ER: Are you happy there?

  1. Hello all,
    I am in my last semester of school and narrowing down my options after graduation. I loved the time I have spent in the ER. I know it is a very stressfull, busy place and is quite demanding physically and emotionally.

    I have noticed, though, that the ER as compared to other specialties seems to have a high rate of burn out. Even here on allnurses, the posts on this thread seem more often to be of frustration and exhaustion.

    Despite the stress, are you happy working in the ER? Have I gotten the wrong impression?

    I have other life experiences which lead me to believe that I can handle stress and the physical and emotional demands of the ER. But I am reluctant to enter a field where so many people seem to be frustrated and burned out.

    Any thoughts?
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  2. 21 Comments

  3. by   susi_q
    Love ER ... Hate ER ... would never want to work anywhere else (for now at least)


    what you hear on these boards is a lot of venting. we deal with some crazy stuff from all sides ... bosses, fellow staff, patients ... but there are so many options out there for nurses, there is no reason for anyone to stay where they don't feel is a good fit. Try it for yourself. Where you start does not determine where you stay ... It's not for everyone. You need to be sharp, assertive, flexible, tough & tender ... but if it's for you...you'll love it.
  4. by   TazziRN
    Critical care units do have a high burnout rate compared to other specialties, true.

    Me: I love it! There are certain aspects that I don't like, even hate, but on the whole I love it and can't imagine doing anything else.
  5. by   traumaRUs
    I worked at a level one trauma center for 10 years and absolutely loved it. The only reason I left was because of no advanced practice positions.
  6. by   MomNRN
    Love it - wouldn't work in any other unit!
  7. by   JessicRN
    Been an ED nurse 15 years been hit, spit on,urinated on, vomitted on and screamed at and I would never change my specialty.Love what I do have good days and bad days in the ED, good patients and bad ones as well. Best thing about it is even if have bad patient won't have the same pt the next day and usually gone within 6 hours
  8. by   EmerNurse
    I was med-surg before going to the ER. I tend to be very organized and I enjoyed (on the floor) being able to "sort of" plan my day a little bit, and I had a decent idea of who my patients were. Not that that didn't change on a dime, but you get the idea.

    That said, I've been an ER nurse for a few months now and I LOVE it. I like the mayhem, the challenge to time-management, and never knowing what's coming through the door. I also love knowing that the PITA patient is probably gonna be gone soon. I won't see him or his know-it-all family again tomorrow!

    Took me a while to "find my niche" in nursing, but ER seems to be it.

  9. by   HRM672
    Thanks everyone!
  10. by   Jennifer, RN
    Complaining and venting keeps me sane. I see a lot of terrible and horrible things in the ER, but I LOVE my job. I can not imagine working any where else as a nurse. Did floor nursing for a while, but found it to be boring (I'm sure all the floor nurses will respond and condemn me), but did become proficient in my nursing skills and critical thinking.
  11. by   TinyNurse
    I LOVE the ER, and have only worked in the ER.

    The venting and complaining you hear is because as ER nurses we see and get EVERYTHING! By the time the patient hits the floor they are stable and somewhat cleaned up.

    Again, in the ER, you see everything from a clinic patient to an acute MI, to a multi-system trauma. That's why I love the ER.
  12. by   teeituptom
    The only thing I would rather be is Tiger Woods, Look at all that money and a such a gorgeous wife. wow what a life
  13. by   erdaynurse
    Even after a horrible shift I can not imagine working anywhere else. There is a lot of burn out - you see awful things and are abused daily...but no where else do you see immediate return on making someone in severe pain or distress comfortable and walking out the door after hugging you and telling them what a miracle-worker you are! It's GREAT!!
  14. by   angel337
    I can't imagine doing anything else right now. Love ER. I plan to eventually get into some teaching positions in the future but as for now ER is the only hospital work i will do.

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