What I love(d) about the ED (my ED time is 6 years ago last)
*the call to gear up really fast
*an opportunity to use all of your knowledge, thinking, experience, skills etc
*"guest appearance nursing"--if a pt drove you nuts, you knew they wouldn't be there long and (generally) wouldn't be there tomorrow
*Generally ED docs are smart, fun to work with, flexible and willing to respect nursing expertise
*Front row seat on humanity in all of it's ghastliness and glory
*A job that always finds a way to show you something "new" now and then
What I hated
*Frequently flyers (repeaters that come in for loneliness, stupidity, poor self-management, etc). Even though you even grew to like some of these folks, they grind you down by showing up on your busiest nights
*Exposures to violence, disrespect etc and some of the saddest folks on earth and, alas, the children they bear
*Having admin tell me, "that ER is PR," which I agree with, but they tell you that by way of letting you know that they expect you to take (at times) unbelievable loads of c**p in the name of PR
*the expectation of doing the undoable: seeing people promptly when they're stacked to the rafters; trying to meet the public's burger king expectations (fast food care) while sorting out the really sick from the drunk and the obnoxious (and BTW, occasionally the really sick are the drunk and the obnoxious); having absolutely no control over how many people come through your doors and being expected to maintain very high standards of care; sometimes having more info to process than you could process.
*the risk of litigation about factors that you cannot always control
ED remains the only hospital role that could lure me back to the hospital.