10 Completely Unrealistic Moments in Television ERs

The ER and a Home Life Don't Mix
There are definitely long days (and nights) for ER doctors, but most of them also have lives away from the hospital. © 4774344sean/iStockphotos

ERs are 24/7 operations, so physicians and other emergency team members may pull some overnight and holiday shifts, but if you watch TV shows about emergency rooms, you might think the staff practically lives at work. The reality: In general, most ER doctors typically work eight- to 12-hour shifts, and in total work upward of 1,500 to 2,000 hours annually [source: Reiter]. Although that's a serious time commitment for work, contrary to the day-to-day workloads we watch our favorite fictional medical teams handle (and their nights catching a few zzzs on an empty hospital cot), emergency medicine physicians do have lives outside of the hospital. In fact, on average, emergency medicine physicians take about four weeks of vacation every year, and about one-fifth take more. And, despite the long hours they may sometimes work, the marriage rates among ER doctors are higher than the rate among all Americans, and nearly half of those who are married consider themselves happily so [source: Medscape].