Orthopedic Trauma – Daniel Ruedeman

Orthopedic Trauma is one of the newer settings an AT can work while being employed in the physicians practice setting.

Daniel Ruedeman joins Sandy Harris and me to discuss what Orthopedic Trauma is and how Daniel is setting the stage for AT growth in the field

Daniel, where are you working right now?

University of Colorado/ UC Health

Orthopedic Trauma

Limb restoration – Patients with non-union fractures


Prevent amputations

Osseointegration – interactive way to help amputees with their artificial limbs

Doing AT for about 20 years

Daniel has worked in the PT, college and secondary setting

“I do not want patients to come in and have just a doctor appointment. I want it to be a relationship and a positive experience.”

He was the first one hired in the hospital setting at UC Health

When they first hired him they did not know what his role was and he was able to build that from the ground up

What was the transition like from the traditional setting?

Started with him shadowing the physician

That lead to a team focused approach so nursing, MA, AT, Doc all communicating the same thing to patients

Being the pilot AT Daniel was able to set the stage for bringing on an AT and the office manager connected them.

Departments like Oncology was asking how they could get an AT to work with them.

He was also an office manager at a private practice between clinical sites and his current setting.

What does a week look like in the Orthopedic Trauma center?

Works 4/10s

40 patients between 7-2

Taking brief history

Allows the med students to do the exams

Preps the patient for what to expect

Schedule next appointments

Scheduling and setting up PT

Home exercise programs

Off Tuesday

Wednesday is half office time / half clinic

Thursday/Friday are full of clinic time

Trauma doesn’t stop during COVID

Tell us more about your Orthopedic Trauma job setting

They use EPIC for the EMR.

Daniel feels the open line of communication is important.

The whole team is important.

He touches base with each of his professionals almost daily

What are you seeing in Orthopedic Trauma?

Sees a lot of tibial plateau fractures

Do not do spine or hand stuff

“Any student that does a rotation or internship with me, I want them to Look at the x-ray and understand the injuries, but also think through the process of how the injury happened.”

What do you not love about Orthopedic Trauma?

Constantly building relationships

Life balance has become a key focus

Daniel leaves work at work

How does Sandy create life balance?

It is tough since they are both ATs and host an AT podcast

They do have a dog

Do you have a hard close time?

There are no rain delays or extra innings in the OT center

They schedule their last patient at 3:30 so they have time to get out by 5:30

He has flexibility to leave at 4:30 or earlier if needed

He was furloughed during COVID and then switched to hourly.  Now he has to watch his hours.

What are some of the cool tools you see?

Worked on a leg ring like Alex Smith used.

Got to see a rod running through a pelvis

Discuss the talks you do across the country and where someone should search to learn more?



Email Daniel for more


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