I'm a student, and I just finished my placement on a medical floor. (pts mostly had strokes, heart attacks, or other random problems, but not surgical) I found it to be a great experience, and it's and area I'd consider working in (but that's a couple years away still!) The nurses on the floor were great
I know many of my classmates said "I never wanna do this" cuz they have other ideas in mind, and also because of our tutor. Unfortunately, she was a nice enough person generally, but was very very critical of everything we did. It seemed like we could never do anything right, and could never know enough or prepare well enough, and I think this discouraged a lot of people.
Also, some of them didn't like the patient population (as in, "old people"). Many of them want to do peds or OB. (or at least they think they do!) Really, I think a lot of them see these areas as "more fun", although I found many of my older patients were a lot of fun to get to know. Also, some of them have some sort of strange belief that other areas do not have "gross things" in them. (gross things being ulcers, tubes of all sorts, body output...) I don't know what they'll do when they actually SEE what goes on in other areas. (plz... no gross stuff in OB??)
Next year I'm hoping to have a placement on an orthopedic or cardiac floor. But who knows... placements are a random chance!
As a student, I have no idea about staffing issues, but on the floor I was on, they seemed to have manageable pt loads. (4pt/nurse on day shift, I think 4-6 on nights) For the moment I refuse to be frustrated by a situation I am not yet in! Maybe by not thinking about it, it'll go away by the time I graduate? ya right, but hey, a girl can hope!