I live in western KS and work at the only hospital in the area that has any substance to it. Most hospitals out here are 15-20 beds, w/ an ER and that's about it... maybe a swingbed unit. The hospital I work at has 150 beds, including a trauma unit, a NICU, a cardiac progressive care unit... pretty much everything but a neurosurgeon... so we get anything more than a scrape or flu bug from every little hospital around us!
I have been in nursing for 22 yrs... started out w/ my LPN on Surgical in 1991, and then transferred to our Inpatient Rehab unit the following year. In 1996 I became an RN, and stuck w/ Rehab for a couple more yrs before one of our Ortho surgeons approached me about helping start a Joint Care program for our elective total joint replacement patients. We started that in 2000 as a 6-bed unit. By 2005, we expanded to a 9-bed unit, and added in an occasional spine surgery. In 2010, we lost our spine surgeon, but continued w/ the Joint Care unit.
Due to budget cuts in 2011, administration decided to combine the Surgical unit & the Joint center, and I ended up being moved into a charge nurse position for the combined unit. Fortunately at the end of November, I am returning to my love... orthopedics. (yes, right now we have ortho pts on our Surgical unit, but we are separating the units again)
This time we will be moving to a brand new 11-bed unit (as we did replace our spine surgeon last year), and I am looking forward to just dealing w/ ortho patients again. I enjoy them so much more because we have a very structured program that they follow which includes group therapy, meals together out in our dining room, and much more one-on-one care. Our staffing is a little better than the Surgical floor too, so that is nice because I feel like I can give better care to my patients. It's also nice that most of the time these are elective procedures, so our patients tend to be a little healthier and definitely not acutely ill.
Since the Joint program is kinda my "baby", I am thrilled to see it get up & running again. I look forward to seeing how it evolves and improves w/ our new location, new staff, new physicians, and a new attitude!
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