Challenges and rewards of working in trauma orthopaedics

Posted on Thu, 27/07/2017 by Victoria Pye, Ward Manager, Trauma Orthopaedics

nurse and patient

I started at the QE Gateshead 13 years ago when I came as a trainee nurse. I moved to ward 14a from critical care 18 months ago. The team from ward 14a were welcoming, and ready to take on new challenges to move forward. The size of the Trust means that you recognize people wherever you go, and it’s reassuring to have familiar faces around you and know who to go to when you need advice.

Working in Trauma and Orthopaedics is challenging and requires resilience, but it is also very rewarding. Our patients can be with us for several weeks allowing staff to build relationships with patients and relatives.

Patients have suffered a wide-range of injuries, from falls, car accidents and dog bites to complications of substance misuse, so every day is different. After treatment in Emergency Care, they are then transferred to us on ward 14a for surgery, treatment and rehabilitation.


“Patients can enjoy cream teas or try out our smoothie bar.”

Our patients can have complex needs. Often they haven’t only suffered a trauma, such as a hip fracture, but they may also suffer from other long-term medical conditions.

We have introduced a lot of changes on the ward to try and make life easier for people with dementia. We have a day room, with activities like painting. We also do lots of work around nutrition and patients can enjoy cream teas or try out our smoothie bar.


 “A great satisfaction in thinking you have done your best”


As nurses, we are just part of a multidisciplinary team that involves physios, occupational therapists, Medical staff and social workers.

Our aim is to support patients through the rehabilitation process so they can return home. Unfortunately, this is not always possible with many of our patients so many need further support on discharge.

Other patients may also have to come to terms with how their lives will never be quite the same as before their accidents. I remember a lady, she was in her 50s, really fit, enjoyed running and cycling, but she fell and shattered her hip, so it was going to be a big lifestyle change for her.

That is the hardest part of the job – knowing that unfortunately, some patients will never make a full recovery. But there is still a great satisfaction in thinking you have done your best for them.

Our emergency surgery is mostly broken bones admitted from A&E. Ward 14a is our Trauma and Orthopaedic ward, which houses the Acute Hip Unit for patients with a fractured neck of femur (broken hip) and all other emergency Orthopaedic trauma patients.

We’re recruiting in trauma orthopaedics

Watch our video and find out what our current staff have to say

Find out how to apply

Call us on 0191 482 0000

In emergencies dial 999 / Non-emergencies dial 111

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