monitoring of vital signs

However, orthopedic nurses also carry out more specialized duties which are specific to orthopedics, which includes:

  • Mobility devices
  • Casting
  • Motion therapy
  • Performing musculoskeletal health exam
  • Implementing strategies to help reduce pain and prevent complications
  • Traction
  • Training patients' families and patients on their recovery and pain

The most important aspect of this nursing specialty is patient education. As a result, an orthopedic nurse excels in teaching their patients about their problems and providing them with detailed information on:

  • How to prevent diseases
  • Pain management
  • Medications
  • Ongoing treatments
  • Potential complications
  • Their diagnosis and injury

Where Can You Find Orthopedic Nurses?

Orthopedic nurses are most often found in hospitals, outpatient care clinics, and private offices. However, because of the versatility of this discipline, you may also find orthopedic nurses working in various settings such as rehabilitation centers, assisted living facilities, physical therapy offices, sports medicine clinics, and even health home agencies.

What Does It Take To Become An Orthopedic Nurse?

If this seems like an exciting area of nursing to you (and it is!), you must first acquire your nursing degree from a recognized college.

You may become a registered nurse (RN) in two years if you receive your Associate's Degree in Nursing (ADN) or four years if you obtain your Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN).

After earning your nursing degree, you'll need to take the NCLEX-RN test to become a licensed nurse and then apply to your state's Board of Nursing to become a full RN. If you wish to extend your education, you can pursue a master's degree in nursing.

Additional Orthopedic Training and Certification

After becoming a certified nurse and deciding to explore orthopedic nursing, you will need to obtain orthopedic nursing experience. After two years of orthopedic nursing experience, you will be able to take the Orthopedic Nurses Certification exam (ONC). This certification exam is open to both ADN and BSN nurses.

How Do Orthopedic Nurses Gain Experience?

Orthopedic nurses will acquire expertise through working in the emergency department, critical care unit, surgery unit, or other departments that work with orthopedic patients.

Salary of an Orthopedic Nurse

Orthopedic nursing is a good example of a nursing specialty that requires more extensive training and so pays more. Currently, an orthopedic nurse's income can range from $69,500 to $120,500 a year, with a national average of roughly $96,000.

Overview on Orthopedic nurse

The demand for orthopedic nurses will continue to rise as the population ages. The need for orthopedic treatment and surgery (for example, hip and knee replacements) will continue to rise. Other disorders that affect the elderly, such as arthritis, will also produce a significant need for orthopedic nurses.

If you want to help people who have these kinds of injuries and care demands, you'll probably find orthopedic nursing to be a fascinating and gratifying job.

May 12, 2023

Natasha Osei

Passionate Nurse Practitioner | People person
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