All in a Day's Work: Tanya Nelson, Orthopedic Technologist at Regions Hospital in St. Paul

  • Article by: NANCY CROTTI , Star Tribune Sales and Marketing
  • Updated: April 20, 2011 - 7:53 AM

Tanya Nelson, orthopedic technologist at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, talks about her work.

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Photo: Tom Witta , Star Tribune Sales and Marketing

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Q: What's a typical workday like for you?

A: I work primarily in the orthopedic clinic and I see patients with all kinds of fractures. I put on and remove braces or splints. Sometimes I go up on the floor to cast or splint a patient. Every once in a while I'll go into the operating room to apply a larger cast on a large extremity or a body cast on a child. I work with patients of all ages and with all of the doctors within our orthopedic group.

Q: How does your role fit into the bigger health care picture?

A: After the patient has seen the doctor and a treatment plan has been established, I apply whatever form of treatment, whether it's a cast or splint or a brace for the duration of their healing process.

Q: Who do you interact with during the course of the day?

A: I interact with physicians, surgeons, physician assistants, radiology staff, nurses, patients and families.

Q: Why did you become an orthopedic technologist?

A: It's always been very interesting. The healing process is what fascinates me the most about it, taking fractures that are so bad and watching them return to normal.

Q: What do you like about your work?

A: I like having the ability to help somebody who's had a life-changing injury, making it somewhat easier for them to deal with. It's a fascinating field to be in and I make sure patients are educated in how to take care of their cast and their injury.

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