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Orthopedic Nurse Practitioner

Review and treat patients for muscle and bone problems.

What does an Orthopedic Nurse Practitioner do?

A patient’s musculoskeletal system – the muscles and bones that help the body move – is the focus of an Orthopedic Nurse Practitioner. Offering support and care to those with orthopedic problems such as tendon injuries, Orthopedic Nurse Practitioners find the source of the injury or illness, and develop a healthy treatment plan. As an Orthopedic Nurse Practitioner, you spend your workdays giving patients checkups, prescribing medications, and offering medical assistance at a clinic or hospital.

Injuries range from acute – a sudden injury from an accident – to chronic, when a painful condition worsens over time. The focus of treatment varies widely depending on the type of injury. You may set a broken bone, have the patient wear a special boot for an Achilles tendon tear, or recommend surgery for serious injuries.

In the case of chronic problems like osteoporosis, your focus shifts from repairing the injury to managing the symptoms. Your patients need pain management techniques and often lifestyle changes. A healthier diet, a better workout routine, and a low-dose painkiller may be the best way to start treating a long-lasting problem.

You work in shifts and spend most of your time talking with patients about their injuries or reviewing their lab test results. A Nurse Practitioner holds more responsibility than a Registered Nurse, so like a Doctor, you can prescribe medications and diagnose illnesses. You get patients in and out of the clinic quickly so they can start the healing process.