Navy Nurse Questions - page 6

I'm sure this question has been asked more than once, so please bear with me. I've been sifting through all the information I can find, but I still don't quite understand... I've just started... Read More

  1. by   DanznRN
    I'll second that!!!!

    LCDR(s) Dan
  2. by   kookinitreal
    Quote from navynurse06
    I'm don't understand why you feel the need to attacked me, but if that makes you feel better about your situation go right ahead.
    I've always told everyone on here that I work in Peds. I've never said I worked in med/surg. So I dont' understand where you are getting that I'm not telling people the truth on here.
    I know I don't work as hard as you guys up there on the 5th deck; I've never claimed to. My job pretty easy compared to what you is I"m sure. But I didnt' ask for peds when I came it; I didn't want to go there b/c it was easy. I was told that would be a good path to the ER so I took it. You just could have easliy been put in the areas that you talk down about just as I could have been put on the 5th deck. That was just how the cards were dealt.
    Also, I'm deployed with many people who work on th 5th deck that aren't as bitter about navy nursing as you are!
    ENS PM
    This thread is nothing personal toward you. I don't know you and you're probably a real nice person. You offer the truth according to a peds nurse and I offer a different view of the Navy than you. It gets exhausting when I come up to the hospital to do my R status on my days off (of course) and I see peds/psych/mother-baby nurses (nurses I know) just milling about the hospital b/c they're bored. "Only two or three patients and mom or dad is with them."

    Your deployed with just a couple nurses from the 5th deck and trust me...the line was long...b/c deployment = to the ER/PACU/ICU. Not to mention you can't be on a ship and on the floor at the same time. Don't think they're not bitter...they've just learned how to smile, turn the other cheek and say "thank you may I have another."

    For all those out there who are wondering about the Navy...It's one of the best deals going and I wish someone had told me the following...

    FIRST DUTY STATION...GO TO A SMALL COMMAND...you may have 15 patients but it'll be 15 easy patients. Jg's and Lt's with lots of experience bragging about "how they had 15 patients" struggle with 4 patients in my work center. It's not lack of prioritization you just have that much to do. It's nothing to hang blood/discharge someone/admit someone/administer chemo within one hour. Don't think the other four patients laid off the call lights for that hour either.

    And if you have to go to a big command "you love pregnant women/kids and psych." You'll end up in a speciality area sooner and the road to get there is a lot easier. The detailer will tell you how you need med/surg experience to go to the ICU/OR/ED/PACU. Just smile and say "my passion is with kids." And if they say well..."we really need med/surg nurses"..."you believe the best fit for you would be in Telemetry." 9/10 chest pain patients are walkie talkie = easy day.
  3. by   dm22
    Navyspouse,

    you said something to the effect of "whether you like the Navy depends on you."

    Could you elaborate on that? what makes a successful Navy Nurse Officer?
  4. by   navyspouse
    Quote from dm22
    Navyspouse,

    you said something to the effect of "whether you like the Navy depends on you."

    Could you elaborate on that? what makes a successful Navy Nurse Officer?
    DM22~
    Please keep in mind after reading my post, that I am a Navy Spouse who also is in school for nursing. What I was referring to is the military, no matter what branch you are, is not for everyone. You have to be a individual, husband/wife, who can tolerate deployments, leaving at a moments notice, etc. Now that stated, I am a firm believer that the same goes for anyone who is active. In other words, you as a individual have control over what your life holds for you. Hope this answers your questions.
  5. by   DanznRN
    Kookinitreal-

    Have you ever worked in the civilian world? I'm curious, because if you ask any other Med-Surg nurses here, it's no different than what you are experiencing. And they don't have the corpsmen to delegate to, what little you can, do you delegate? If you are seeing other nurses "milling about" as you put it, I suggest contacting the NOD and asking for help with a clear explaination of what is going on at that time, don't complain to them, just ask if there are nurses that can come help. Are you ever the shift charge nurse? Make the call. Ask Navynurse06 about her being floated to other areas of the hospital to help out, trust me she's done it, so have I. There are 2 courses you can take in the Navy, gripe and complain about how tough life is, turn the other cheek and keep going. Or you can stand up and say something and do something about it. Nothing changes in the Navy without speaking up. Does it mean sticking your neck out a bit, yes, does it mean drawing attention to yourself, yes. If you want it to change, speak up. Coming on here and bashing other areas of the hospital and Navy nurses for not being as busy as you solves nothing. Be the better officer and attempt to change it for you and your fellow nurses. Advising nurses not in the Navy to do what you said with the recruiter and trying to get a specialty area from the get go, shortchanges them on valuable experience. You will be the better nurse in the long run for having the experience your having. You'll be able to run circles around lesser experienced nurses. you already talked about LTs who are stressed with 4 pts., how many are handling? Don't complain about it, use it to your advantage. Put it on the Brag sheet, point it out to your boss, promote yourself, that's how people get promoted. I know you think life, rather work, stinks now, I did too, even go out cause of it in 2002 for 11 months. Trust me, you have it way better in than out, you just need a differnent perspective. Think harder and use what you see as detrimental as far as your work situation and turn it around to your advantage.

