What Is A Orthopedic Nurse?
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An orthopedic nurse assists patients with musculoskeletal problems such as broken or shattered bones, arthritis, osteoporosis, and joint replacements, among others. This frequently includes aiding in orthopedic procedures and monitoring patients during recovery to ensure optimal regaining of strength and range of motion. Additionally, orthopedic nurses are trained in casting, traction, and other treatment methods for patients with musculoskeletal disorders, and frequently educate and instruct patients on how to manage symptoms and avoid further injury.
Acquiring the Qualifications of an Orthopedic Nurse
Nurses who have gained experience in critical care, the emergency room, surgery, or other appropriate settings will be well-prepared to work in the orthopedic specialty. Additionally, anyone interested in entering the area of orthopedics can take continuing education courses linked to the discipline, including specialist courses in osteoporosis care, osteoarthritis care, and physical trauma care.
What Education Do Orthopedic Nurses Need?
To become licensed in the state, an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) is required, as is passing the NCLEX-RN exam. While many hospitals prefer a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, it is not required by all. Those interested in continuing their studies in orthopedic nursing are advised to get a Master’s degree or higher.
Is it necessary to obtain any certifications or credentials?
The Orthopedic Nurses Credential test (ONC) is the orthopedic nurse’s specific certification. Eligibility requirements include 1000 hours of experience as an orthopedic nurse, two years as a registered nurse, and an unencumbered registered nurse license. Renewal requires contact hours.
Where Do Orthopedic Nursing Professionals Work?
Orthopedic nurses are typically employed in hospitals, clinics, or private practices. However, due to the adaptability of this nursing specialty, orthopedic nurses are needed in various settings, including home health agencies, assisted living homes, and outpatient care institutions such as rehabilitation clinics. Orthopedic nurses are often utilized in physical therapy and sports medicine.
What Is the Role of an Orthopedic Nurse?
Orthopedic nurses do a variety of everyday activities, including assessing new patients’ symptoms, monitoring existing patients, and giving follow-up care to surgical patients. Additionally, they assist with casting and wound dressing for people who have recently been hurt, as well as with motion therapy for those who are recovering from injuries.
An orthopedic nurse’s profession entails a significant amount of pain treatment. They frequently assist patients in administering, monitoring, and assessing pain medications and explaining necessary practices to help prevent further damage and infection, so lowering future suffering.
What Are the Responsibilities and Responsibilities of an Orthopedic Nurse?
- Assist physicians in the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders
- Vital signs monitoring
- Assist in the treatment of injuries by applying wound dressings or casts.
- Establish a pain management program for the patient and assist with drug administration and monitoring for adverse reactions and allergies.
- Educate patients on how to safely recover at home following surgery or injury.
- Assist patients in regaining strength and mobility following musculoskeletal surgery.
What Is the Role of the Orthopedic Nurse Practitioner?
Nurse practitioners are healthcare providers that assist in meeting the need for patient care. In certain states, nurse practitioners are self-employed. While nurse practitioner schools provide specializations in areas such as family medicine or acute care, nurse practitioners can further specialize in subspecialties such as cardiology or orthopedics through residency programs.
Orthopedic nurse practitioners do a wide number of tasks. They treat a wide variety of musculoskeletal problems and injuries. They can examine patients in the clinic or hospital setting and place orders for scans, therapies, and procedures. They may aid orthopedic surgeons in performing orthopedic procedures and setting broken bones, as well as injecting joints, establishing casts, and placing splints. Additionally, they monitor patient healing following therapeutic interventions and schedule follow-up testing, arrange follow-up care, and interact with other members of the healthcare team (physical therapists, staff nurses, and dietitians) to ensure patient needs are addressed.
Orthopedic NPs may also pursue specialty certification in the discipline. NPs may be certified by the Orthopedic Nurses Certification Board (ONCB). Certification requirements include the following:
- Three years of experience as a registered nurse or advanced practice registered nurse
- Possess a valid RN or APRN license.
- Possess a master’s degree or greater
Have a minimum of 2,000 hours of APRN experience in the orthopedic or musculoskeletal specialty during the last three years, or are enrolled in a recognized orthopedic fellowship or residency program.
Salary and Employment Opportunities for Orthopedic Nurses
An orthopedic nurse’s average income is $76,282. Salary is affected by a variety of factors, including experience, location, certifications, and education. Wage changes can also be attributed to the setting in which an orthopedic nurse works, as orthopedic nurses might work in a range of medical settings.
Due to the aging population, demand for orthopedic nurses continues to grow, indicating a highly bright work outlook. Employers in a variety of settings are in need of trained orthopedic nurses, which makes RNs in this specialization appealing hires.