least physically demanding nursing positions?

  1. I'm entering BSN program this Fall at the mature age of 47, and am in very good health presently (thank God!). My concern is related to nursing-related back and neck injuries. I've been a medical transcriptionist for several years and have typed many reports on nurses who've been injured on the job, many times in accidents they could not have prevented or foreseen. It's led me to ponder what types of nursing would be wise for someone of my ripe ol* age to do... Which areas of hospital-based nursing are less physically demanding than others? I'm very attracted to the NICU (which I know has less back injury risk than others), but I'm also drawn to neuro, ICU, ortho, rehab, cardiology, and OR. Based on your own observations/experiences, please shed some light on areas that are extremely physically demanding to give this newbie a *heads up*

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    Joined: Jun '06; Posts: 172; Likes: 72


  3. by   GratefulHeart
    Please forgive my typos (I should have previewed before posting)!
  4. by   catlady
    All of those fields are hard on the back as they all involve physical care of adults of varying sizes and strengths. It has been my experience that it's not usually one single incident that throws out the back, but the cumulative effect of years of punishment that most nurses endure. It's just that one episode finally pushes the poor aching back over the edge.
  5. by   JazzyRN
    NICU, PICU, peds,ER, OR and shortstay units, in my opinion are the least physically demanding with the least risk for back and neck injuries. Neuro, ICU, Ortho and Rehab are all red flag units for backbreaking work, JMO.
  6. by   cn2007rn
    ORTHO is especially demanding because people cannot move on there own at all, you are doing all of the work for them.

    In school you will learn techique for good posture and the correct way to move a patient to minimize injuries, but you need to use them all of the time, I always take a second or two to make sure I am using correct positioning. And always raise up the bed to prevent bending.

    Some of the least physical areas of nursing include-case management, cardiac rehab (includes a lot of teaching), working for an insurance company, but most of these positions you need acute care nursing experience.
  7. by   Cleveland-RN
    I would recommend that you truly learn good body mechanics and gravitate toward whatever field you're truly interested in. If it's too stressful on your body then go into supervision/management when an opening becomes available.