Quote from gypsierose
Also, I used to think I wouldn't like the fact that patients come and go and you don't make a 1:1 connection with them, but lately that seems much more desirable. My question is- am I way off base to consider ER nursing? What kind of personality works well in the ER? Will I learn to love the adrenaline rush? Does it matter? Thanks!
There are different types of people who enjoy ED nursing. I'm not sure so-called adrenaline junkies have a leg up on anyone - that's not to take anything away from them either, it's just that so much of ED nursing isn't that, and there are other motivators besides adrenaline rushes. Regardless, the ED is in no way comprised solely by the type of person to which you refer. It's kind of more of a stereotype that doesn't hold up as far as I can tell. I've assumed it is a common belief because of stories people hear (those stories being told by the type who likes to tell stories of their adventures)...
The idea that ED nurses don't connect with patients is another misunderstanding that a lot of people have. In the same way good ED nurses learn to make quick and fairly accurate assessments of physical condition, we also learn how to assess other factors quickly (personalities, social and situational factors, body language, etc.) in order connect with people in the shorter time frames we work within. It may be a challenge, but given that so many of our patients don't have a host of other options when seeking care in the ED (due to either the urgent or emergent nature of their situations, or due to social or financial situations that limit their care options), I think it is a worthy challenge.
I do prefer the shorter duration of our patient relationships. Maybe this is a common preference amongst nurses who enjoy the ED, I'm not sure about that. I wouldn't enjoy 12 hours with the same patients; it's emotionally draining, like hosting people who overstay their welcome while you endlessly try to maintain decorum.