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How to fix a broken limb: Essentia staff bone up on techniques

Kyle Nagy, right, a trainer with the American Society of Orthopedic Professionals, works with Daniel Adamietz. SUBMITTED PHOTO

The staff of Essentia Health St. Mary’s is learning the science behind casting, making them better at fixing breaks.

Last week, members of the St. Mary’s clinic went through a 14-hour course certified through the American Society of Orthopedic Professionals.

“The staff that actually put on the casts,” Athletic Trainer Sean Degerstrom said, are the people who went through the training.

That staff includes orthopedics nursing team, mid-levels and those in athletic training. Those involved in the casting course included Essentia Health staff from Detroit Lakes, Ada, Fosston, Park Rapids and Fargo.

Staff has been doing mostly on-the-job training, and this course helped learn the science behind breaks and casting.

“This is how you should do it, but there are many ways to do it,” he said of casting.

Jennifer Ziegler, LPN, said she learned a lot of techniques from the casting clinic that she didn’t know previously. Before she was basically self-taught, but this showed more of what staff should and shouldn’t be doing with the casting.

With these techniques comes more efficient ways of casting, and better outcomes for patients, Degerstrom said.

“We learned different techniques to shave time off casting and make patients more comfortable,” Degerstrom said.

The course included not only teaching staff where to place the casts, but the science as to why certain things are done when casting.

After completing the training and six months of practicing and studying, staff then take an exam to be certified in casting. They then maintain education with continuing courses over time.

“This reverses adverse effects and promotes a better healing,” Degerstrom said.

Follow Pippi Mayfield on Twitter at @PippiMayfield.