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Oxford Handbook of Orthopaedic and Trauma Nursing

Wednesday, 06 December 2023

7 Day Health Service
A great ideal
Can the Government make it work?

Editors: Rebecca Jester, Julie Santy & Jean Rogers

With the increasing health care needs of orthopaedic patients and their families, as well as rising healthcare costs, orthopaedic nurses are more challenged than ever to deliver safe, quality patient care. Professional orthopaedic nurses play integral roles in all aspects of orthopaedic care delivery in various practice settings, including outpatient and acute care, extended or long-term care, home care, and community environments (NAON, Scope and Standards, 2002).

Every orthopaedic nurse should have a copy of this book. This book is so packed with information I feel that a short paragraph of review cannot do it justice. One of the first challenges I remember when I started out on my orthopaedic career was deciphering the handover sheet. The glossary of symbols and abbreviations in this book are invaluable for those new to the specialty.

I particularly like the explanations of the characteristics of the orthopaedic patient given – pain, reduced mobility and deformity and the specific information given to the care of the older orthopaedic patient which highlights the complex health and social care needs of this group of patients.

A competency framework for orthopaedic and trauma nurses is provided which is useful to students in setting placement objectives and registered nurses in setting appraisal objectives. Anatomy and physiology is described in terms of movement and positioning for orthopaedic patients and there is a whole chapter devoted to the assessment of the musculo-skeletal system (including history taking, the shoulder, elbow, hand, spinal cord, spine, hip, knee, ankle, foot and assessment of cognitive function).

There is a section on anaesthesia and regional anaesthesia for the orthopaedic patient in which I would like to have seen more information about the various types of regional anaesthesia nurses are likely to encounter in acute practice.

Surgical wound management is covered to include the healing process, principles of care and drainage systems. Interestingly the phenomena of wound blisters is included and makes a valuable contribution to this book and highlights this problem for patients particularly following joint replacements.

It would be impossible to give a full account of this book in a review but I feel compelled to draw readers attention to the excellent inclusion of the specific potential complications for this group of patients which are divided into their underlying causes; reduced mobility, injury/surgery and orthopaedic appliances. Each complication is further described in terms of risk factors, clinical signs, prevention and treatment.

The only thing which I think could enhance this book would be some information about moving orthopaedic patients, (particularly following hip and spinal surgery) which in my experience causes those new to the speciality some anxiety.

I am extremely happy to recommend this book to anyone new to orthopaedics and those who want to refresh their knowledge. Its size and format make it practicable to take on duty and I am sure it will be well thumbed.


ISBN-10: 0199569809
ISBN-13: 978-0199569809


Oxford University Press; 1st edition (2011)


458 pages


Debra Larsen RGN, ONC, DHSM, BSc (Hons)
Matron in trauma and orthopaedics

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