Whats the best thing you like about the ER? Whats the least you like?

  1. Im a med surge nurse with 1.5 years experience in ortho neuro trauma at a level 1 hospital . I am used to getting 2-4 admits and doing about 3-4 discharges a day. I would love to advance to the ER. I have an offer, but a part of me is scared to do it! The patient ratio is 4 unless vented or ICU status then 1. They do a podding system where you buddy up with your nurse so that means at times more then 4 patients.

    I wanna know what you guys think is the best part of working in the emergency room? And what do you think is the worse?

    Also i was told 11am-11pm is the busiest and i would be coming in from 3pm-3am. Does that mean i would have no sit down chart time from 3-11? Im used to working on a busy floor and feel the ER would def look n ice on my resume for future advancement!

    Thoughts/opinions would be appreciated much
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    About KittyinNj

    Joined: Nov '09; Posts: 70; Likes: 15
    Keeping my sanity :)


  3. by   JessiekRN
    Best- the teamwork, comraderie, intelligence and support of my co workers. Learning something different every shift. Never stagnant, the ER is constantly shifting, evolving, moving, flowing- I love that every minute is changing. I love expecting the unexpected. The worst? I've learned not to trust patients, there are simply too many that are there to abuse the system, steal time and resources from the truly sick. People can be mean, families selfish and demanding, some days I feel like I'm just putting out fires, appeasing some less than savory individuals who aren't sick and have no right to be in the ER in the first place. But- and this is back to the best part section- you take the moments of gratification, however small, where you find them. It can make all the crummy parts forgettable, even if its for a minute. I did med surg for a while but I've come to love the ER. You see the good, the bad, the ugly. The earaches and the heart attacks. Full spectrum. It's life at its best and worst. The mundane, and the things I couldn't make up if I tried. Hope this helps.
  4. by   lagalanurse
    The best: teamwork, having a doctor available, never having the same day twice and saving a patients life.
    The worst: not having help when I really need it, needy and dramatic patients that take me away from the ones who really need me and dead patients. I really like my patients to have a pulse.

    All in all, I love ER. I didn't originally seek it out, I just kinda landed there. Since I like patients with a pulse, ER doesn't seem like a good fit. But I learned that the only thing I hate more is taking care of the same patient for weeks and then them becoming one of those pulse less patients I don't care for. So it's a good fit:-)
  5. by   BSNbeauty
    Best: Team work, NEVER a dull moment, always learning. Doc is always there. Seeing that my interventions saved a life or seeing the result of my interventions right away. High turnover, "moving the meat".
    Worse- Dramatic, drunk patients that take up so much of my precious time that can be used to help someone who is truly sick. I don't care so much about those who abuse the system, what really gets me upset is a 35 y/o drunk who is acting beligerent when I have a 0m old baby who needs my help.

    I'm not sure if the ED is a great fit for me, but I just try my best to have a positive attitude. I do see myself getting burnt out quick.
  6. by   Larry77
    Best--definitely the quick turnover, if you have a difficult patient you have them for hours instead of days or weeks like other dept's

    Worst--drug seekers, people who use the ED for primary care, and tragic cases where you really feel homicidal towards idiots who hurt innocents (ie shaken baby).

    Your question about "sit down time" to do charting is not really relevant to the ED, we have to chart as we go. Most of the departments I've been involved in require new staff to start on night shift so if you can get in on a mid-shift (11-23, 15-03) that is a plus. I loved mid-shift and worked it for years before I became a day-shift charge nurse, it's busy, you get to work with all shifts, and you can sleep in :-)

    People who love the ED are a special breed and if you think it's for you...GO FOR IT! We could use more crazy people in the world :-) Good luck and it is very normal and healthy to be scared...
  7. by   KittyinNj
    thanks for the responses appreciate it much! i have the er position and neuro and am torn between the two, i can def see the quick turnover being a good thing because yes the patients who have you for 1-3 days in a row do become quite needy and abusive at times
  8. by   rachelrcarlson
    I have applied to the RN program and awaiting an acceptance or non-acceptance letter. I seem to be drawn to the ER and, as of now, I am confident when I graduate I will apply to an ER. I really appreciate reading everyone's comments. It gives me a better idea about the ER and increasing my desire to go to the ER. I have really meditated on the worse parts of the ER via you all’s comments. I just wanted to tell everyone thank you for helping this newbie get a better idea of the ER.

    Thank you.
  9. by   FranEMTnurse
    I was an EMT for 18 years, and loved the fast pace of it all. I knew I would have a good ER nurse. Unfortunately, I got sick and wasn't able to work in one.
  10. by   Rhi007
    Love: high patient turn overs, the sense of belonging and family and the docs that don't have incomprehensible scribble

    Hate: the extremely abusive patients (drunks and ODs mostly) and going with the doctor to tell a family we exhausted all medical possibilities
  11. by   turnforthenurse
    I work on a PCU, but I am thinking about transitioning to the ER. I have been floating down there recently and I really enjoy it. I worked down there before, but that was ages ago, it seems.

    Love: camaraderie, the providers (at my hospital I feel like the nurses and doctors are equals, unlike on the floors where I feel like most doctors have a "God complex" in their heads), the high patient turnover (if you have a difficult or pain in the butt patient you only have to deal with them for a few hours vs. for a whole 12 hours or a few days on the floors), teamwork, and every night is different.

    Hate: drug seekers, abusive patients, patients who abuse the system, demanding family members.

    As for charting, you chart as you go. You don't really sit down and chart. And at my hospital, each nurse gets around 4 patients but we all help each other out. I will admit patients with less urgent things (yet they still come to the ER) and still find myself helping out with a patient who came in with atrial fib with RVR, difficultly breathing and hyperkalemia.
  12. by   mom of 1
    can anyone give me some good examples of nursing exemplars form ER experience?? looking for my nsg classes,thank you.
  13. by   thelema13
    The best part about the ED is the autonomy, camaraderie, fast-paced critical situations, the crazy stories and the downtime at night.

    The worst is having to deal with patients.
  14. by   GM2RN
    I agree with everyone else, but the absolute worst for me is when the hospital is full and have to hold pts in the ER when they have a ton of floor orders. There's a reason I'm not a floor nurse so I hate having holders, especially 2-4 at a time.