Air Force and Pediatric Questions

  1. Hi, I am considering nursing school and weighing the opions of doing it through the Air Force. I am married and have a 2 year old boy and we are hoping for more children in the future. I am really interested pediatric nursing, I am pretty sure this is what I want to do. With the Air Force, the only thing holding me back is the idea of deployment. I know this is a realistic part of being in the military and I don't know what state the world will be in 5 years from now when I am in Active Duty. I just don't think I could be away from my husband and son.
    So...
    Any pediatric nurses in the military? Any insights on life in the military with a family and deployment? Is there a less likely chance of being deployed if specializing in pediatrics?
    This is just such a massive decision and I would really like some hands on insight and wisdom because I am leary of talking to a recruiter. I met with recruiters after high school and it seems to me that they will say anything to get you to join the boat.
    Thanks so much!
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   catlady
    I wasn't a nurse at the time, but I did spend four years as an Air Force officer many years ago. The reality is that once you join up, they own you. It's your responsibility to figure out what to do with your kids, not theirs, and you always take the risk of being separated from your family. They expect you to handle it.

    Why do you want to join the AF? I did it because I was young, single, and unemployed. You have so many other options. If you want to travel, become a travel nurse. And they don't pay as well as private employers, IIRC. I would never have joined if I'd had my child then.

    And yes, absolutely the recruiters will tell you anything you want to hear to get you to sign up.
  4. by   TazziRN
    Not military nurse but a former brat. Pedies can be deployed too, just probably not into conflicts. There are brats living all over the world and they need pedies. As long as you're not in a conflict your family can go with you.
  5. by   Jolie
    I've never been an Air Force nurse, so I don't have first-hand knowledge, but my sister was an Air Force physician, so I have seen some aspects of having a healthcare career in the military.

    She went to med school on an AF scholarship so that she would not be in massive debt upon graduation. She received full tuition, book money and fees, as well as a small living stipend in exchange for a 4-year payback period. The AF chose her specialty for her, and assigned her to a residency program. Her 3 years of residency did not count toward her payback time, as it was still considered education.

    She was assigned to an AFB stateside to begin her payback, and would have remained there for her full 4 years, had she not been deployed overseas to a war zone to provide emergency care to a multi-national peacekeeping force. Most of her patients were not American, and she was faced with a huge language barrier in providing care to them. Her husband and children could not accompany her overseas.

    She was fortunate that her deployment only lasted 6 months. When she returned to the States, she sought out a civilian position so that she would not have to face future deployments to locations where her family could not accompany her.

    When her payback time was completed, she went into civilian practice, which was a huge adjustment, as she had never had to deal with insurance companies before. She found the quality of medical practice to be far superior in the military than in civilian practice.

    I would strongly caution you to find out (and get promises in writing) whether or not you will be allowed to choose your own specialty. Good luck!
  6. by   Blee O'Myacin
    And I am not just talking about the middle east - Bosnia, the Sudan and other places in the midst of conflicts have a great need for medical personnel.

    If you are looking to serve your country, then the AF may be the way to go for you. If you are looking for a free ride through nursing school, there are many hospitals that ask for a 3 year committment as opposed to six years of active duty.

    Good luck with whatever you decide!

    Blee


    Quote from msbelva
    Hi, I am considering nursing school and weighing the opions of doing it through the Air Force. I am married and have a 2 year old boy and we are hoping for more children in the future. I am really interested pediatric nursing, I am pretty sure this is what I want to do. With the Air Force, the only thing holding me back is the idea of deployment. I know this is a realistic part of being in the military and I don't know what state the world will be in 5 years from now when I am in Active Duty. I just don't think I could be away from my husband and son.
    So...
    Any pediatric nurses in the military? Any insights on life in the military with a family and deployment? Is there a less likely chance of being deployed if specializing in pediatrics?
    This is just such a massive decision and I would really like some hands on insight and wisdom because I am leary of talking to a recruiter. I met with recruiters after high school and it seems to me that they will say anything to get you to join the boat.
    Thanks so much!
  7. by   traumaRUs
    Please don't go into the military with the idea that you can avoid deployments. It just isn't realistic. I was active duty Navy when my son was born. My husband was active duty Air Force. We were both overseas and I was due to rotate to a ship - our son was 4 months old. It was very, very hard.

    My husband was career military and we had several assignments that were not the best: Korea comes to mind. We went on an accompanied tour (meaning spouse and family) and our son was very, very ill and there were peds MDs and RNs at the base - some with family and some by themselves.

    I agree that maybe the military isn't the best idea. Being separated is truly a way of life for many in the military. Even if you don't actually get separated by military service, you have to be totally ready for deployment and separation.

    Good luck.

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