Is nursing less physically taxing than veterinary technician?

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by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Columnist) Educator Columnist Innovator Expert Nurse

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho. Has 30 years experience.

Dear Nurse Beth,

I am a 25 yr registered veterinary technician veteran contemplating switching to human nursing for a number of reasons. Those include low pay, no career respect, lack of career recognition nationwide, no job opportunities, physical wear and tear on the body, no career advancement opportunities, as well as lack of benefits. My question to you is, how much more physically taxing on the body is nursing compared to the animal wrangling I have been submitting my body to over the past 25 years?

Dear Veterinary Technician,

Jobs that pay well as a registered veterinary technician are rare. Wages and benefits depend on the employer unless you are in a unionized or government position, such as working in a public city zoo.

Many registered technicians complete their studies only to learn that employers can often choose to hire non-credentialed and lower-paid workers, even to place IV catheters and monitor anesthesia.

By comparison, nursing is taxing on the body but the career opportunities are equal to non-other in my opinion. Once you gain your basic experience you can choose to stay at the bedside or go into teaching, sales, informatics, case management, and so much more.

You will have to put in the time to earn your Bachelor's degree and work at least a couple of years at the bedside, so figure that into your plan. You will probably not be able to work once you're in the nursing program.

Good luck with your decision,

Nurse Beth

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development. Has 10 years experience.

Picture people wrangling and that will pretty much tell you all you need to know. 😉 Nursing DOES, as Nurse Beth pointed out, open a lot of doors and not all nursing positions involve the taxing part of things. However, the ones that don't involve that usually require at least five years of working in acute care, which is definitely physically taxing.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

speedynurse, ADN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in ER, Pre-Op, PACU.

I have never worked as a vet assistant so can’t vouch for what that is like. I can attest to the fact that nursing is quite physically A LOT. But that’s coming from an ER nurse. There are other branches that are not as bad though....NICU, nursery, non bedside nursing (nursing supervisor, informatics, etc.). Of course a lot of these branches like others have mentioned require experience. (Except with babies....there are new grads hired into those specialties).