Gotta agree with surferbettycrocker on this one. Excellent points. Higher acuity does not *always* mean less patients and more time to chart and/or spend with patients. The thing with cardiac and/or med-surg tele is that we *do* get the patients who have both general med-surg concerns AND a cardiac complication (or 2 or 3 or 8). Whereas, perhaps, floors exclusive to cardiac surgery may be less likely to get patients who have originally been admitted for something else entirely. ICU is another story.
Nurseraven, I've worked both med-surg and cardiac/step-down but never ICU. I basically stand by what I said in my response to the OP and also what surferbettycrocker just said. As for your thought:
".....And also, i have a feeling that higher acuity units are not physically as heavy as general med-surg wards. So nurses get more time to do their actual nursing assessments..."
The reason nurses get assigned less patients on higher acuity floors is because the patients' needs are more numerous and/or more complicated. 5 med-surg patients may easily equal 2 ICU/Step-down patients in terms of time spent with the patient doing the education, med-passing, dressing-changes, and assessments. Not to mention charting.
Med-surg is a great place to get your feet wet, so to speak, but it's hard to say that this floor or that floor will always be harder or busier or whatever because that depends so much on the patients, staffing, and general area. I've had relatively easy shifts on cardiac and really hellish shifts on med-surg. But, in general, my cardiac/med-surg tele assignments have usually been busier and much more complicated for me.