As a registered nurse, especially when the kids were small, I used to get top pay in the hospital for rotating to a variety of specialties. Critical Care (Intensive Care) is my specialty, but it can be hard to get away at the end of eight to twelve hours, if you needed to pick up kids. When the kids were first starting public school (yes, before we homeschooled), and so I was one of the few nurses who absolutely liked to rotate as a fill- in to a variety of specialties. This included pediatrics, pediatrics special care, labor and delivery, post-partum, post partum recovery, recovery room, a variety of critical care units, same day surgery, emergency room, urology, endocrinology, and some others. Despite the uncommon flexibility I was known for in those years, there were hospital specialties I don't like much, and in which I am limited. For example, I am not a big fan of orthopedics. My dislike of orthopedics dates back to nursing school when we were required to set up different types of traction. If it isn't correct, this is not only painful for your patient but it can be devastating to his healing. I didn't much like the pin care either. Metal pins which went through the skin anchored the patient to some types of traction.
I also had patients on Stryker frames and on Circ-o-electric beds, which allow the patient to be turned around in any position in order to provide his care without actually really moving him. There is a trap door in the back which allows for care to the backside.
|The is a Cir-0-electric bed.|
This is a really important specialty and the nurses who develop these skills really should be admired but alas, I am not one of them. Two of my five children broke limbs while they were growing up. My daughter slipped while wearing tights on the oak staircase and fractured her elbow. One of my sons got a comminuted fracture of his arm when another son took him ice skating for the first time. It was all I could do each of those days not to run from the room screaming. I don't like orthopedics and so I quickly send those with orthopedic injuries to a physician or the hospital, so long as that is away from me.
I have been lucky to have avoided these types of injuries myself. Recently though, the amount of work I have been doing has increased greatly. The four horses I own now take a lot of lifting, mucking, and activity. We have had eight inches more rain than is normal in Virginia, and some of the pastures are muddy when they are mucked. This seems to result in a twisting motion for my right knee. At first, it seemed simply stiff, and then a little swollen. It seems that working on uneven rolling ground allows the knee to depend heavily on the medial and lateral ligaments of the knee. I needed to prevent so much side to side motion and twisting while I worked. I started out with a large ace bandage around the right knee for added support prior to mucking. This helps a bit, but there is still burning on the interior aspect of the knee (the medial collateral ligament) when I am finished. I am considering a knee splint to wear just when I am working with the horses. Did I mention I dislike orthopedics intensely ?
|As anyone with a ski injury to their knee will tell you, this is one of the body parts God could have considered just a bit longer.|
For the purpose of redeeming this post as an educational one, and not simply one of my musings, I should mention a bit about Knee Ligament Injuries:
An ACL injury -- or other ligament injury -- is sometimes hard to diagnose. Symptoms of a knee ligament injury are:
- Pain, often sudden and severe
- A loud pop or snap during the injury
- A feeling of looseness in the joint
- Inability to put weight on the point without pain
An orthopedic surgeon will do a physical exam, possibly an x-ray, and sometimes a CT scan or an MRI. Treatment can range from splinting to needle extraction of blood within the knee, and sometimes surgery.
The things you can do to avoid the more sweeping treatments above is to stay off the affected knee to allow it to heal following a known injury. Ice the knee for the first 24 hours, 20 mins on and 20 mins off. Taking NSAIDs, or ibuprofen does not only address pain, but is necessary for the inflammation which occurs within these ligaments. It's better to take a low dose repeatedly over time, for this injury, than it is to take a large dose when you are writhing. Check with your doctor if you have stomach or gastrointestinal issues, bleeding disorders, or any reason not to take NSAIDs. Elevate the knee while you are sitting. Invest in a knee brace which prevents additional injuries while the ligaments are healing.
|Really easy to use. It doesn't stink and you can keep it off your hands.|
I'm doing all of that plus painting the region that hurts with the new Ben-Gay that lives in the freezer. It's called Ben-Gay Zero Degrees. It's hard to find, but really good stuff. Also, make sure that if you have a knee injury you are wearing good shoes that keep you sure-footed. Sandals and high heels are not only tough on ankles, but they can be tough on knees and make women in particular prone to reinjury.
Now that I think about it, all of my grandparents had knee issues following injuries at one time or another.
|No one is paying me to say this. This stuff is great.|