I work in Critical Care.
I would say the Pro's are that we typically only have 2 patients, sometimes 1 if they are very sick. (I've seen patients be 2:1 as well and have heard of ratios of 4:1 for VERY sick patients). So because of that, our assessment skills need to be very good and we have a lot of specialized skills for our unit, including care and removal of arterial lines/swan ganz/CVP and arrhythmia knowledge. Not saying these are unique to only ICU, but these are some of the things we deal with.
So because of this you have to really be ready to continually update your knowledge because different hospitals have different equipment and are always looking for ways to improve. You have to be comfortable taking care of sick patients, and I think with most floors, think quickly and be quick on your feet. I enjoy the fast-paced environment.
What I like is when we have that very rare very sick patient with a small chance of survival who gets better and ends up doing to a rehab facility, talk about feeling good inside!
Well because our patients are sicker, we also have more deaths on average than most other floors, I believe the average for hospitals hear in California is 13%, and that can range. You tend to have the patients longer because most of them don't recover in a day, so there is definitely some family issues that commonly occur. Good people skills are a need!
I hope that helps a bit! People will have different perspectives to add I'm sure.