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Who has more stess RT or RN?

My SIL whom is very smart is trying to decide between these two programs. She doesn't do well with long periods of high stress(she gets anxious and depressed). I told her to try Respiratory Therapy as hospital nursing is very stressful A LOT of the time. The RT instructor told her RT is more stressful than nursing because of the critical care needs of many of the patients they deal with. She has shadowed both a rn and rt but is still deciding, she has until next friday to make her choice.

For those of you that work in a hospital, which would you choose to recommend to a family member if you had to pick one of the two based on stress levels.? She is dead set on working in the hospital in a patient care position...I originally suggested medical administration or medical coding but she wants to see patients.

LaughingRN

Specializes in ER.

To be honest, I doubt many people could actually answer that question fairly unless they were both an RT and an RN.

Even then,

Stress is subjective to an individual. I found my job at a fast food joint in high school more stressful than working in a level 1 ER.

Customers were rude, the monotony killed me, Two 15 minutes breaks in a 9 hour shift with management giving you a little kitchen timer so you didn't spend 1 second too long trying to pee and eat....(has a lot in common with nursing actually, but at least I'm getting paid more than $5/hr)

I digress,

You started your post with "My SIL whom is very smart"

I think as a smart person, she needs to be doing the research, not you.

No meanness intended with this response at all

Laughing RN, I agree, and I don't think you sounded mean, she needs to do the research. Would you answer someone's question, "Should I be a nurse?"; no, its up to that person to figure it out.

I would recommend that she ask if she could shadow both jobs for a week each, or whatever is fesible. I think that would really give her an inside look to both jobs and she could make the decision well informed. Also, if possible, try shadowing different shifts during the week.

Best of luck to her.

I'm new to the hospital world, but there is not one position that involves keeping a person alive that is not stressful. Sorry, but I'm not qualified to tell you which profession involves more stress, but I can tell you that they both have a considerable amount just from observation. I wonder why she is so set on patient care?

Not that I can speak to being an RT, but I think both jobs would be stressful, just in different ways. An RN is responsible for coordinating all aspects of care, which can get very hairy. An RT does have the luxury of being involved in just part of the patient's care...that said, you couldn't pay me enough to be the one with the blade trying to intubate when the pressure is on!

Check this out...http://respiratorytherapydriven.blogspot.com/2007/10/rts-vs-rns.html

To be honest, I doubt many people could actually answer that question fairly unless they were both an RT and an RN.

Even then,

Stress is subjective to an individual. I found my job at a fast food joint in high school more stressful than working in a level 1 ER.

Customers were rude, the monotony killed me, Two 15 minutes breaks in a 9 hour shift with management giving you a little kitchen timer so you didn't spend 1 second too long trying to pee and eat....(has a lot in common with nursing actually, but at least I'm getting paid more than $5/hr)

I digress,

You started your post with "My SIL whom is very smart"

I think as a smart person, she needs to be doing the research, not you.

No meanness intended with this response at all

So many things I agree with in this post.

I remember one of my easiest patient assignments in private duty home health. I was on easy street but I felt more antsy and frustrated than I ever did in more complex cases.

Emotional satisfaction is a HUGE factor in perceived stress, and something no online stranger can quantify.

I also laughed a little at the RT's comment about RT's having more stress than nurses because of the critical care needs. Yeah like... what? There aren't critical care nurses too? :lol2:

R*Star*RN, BSN, RN

Specializes in LTC, Med-Surg, IMCU/Tele, HH/CM.

Here is how I tell people to decide (sort of funny but true):

If sputum makes you want to vomit, become a nurse.

If urine and feces and blood make you want to vomit, become an RT.

But yes both jobs would b e stressful. As a nurse you have a little more choice in what area you want to work in, while I'd think RT would be limited to the hospital. You could be a clinic nurse, a home health nurse, and office nurse of some sort (ie medical records).

noahsmama

Specializes in pediatrics, public health.

If she doesn't do well with stress then the answer to what she should be is "neither".

But I agree that this is her decision, not yours. Does she agree with you that she doesn't do well with stress, or is that just your opinion?

RescueNinja

Specializes in ICU, ER.

Neither. Both are stressful.

FYI, RTs are not the only ones working in highly stressful, critical care environments. Nurses are there 24/7 and a lot of non-respiratory crap hits the fan too. RTs arent there for those stressful moments, but the nurses are.

OP- do you know what each job involves?

If you search for RT, then RN- and find out the different things they do, you might be able to answer your own question:) Each person has their own definition of stress. What one person thinks is acceptable is another person's nightmare.

[quote=R*Star*RN;5878567]Here is how I tell people to decide (sort of funny but true):

If sputum makes you want to vomit, become a nurse.

If urine and feces and blood make you want to vomit, become an RT.

