I am an emergency RN with about 10 months of experience. I work in a level II trauma center in Indiana and I started fresh out of school.
1) It is a crazy environment that always keeps me on my toes. Every day is different yet still has somewhat of a routine in a sense of my job duties in given scenarios.
I had the benefit of a fantastic team of managers and coworkers who are all very supportive. My preceptor was very knowledgeable and really helped me to see the 'why' behind what I was doing, not just doing things robotically. You have to critically think as a nurse to anticipate your next course of action.
2) I work 3, 12 hour shifts each week (7a-7p) and I have the option of picking up more hours if I want to. We have 4 different shifts in our ED, 7a-7p, 11a-11p, 3p-3a, and 7p-7a.
If you are interested in a career as an ED RN you need to be flexible. Things can change in an instant and you need to be able to roll with it. You will be on your feet for hours and probably not have a structured break/lunch schedule. (Desk? What is this desk you speak of? lol)
We have a 3:1 ratio with our patients and we triage them based on severity of symptoms and resources they will require (trauma bays typically are 1:1).
3) There is a very broad spectrum from paramedic to MD. Honestly, I don't think I would categorize paramedic into nursing because they work in different arenas.
Paramedics and EMTs are your first responders, they provide care in the field and bring the patients to the hospitals to continue that care. While they are an important part of patient care, nurses don't typically work in the field with them or vise versa.
Nurses are the bridge between the patient and the healthcare provider (MD, DO, PA, NP). We assess the patients and administer medications as well as some treatment (within our scope of practice).
This being said, if you are considering a career as an RN, there are so many different areas you can go into if the ED doesn't sound right for you.