Hello and welcome to our unit!
I’m Richelle Graham, MBA, BSN, RN-BC, Manager of the Orthopaedic and Surgical unit, also known as Ortho/Ortho Trauma. We are located on the 7th floor of the Critical Care Tower at Vanderbilt University Hospital.
The environment on our unit is fast-paced, challenging, and a place to learn and grow as a nurse.
We care for adult patients ranging from teenagers to geriatrics who are being treated for elective procedures such as total joint replacement, bone, and soft tissue tumor resections. In addition, we care for surgical weight loss patients, as well as Ortho trauma patients with various fractures and injuries from traumatic events (car accident, ATV accident, falls, violent crimes, etc.).
Our patients are unique because they may have a very short length of stay. The majority of our patients are discharged home and with the Ortho Trauma population, it is often the first time they have ever been in the hospital.
One of the perks of working on my unit is the varying dynamics between our unique patient population. Some of our patients have been waiting for months to have their new knee or hip and cannot wait to return to doing things they enjoy in life, while our Ortho Trauma patient population is experiencing the hospital setting for the first time. Our patients generally have a very short stay in the hospital, ranging from 1-3 days and many are discharged to home when they leave us.
Our nurses are successful because they have incredible time management skills, believe in teamwork, and know our patients depend on us to return to doing what they love.
We orient new nurses to our unit by providing them with a targeted 4-8 weeks of orientation, depending on their previous experience.
We encourage professional growth.
If your goal is to develop a great foundation as a nurse and learn time management and assessment skills that will be essential to you throughout your nursing career, the Orthopaedic and Surgical Unit can help with this. Skills learned here provide a foundation for success on other Trauma units, such as Trauma ICU and Trauma Stepdown.