But yes both jobs would b e stressful. As a nurse you have a little more choice in what area you want to work in, while I'd think RT would be limited to the hospital. You could be a clinic nurse, a home health nurse, and office nurse of some sort (ie medical records).

I have used that analogy to make my decision to become a nurse as well. However, I have worked in a hospital as a sitter and now as a CA for more than four years. I have seen nurses suction patients too, expecially in the ICU. Also, Ive seen plenty of sputum coming out of trachs. Found myself gagging a couple of times or having to leave the room. It is funny because nothing else like vomit, feces, blood, or seeing a gall bladder being removed in the OR makes me nauseous or give me a feeling I want to jump out of my skin. So nursing here I come! I guess I just can't be an ICU/CCU nurse. I expect to do some suctioning here and there but not on a regular basis.

Some other medical professions claim that nurses do all of the dirty work but I have seen physical therapy, occupational therapy, and radiology clean up paients if they defecate or urinate. They dont wait for the patient to be transported back to the unit for the nurse or tech to clean them up.

Has she considered PT? It comes with it's on set of problems/stress as anything does, but it would give her direct patient care in a hospital or outpatient setting and awesome hours!

I agree with the statements that she needs to make her own decision, but she may also want to understand that RT's go to all the codes and they deal with pts. with a high level of acuity.There are more options with nursing.

JSBoston

Specializes in Med/Surg/Onc, LTAC.

I haven't been an RT, but I've worked with many many RT's, especially when I was working LTAC with trachs/vents.

In MY opinion (take it or leave it, just an opinion lol)... At the LTAC level RT's had it MADE. They get to monitor the vents/trachs, get to be in the best position during a code, but had HOURS of sitting and relaxing if they wanted (even napping), while nurses and cna's got the call bells, vent alarms and did trach care other than their scheduled times.

At a hospital, they do seem to work harder, but we don't need them much on my floor, so I can't say.

RN is much more stressful typically. However, if you hate math, RT school will be an absolute suck fest.

wanderlustRN24

Specializes in Telemetry.

Someone else mentioned PT/OT and from what I can tell, at my hospital, they have it made!

They are not present at any of the codes, they simply get the patients up out of bed into a chair or ambulate them in the room or down the hall. If the patient is non-ambulatory, they do exercises with them in bed. There are always 2 (a PT and a PTA), so they don't need help. I get my patients up and to the bathroom/chair/reposition in bed multiple times a day so really, what are they doing differently?

They make recommendations for activity which the doctor approves. The majority of the time, they come looking for the nurse to ask THE NURSE what the patient's level of activity is and they go from there (drives me crazy, but that's a different topic).

Also, they probably make twice as much $ as me and get to call themselves "Dr." They see the patient for 15-20 minutes and if the patient is at a procedure, they leave and come back the next day. Easy, breezy.

But before I offend anyone with these comments, let me say that I am aware that PTs/OTs that work in long term rehab probably do SO MUCH MORE than the ones that work in acute care. I'm only talking about PT/OT in my hospital from what I can see...it looks super easy.

As far as the original question, I think RN is much more stressful than RT. But I'm probably biased;) TEAM RN!

JSBoston

Specializes in Med/Surg/Onc, LTAC.

WanderlustRN24- I worked with so many PT/OT who were awesome, knew their stuff, worked hard, had tons of schooling etc, very great people... but my god, they still had it SO much easier than us and they knew it too! Everything you said- they had their scheduled times with the pt's, saw the new admits charts before ME, had their hour lunch breaks as a group when I didn't get to eat until I got home at the end of the day.

If I could go back in time I'd do OT or PT, minus the schooling, they have it a thousand times better than us.

NickB

Specializes in NICU Transport/NICU.

They're both stressful. When we have a sick baby in front of us, I'm stressed to get an IV started, make sure the temp. is good, check pressures, to get fluids and sugar and meds in the baby, get labs, and make sure the situation flows as smoothly as possible. They are stressed to intubate if needed, get a blood gas, control O2 sats, etc. There are ups and downs during both of our days. She just needs to do what she loves and not worry about the stress.

RNOTODAY, BSN, RN

Specializes in NICU, ER, OR.

i agree with noahsmama-- if she has a prob with stress, nothing healthcare related should be in her choices of professions....

wanderlustRN24

Specializes in Telemetry.

Oh and I forgot to mention, if the patient soils themselves when the PT gets them up, PT comes running out of the room to the nurse so that the nurse can clean them up. In the meantime, PT is just hanging out or leaves the floor completely. And they have like 1 one-sided page of charting. Awesome.

But I still love my job.

i agree with noahsmama-- if she has a prob with stress, nothing healthcare related should be in her choices of professions....

A significant portion of the population of the United States has stress and depression issues. Many healthcare workers are on medications for these issues. I'm not sure I'd make a sweeping generalisation about career choice.

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