Orthopedic Registered Nurses provide care for patients suffering from musculoskeletal diseases and malfunctions. The RN provides care for patients who have fractured bones, suffer from arthritis and many other bone and muscle related problems, patients after joint replacement surgeries and patients suffering from degenerative diseases.
Performing external fixation care, casting, monitoring neurovascular status and continuous motion therapy are a few of the things the RN will assist the patient with. The RN is responsible for post-operation care and administering treatments and medications. The role of the Orthopedic Registered Nurse may also include helping the patient with therapy and assistance for faster recuperation and healing. Orthopedic RN work in many settings including orthopedic units of hospitals, nursing facilities and clinics. They can also work with fitness centers, sports teams or set up their own private clinics.
Duties, Tasks and Responsibilities of the Orthopedic Registered Nurse
Observe and monitor the health and general body condition of the patient and report changes to the physician.
Collaborate with the physician to perform treatments on patients with musculoskeletal conditions.
Safe, accurate and timely administration of pain medications as prescribed by the physician.
Preparation of a pain management schedule for the patient based on physician’s prescriptions to prevent patients suffering from pain.
Educate patients and their family members on steps to manage pain and how to avoid post-surgical infections.
Observe, monitor and quickly take action if there are any signs of negative reactions to medications or allergies.
Attend to patient’s hygiene by assisting with bed pan changes, body cleaning and diaper changes when necessary.
Educating injured athletes in management of treatment of pain and how to recover after an injury. Orthopedic RNs may assist with the training of athletes when they are recovering from an injury as well.
Perform wound dressing on patients with infection
Observe and monitor vital signs of patient.
Help the patient to find support and resource groups when indicated.
Helping patients improve their mobility and functionality with assistance in redesigning their personal spaces and recommending tools and furniture that may help support bone structure and promote healing.
An Orthopedic RN should possess the following qualities to be effective on the job:
Sensitivity to patient’s and family members feelings and reactions. These patients may be in pain and the RN needs to understand pain and how it affects their patients and the family members.
A desire to help people
Attention is a very important skill as the Orthopedic RN must pay attention to the orthopedic physician and the patients, understand instructions and ask questions when necessary.
Critical thinking and logical reasoning skills
Persuasiveness is a major plus in order to persuade their patients to follow instructions given and change unhealthy behaviors.
Must possess an understanding of how the body and organs function and knowledge of the musculoskeletal system.
Demonstrate the ability to understand medical terms and be able to interpret and communicate the physician’s assessments and prescriptions.
Problem solving skills and the ability to take proactive decisions in the absence of the physician.
Good at time management.