Karen Whalen

Karen Whalen

Karen Whalen, BSN, RN, BC

Orthopedic Institutue
Children's Hospital Colorado
Aurora, Colorado
United States
Karen is always pleasant and seems to always have a smile on her face.

Karen has been the nurse coordinator for the General Orthopedic Program within the Orthopedic Institute. She works with 3 physicians and 4 midlevel providers within this program, which sees more patients than any other of the OI programs. She has multiple responsibilities which include running the surgeon clinics where she educates patients, applies Pavlik harnesses, does dressing changes, and does suture removal. She has been an integral part of the clubfoot program which involves patient education, development of educational materials, contacting patients to make sure they are doing well with their casting, and making sure that all the follow up appointment are made. She participates in our research program and has recently presented a quality project we did at a national nursing meeting.  

When the GOP took over the baby hip program, Karen took on the nursing part of this program as well. This means applying the harness, doing weekly adjustments and calling the new parents to make sure that they are doing well. It also requires communication with PCP offices to determine the urgency of getting a new baby into the clinic. 

Karen has also been instrumental in helping to develop and instituting a multispecialty osteogenesis imperfecta clinic. We have been doing this for about 9 months and it has been very popular for the families. She contacts the patients and fills out intake forms over the phone the days before the clinic and then is also responsible for ordering any test or radiographic studies need prior to the clinic. 

She also handles all the patient calls related to this service and communicates well with her providers to make sure nothing is missed. She communicates test results to the patients as well. She has been instrumental in making sure that our post-operative patients in Spica casts have a Spica car seat to go home with, and she makes sure that all post-op patients get the DME goods that they need prior to discharge.

With such a busy service, this job could easily be handled by 2-3 nurses, but Karen has done this on her own for the past several years. She is always pleasant and seems to always have a smile on her face. She is a calming presence in the outpatient setting, and I know running my busy practice would be impossible without her.