Inside Orthopedic Nurse Careers

Things you need to know, but nobody tells you

Biggest Surprises

"Surprise: "I Was Surprised At The Amount Of Extra Duties Placed On A Nurse Aside From His/Her Essential Nursing Duties" Summary: "Nurses Frequently Overloaded With Too Many Extraneous Duties"...
To be honest I had absolutely no idea what nursing was all about. One of the biggest surprises I've had about nursing is that people have the idea that every single thing that is not 100% perfect about their hospital stay falls on the shoulders of the nurse. The second surprise that I've experienced is the fact that the people who make the policies are completely out of touch with how many things a single person is able to accomplish successfully." (Hospital Nurse; 2013)

Career: 25 years of experience, currently based in Arizona, female
School: Studied Nursing at Union University in Tennessee; completed Associate degree in 1988

"It is very stressful and fast paced. Patients put a lot of faith in you. You must try and remain calm, compassionate, helpful no matter the situation. I was surprised at how much responsibility goes with the job." (RN; 2013)

Career: 30 years of experience, currently based in Indiana, female
School: Studied Nursing at University Of Evansville in Indiana in 1980

Best & Worst Things About This Career

Orthopedic Nurse: "The best parts are giving the patients and their families information that eases their fears about surgery. They are not frightened if they know what is gong to happen to them. I enjoy contacting the patients and finding out about their living situations and what challenges they may have after surgery. I enjoy meeting them in class and seeing them after they have had the surgery. The worst part of my job is calling physician's offices and asking for lab results and physician orders. Part of the job is ensuring that the patient's chart has all the information needed to safety perform the surgery and sometimes that is hard to get." (2011)

Career Background

Orthopedic Nurse

  Job Tasks
  Work Environment
  How to Prepare for the Job
  Job Outlook

Career Tips

"Explore The True Meaning Of Nursing Before Embarking On An Education...
Before heading full steam into a nursing education, be very sure that you are clear on what the profession entails. Be a volunteer, work as a nurses' aide or secretary; just find a way to get exposure to the profession and make sure it's what you truly feel a calling to do." (Hospital Nurse; 2013)

"What It Takes To Be A Nurse...
If you are organized and like science and math, being a nurse could be for you. You have to be patient, understanding, flexible. You should understand that being a nurse in a hospital is physically demanding, emotionally challenging and very rewarding. You should volunteer in a hospital or clinic before starting nursing school to see what it is like and see if it is for you. Not all nurses work in hospitals, so think outside of the box and after getting a little experience, you could work with computers in healthcare or in law or sales." (Orthopedic Nurse; 2011)