What Is Orthopedic Nursing?
Orthopedic nursing is an area of nursing that focuses on the prevention and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders. This field of health issues ranges from simple fractures to joint replacements. There are so many serious health conditions that fall within this realm of nursing, that a need for specialized orthopedic nurses is necessary.
These types of nurses typically work in hospitals, private practices, or clinics specializing in orthopedic care in New Jersey and elsewhere. There also are orthopedic nurses working for home health agencies or outpatient care agencies, and others still work in sports medicine due to the number of athletes in need of this type of care. Here’s what being an orthopedic nurse is all about.
Benefits of an orthopedic nursing career
Many people choose to become a nurse because they genuinely want to help people. An orthopedic nurse is a great way to help anyone with fractures and broken bones. These injuries happen quite frequently, so there is always a need for orthopedic nurses, and that means there won’t be a shortage of jobs or excitement in this field.
Orthopedic nurses have many daily tasks, including seeing new patients and assessing symptoms, monitoring existing patients, and providing follow-up care to surgical patients. They also help with casting and wound dressing for the recently injured, as well as motion therapy for those recuperating from injuries.
A key aspect of their daily duties is to manage the pain of patients. Surgeries involving bones are painful, and the orthopedic nurses are in charge of evaluating what would make patients the most comfortable. They give patients pain medication and are usually in charge of explaining how to minimize future pain.
Another perk is the fairly high salary of this nursing career. The average salary is $76,282. There are a few factors that go into salary like location, experience, certifications, and education. It is also great to note that there will always be a need for orthopedic nurses due to the aging American population. Employers are always in search of educated orthopedic nurses who excel at their jobs.
How to pursue a career in orthopedic nursing
The first step to pursuing a degree in orthopedic nursing is to pursue an associate’s degree in nursing. After doing so, you will have to take and pass the NCLEX-RN exam to become licensed in the state you are intending to work in.
Some employers prefer a bachelor’s degree in nursing, along with passing the exam. It mostly depends on the setting and state you intend to work in, and this is something to research before beginning your education in this field. Some workplaces encourage orthopedic nurses to continue their education by pursuing a master’s degree or higher.
There is a test called the Orthopedic Nurses Certification Exam that is specific for orthopedic nurses. It has to be taken after working as an orthopedic nurse for 100 hours, working as an RN for at least 2 years, and having an unencumbered RN license. There are also courses that can be taken outside of a university for nurses in this field. It is often important for nurses to continue to touch upon their education in the constantly changing medical field. Sometimes it is also good for these nurses to take other courses in subjects like trauma to continue improving their nursing skills.
This career is a great career for anyone who wants to be a nurse and have a clear future that involves helping patients. This is a fulfilling job that can take you a long way in the medical field.