An orthopedic nurse cares for those with diseases and injuries that affect the bones and joints for example bone fractures, arthritis, joint replacements, osteoarthritis, and genetic malformations. Orthopedic nurses have special training in traction, casting, and equipment for mobility. They also have the knowledge and training to help prepare patients for orthopedic surgery and to care for them postoperatively.
Orthopedic nurses can be found caring for patients in hospitals, rehab facilities, and outpatient clinics/offices. Their primary responsibilities include providing pain management and education to patients along with applying traction, casts, and monitoring for complications especially postoperatively. An orthopedic nurse will also provide wound care and dressing changes, monitoring for signs and symptoms of infection and also work closely with physicians, physical and occupational therapists along with other members of the health care team.
A nurse can become certified in the specialty of orthopedics by taking the Orthopedic Nurse Certification (ONC) Examination. In order to take this exam, a nurse must have a minimum of two years of experience working as a Registered Nurse and a minimum of 1000 clinical practice hours in a setting where orthopedic patients would be seen and cared for.
Orthopedic Nurse Organizations & Certifications
Our featured Orthopedic expert
Expert 7287– this featured expert is an orthopedic nurse with over 30 years of experience as a Registered Nurse and over 15 years in orthopedic nursing including caring for patients undergoing orthopedic procedures, joint replacements, and orthopedic trauma. She has delivered presentations and has publications on topics such as orthopedic complications, neurovascular assessments, fall prevention, pressure ulcers, and medication errors. She is living and working in MA but is available nationwide. For more on this nurse click here.
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