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Social Anxiety and nursing vs RT

Posted

Hi all,

I am hoping to get some opinions on my dilemma. I am currently trying to decide weather I should pursue nursing or respiratory therapy. I am in my 40's and have decided to go back to school now that my kids are older. I have suffered from social anxiety my whole life and Im trying to find out if nursing or RT would be a better fit for me.

I have worked as a cna and did fine because the job was mostly task orientated and the social interactions I had with the residents and nurses were brief and on my own terms.

I have also worked as a waitress and failed miserably. Having to interact with people constantly and be "on" for hours on end was just too much for me.

Im trying to decide which direction to go in. Any advice for me?

I have worked as a cna and did fine because the job was mostly task orientated and the social interactions I had with the residents and nurses were brief and on my own terms.

I have also worked as a waitress and failed miserably. Having to interact with people constantly and be "on" for hours on end was just too much for me.

As an RT turned RN, I can say that if you would like to work in a healthcare setting, there will probably be little difference between roles in terms of having lengthy "social interactions" that are not on your "own terms," and both will require you to "interact with people constantly." The main difference I can think of between roles in terms of tackling social anxiety, is that for most RN jobs you have a "home base" in that you will work on the same unit, with the same coworkers, on a regular basis which might provide you with some sense of security/stability. As an RT (in all but 1 job I've had), I've been expected to cover EVERY unit/pt care area/population, which means having assignments that cover different areas all the time and having to adjust to the different staff/mood/culture of each unit. Neither of these roles is going to just be "task oriented" and both require you to engage with patients and staff.

That said, nursing offers much more variety and flexibility in terms of job opportunities in different environments. You do not have to work in a healthcare setting and are much more likely to be able to find a suitable job that is in your comfort level. Home care or private duty, for example. Take a look under the "Specialties" tab to get an idea of some of the options out there.