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