Specialty areas in nursing care abound, and there are now so many particular fields of nursing care available that there is sure to be one available that suits any nurse’s individual interests. Much of the specialization is the result of advances in treatment methodologies and technologies that require increased focus to master. This phenomenon has forced many nurses to specialize in certain areas of treatment to the exclusion of other areas. One such specialty area is the field of orthopedic nursing.
Orthopedic nursing involves treating various disorders affecting the muscles and skeletal structures of people of all ages. These disorders encompass the broad spectrum of acute and chronic conditions affecting bones and muscles, and range in severity from minor fractures to long-term conditions affecting the limbs.
The specialized skills used in orthopedic nursing make it one of the more challenging nursing specialties. Orthopedic nurses assist in helping to both prevent and treat various deformities of the skeletal system, and also perform complex assessments to determine the extent to which various prosthetic or other orthopedic devices can help patients to better cope with their muscular and skeletal problems. In many cases, these nurses provide basic care for broken bones and muscular difficulties – setting bones, placing limbs in casts, and assisting with certain physical therapies designed to improve motor function and prevent atrophy.
Orthopedic nursing places nurses at the forefront of patient care in the wake of muscular or skeletal surgeries, as nursing staff are responsible for monitoring the physical therapy necessary to enable patients to recover their muscle strength and become more mobile. These nurses come into daily contact with patients in need of basic pain therapies, emotional support, and overall health care education that can assist in regaining much of the function that is lost in the wake of surgeries. In some cases, orthopedic nursing efforts come into play before a surgery takes place to help patients prepare for hip replacements and operations affecting the spine.
The goals of orthopedic nursing are, like other forms of nursing, to ensure that patients are as comfortable as possible while treatment and therapies are utilized to stabilize and improve their conditions. With orthopedics, mobility is of the utmost importance, so much of orthopedic nursing’s focus is in the area of rehabilitative treatments. Whether the initial procedures involve surgeries on upper or lower limbs, spinal corrections, or other serious conditions of the bone and muscle, orthopedic nurses and the care they provide are critical components in any successful recovery.
For a career in orthopedic nursing, any nursing candidate must be capable of engaging patients on a daily basis, demonstrating an appropriate level of compassion and understanding of the conditions affecting those patients. Whether they work in a hospital, private office, orthopedic facility, or an operating room, orthopedic nurses strive to maintain the highest levels of professionalism as they fulfill their critical role in this important segment of the health care industry. Opportunities in orthopedic nursing should continue to grow over the coming decades, as more and more elderly Americans find themselves in need of orthopedic care.
Karen P Williams is an expert author in CNA training. Syndicated by isnare.com