Which areas in hospital least physically demanding?

Posted
by TinyDancer01 TinyDancer01 Member

Has 15 years experience.

I am contemplating returning to the hospital. I'm almost 50. I left a 12 hr day shift position 5yrs ago because I literally did not sit down the entire 13 hours I was there on a busy med surg floor with 7 patients a shift, even more if one was supposed to be discharged (even if they weren't my whole shift.) My knees and back were feeling the strain after a year and I was offered a full time school nurse job. Other than being overwhelmed and on my feet non stop, I loved the hospital job.

Now my kids are older and working in the summers so they don't need me home as much. My school nurse job is ok but I feel bored, unchallenged, and just tired of the same old thing. There is very little variety or room for growth. I absolutely hate working five days a week. I feel like all I do is work and weekends I work around the house and run errands trying to get caught up. I just hate the rat race I'm in. Every single day I count down to the weekend or next break we have.

So I was contemplating trying to find another job in the hospital where I could utilize more of my nursing skills. However, I know I won't be able to hack the non stop busyness and constantly being on my feet non stop for 12 hrs on med surg. I was just wondering which areas give you a better chance of at least being able to sit down and chart and not have to stay over, a chance to use the bathroom, etc. I don't mind being busy and I'm in good shape but I do not want to leave a relatively low stress job I know I can do easily until I retire for one that will make me pull my hair out. Are their any units you do not run around like a chicken with it's head cut off anymore?

Thank you for any suggestions!

Sour Lemon

Has 12 years experience. 5,016 Posts

I work in med surg now and it's lovely ...pretty close to perfect. I've also worked in horrible med/surg and couldn't have imagined things this way.

It's less about the hospital area and more about how the specific hospital and unit are run ...and the people you work with, of course.

/username, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care. 526 Posts

A procedural area sounds perfect for you. A cath lab, endo, IR, etc.

cleback

cleback

1,381 Posts

Would having the school nurse background help you in peds?

TinyDancer01

TinyDancer01

Has 15 years experience. 39 Posts

Thanks for the suggestions! I'll look into those. I agree a lot has to do with the hospital/unit but those are hard to find. Our peds unit is half peds, half adults and I have no idea if it would help or not.

EatYourVeggies

EatYourVeggies

Specializes in Mental Health. 81 Posts

I would suggest behavioral health. I've worked in psych for 5 years and don't find it too physically demanding. It is busy but I still have time to take a break usually. At my hospital we use a lot of nursing skills on psych, but it does depend on the facility this population does tend to have many comorbidities so there are lots of opportunities for learning and teaching. I would say it is a very interesting area to work in as long as you remain open-minded. I work with many nurses who are in their 60s and even 70s! Feel free to ask questions.

elkpark

14,633 Posts

I would suggest behavioral health. I've worked in psych for 5 years and don't find it too physically demanding. It is busy but I still have time to take a break usually. At my hospital we use a lot of nursing skills on psych, but it does depend on the facility this population does tend to have many comorbidities so there are lots of opportunities for learning and teaching. I would say it is a very interesting area to work in as long as you remain open-minded. I work with many nurses who are in their 60s and even 70s! Feel free to ask questions.

I knew when I saw the title of the thread that someone was going to suggest psych. Yes, much of the time it's not that physically demanding, but you never know when it suddenly is physically demanding, when you have to be involved in wrestling someone down to the floor, hold struggling people down to force medication, or physically carry people to seclusion rooms. You also never know when you suddenly are going to have a shift in which you do run around like a chicken with its head cut off, no time for breaks, etc. I've worked with lots of older nurses in psych settings, people who were trying to avoid heavier physical effort, and it sometimes became an issue when they couldn't, or didn't want to, do their fair share of the heavier and more dangerous work.

cleback

cleback

1,381 Posts

I knew when I saw the title of the thread that someone was going to suggest psych. Yes, much of the time it's not that physically demanding, but you never know when it suddenly is physically demanding, when you have to be involved in wrestling someone down to the floor, hold struggling people down to force medication, or physically carry people to seclusion rooms. I've worked with lots of older nurses in psych settings, people who were trying to avoid heavier physical effort, and it sometimes became an issue when they couldn't, or didn't want to, do their fair share of the heavier and more dangerous work.

Technically, security should handle these physical situations but sometimes they don't respond fast enough. As a fit 22/23 year old in psych, I sometimes came home from my shift sore from restraining a patient...

HomeBound

HomeBound

Specializes in ED, ICU, Prehospital. Has 20 years experience. 256 Posts

IR/VIR/Cath Lab all require a 40lb lead vest, because of the fluoro being used. She has back problems as it is, and you don't sit down in these procedures.

1. PACU (but you would need someone willing to train you and your ACLS/PALS certs. not hard.) on 3rd shift or PRN. PACU is very stimulating in larger hospitals, but you have one patient at a time, and if you go "off shift"...you may find the mental challenge without the physical stress to be refreshing.

2. Inpatient Dialysis

3. Educator- look into diabetes educator or maybe lactation consultant?

4. Residency Coordinator- do you like working with the young whippersnappers? :)

5. Telephone Triage

6. Look at the VA in your area. Lots of interesting job titles there that RNs can apply to do.

7. Transplant Coordinator

8. Clinical Liaison

9. Occupational Health

10. Dermatology or Aesthetics/Plastic Surgery Clinic

Bedside in a hospital is...not what it is cracked up to be. We are being forced to do more with much, much less--keep that in mind. Outpatient surgery and such sounds wonderful until you find out the grinding pace. Radiology nursing USED to be "where old nurses go before they retire", but they also are making fewer nurses cover more procedures, such as light sedation.

If it's a mental challenge you want, have you considered furthering your education--into something as a provider, like NP? Being physically active doesn't always equal a stimulating job.

elkpark

14,633 Posts

Technically, security should handle these physical situations but sometimes they don't respond fast enough. As a fit 22/23 year old in psych, I sometimes came home from my shift sore from restraining a patient...

There are lots of psychiatric settings where there is no "security" to handle "physical situations."

JourneyToCNM

JourneyToCNM, ADN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Labor & Delivery. Has 5 years experience. 20 Posts

My mom just retired from direct patient care nursing last year, she's a little older than you. She plans to come back to nursing in a different capacity, leaving the bedside/clinic all together. Are you still wanting to provide patient care, or take on a more administrative role? My mom did the latter when she felt that the bedside was physically too hard on her. She is looking to work for an insurance company (she's a NP) doing chart audits in a year or two. I also know of RNs doing telephone triage for insurance companies as well.

Some patient care care areas that I can think of that may be a good fit for an experienced med/surg nurse like yourself:

1) wound care nurse (could be hospital or home health)

2) dialysis clinics

3) PACU

4) PICC line nurse

5) nursery (babies aren't heavy but you may still be busy on your feet a lot.)

6) urgent care center doing triage (some of the ones here are open 9am -9pm, some are 24 hours, it all varies)

7) lactation consultant

You could also do a combo of a few things. Such as work PRN 12 hour shifts in your favorite area, and then work part time doing something non demanding such as educator, case manager, etc.

these are all things my mom and I discussed for her transition/retirement plan. Hope it helps & best of luck to you in continuing your journey!

chacha82

chacha82, ADN, BSN

Has 3 years experience. 626 Posts

Home health (if you don't mind driving) or Case Management