I just wrote a big long post about ESH and it got deleted somehow!!!!!
Anyway, here's the quicker, short version:
I'm a MHA there, for about a year now. I love the place. The staff is awesome - I don't have a big problem with anyone. I work night shift and and I know night shift people are a little odd in general, but I think that people at ESH are very intelligent and open-minded (maybe a little "out-there" by KY standards, which I think is a very good thing
Except for the geriatric floor, the pace is pretty laid back - It's more interacting with people than handling physical injuries. Sometimes nurses that have a 2nd job at a regular hospital get a little antsy because they're used to more urgent medical problems.
Are the patients scary? The women are a little just because they are sneaky and manipulative. The men, not really - you're more likely to get hit on than to get hit. ( an unmedicated schizophrenic followed a co-worker around the other day saying he loved her, then proceeded to make out with the pitcher of juice she just put down. So funny!) Just don't be easily offended. You'll see some wacky stuff
Of course people do get hurt during psych codes (rarely) but I think that the staff is very good about RUNNING to help you. There is always a big group of guys there within a min to help during codes. I've never been worried for my safety.
Are the buildings scary? That depends on you. They are 200 years old in places, there's an abandoned tunnel system to a bunch of abandoned buildings and a "dungeon" (none of that is used now, obviously). And, there are about 10,000 unmarked graves on the grounds ( Look here: awesome! Naming the Forgotten - The Eastern State Hospital Project
). If you want to interpret every squeak and groan of an old building as being "ghosts" you'll probably freak out and leave the first week. If you have any common sense you'll be just fine though.
Personally I think working in a place with so much history is amazing. I'm going to be so sad when they build the new hospital.
In general, I have no problems with working there.