MgoBlue I sympathize with your back issues. Many nurses have them after years of lifting patients and heavy equipment. However, to start your career off with what appears to be life-altering level pain is perplexing to me. Indeed taking a position in an ER was setting yourself up for increased pain. I am writing to share with you that the OR is not a safe haven for someone with a back injury. I have been a circulator for over 15 years, in many settings from large trauma centers to small surgery centers and no matter where you go the work is very physically demanding. It is a setting that requires stamina and strength. You would be required to position, lift and turn patients who are dead weight under anesthesia. It is not something you would delegate because if the patient falls, it is your responsibility and license on the line. Each case requires the opening of heavy instrument trays. I currently work in orthopedics and open anywhere from 2 to 20 metal instrument trays, depending on the type of case. This repetitive action is a major issue for anyone with back pain. There is very little sitting involved, and a circulator who is sitting in the corner, tied to their computer is not watching the field appropriately or anticipating the needs of the surgical team. Some may suggest working in a surgery center because there is less lifting and cases are shorter, however, the pace is typically faster and there may be less support staff to assist. Some cases require fluoroscopy, which means you would be wearing a lead apron for the duration of the case which compresses your spine. At the end of some days, I cannot bend down to put my shoes on when I leave. I ruptured two discs several years ago, and have endured daily pain ever since. It has been life-altering. If I continue to work in the OR, I will continue to complicate my injury. There is simply no light duty in surgery. My solution is to further my education, and I am halfway through a masters program. I do not agree with the sentiment of the responder who commented that she paid her dues, and so should you. That is old school thinking. There is a place for you that will fit your health needs. Good nurses are needed, and you clearly are a smart person. I can say with certainty that PACU is a setting where the nurses sit the majority of the time. I have observed them with envy for years. They are closely monitoring their one patient, and have a lot of support around. It is a sought after unit that a lot of ICU nurses go to after they have "paid their dues". However, things are changing and new nurses now have the opportunity to train in PACU. My PACU has several young nurses on staff and they provide excellent care. I wish you well, and hope you find your niche.