    DM22-

    Read what I wrote above to Kookinitreal, that's what makes a better officer. You have to rise above what you have and do something about it to make it better for you and yourself, it's about being there for your people, even when you are the low man on the totem pole. If you want specifics, let me know.

    LCDR(s) Dan
  6. by   kookinitreal
    Quote from DanznRN
    Kookinitreal-

    Since you have not offered your rank I have o clue when you went to OIS, my wife went in 2003 and it was no knife and fork school. It was when I went in 1997, but things have changed. The experience is more closelyt matched with that of boot camp, no, they are not the same in the least. you have to keep in mind that a teenager out of high school requires a different structure than an adult who has just spent 4,5, or 8 years in a university.

    As for work stations, I'm all ER/ Trauma/ ICU. Started there in NMCSD in 1997 in the ER, went to Great Lakes in the ICU, then to Sigonella, Italy to the ER. I agree that people in the Med/ Surg floors have it rough, as for the schedule, I worked the same as you. I had every other weekend off or worked every other weekend, depends on your perception. As far as call, been there done that too and I didn't get paid extra for it. Alos have done the NOD too. Have you ever been a civilian nurse? I got in 2002 for 11 months because I thought the grass was greener, trust me it wasn't. My wife was a civilian nurse before she came in the Navy and she had the same requirements of being on call. I don't doubt you're overworked, we all are, just read an article in the paper about how overworked the military nurses are, it's a tough time right now. I've been where you are at, contrary to your belief, the specialty areas require as much work if not more. No I never had 20 patients to pass meds on or assess, but the mental demands of the specialty areas can be quite high.

    I too am sorry your having a bad experience there, it happens, I've had them everywhere I went, including the civilian world. Having stuck it out and been in 10+ years, now in DUINS it's starting to pay off. I put on LCDR in August and life has never been so good. I met with a CAPT the other day whose been in for 33 years and still likes it, actually both him and his wife have been in, her for 26 years. Once you pay your dues you start to get the rewards and the yearly raise, promotions, and other benfits don't hurt either.

    As for time to do personal stuff at work, never heard of that, that's why it's called work, not personal time. you may have a time management problem there. As for the charge nurse hounding, they obviously don't recognize the need for you all to have your full 30min. for lunch, you need the break. That's just poor management on his/ her part and probably a lack of willingness to cover your patients, but that's a guess.

    LCDR(s) Dan

    I'm behind you 100%...Your duty stations are exactly what I'm telling the viewers to do. You went right into a specialty area then stayed at a small command. I didn't notice anywhere where you said you worked med/surg in a large command. I don't doubt for a second you're a great nurse and now you're reaping the rewards of DUINS. I'm not angry at people in peds/psych/mother-baby. I'm jealous...They get all the same benefits (salary, promotions, training, deployments) I'm telling the viewers not to believe the old guard..."you need med/surg experience before you can work in specialty areas." The current climate is where management is not letting anyone into specialty areas out of school. So, your next best option is peds/psych/mother-baby. Work smarter, not harder...There's a long orientation for nurses going into ICU/ED/PACU specifically for people who work in peds/psych/mother-baby. Like Nurse06 said, people are leaving the floor in one year. Why spend an extra year in med/surg working your butt off? You'll end up working a lot harder,transfering later and for what? I've only met 2 out of about 50 nurses in the last 18 months that wanted to stay med/surg one minute longer than they had too. I'm not complaining. I'm advising the unsuspecting. Go to a small command. If you have to go to a large command, "you really enjoy pregnant women, children and psych ." just ask ens pm...
  7. by   DanznRN
    O.K. First of all, going to Med/ Surg is not old guard thinking, that's new guard. The thought process being that if you have general nursing knowledge, a.k.a Med/ surg experience, you'll be more useful in the field. Those words came straight from ADM Busekholer (sp) herself in Feb '06, cause I asked her myself. She expects EVERY nurse to be a generalist first then get your subspecialty code as the opportunity arises. If you look at all your codes 1900 (nurse generalist) is the first one. You're right, I did come in at a different time and I lucked out out with being specialty the whole time. That's doesn't mean that I have NEVER worked on a med-surg floor. Stationed in Sigonella where there were only 3 nurses to work the floors in the whole hospital including the ED, believe me I did my share. Anyone coming in to the Navy now is going to be expected to work the Med-surg floor, it's a current way of life. Your depiction of life on a med-surg floor is misleading, yes life is tough, Navy life is tough, nursing life is tough. However, coming on here and complaining about it does nothing, but make Navy nursing appear to be a bad deal. Your experience is just that yours, I don't thinking you want to work smarter, not harder. I think you are indeed jealous and your efforts would be better suited to trying to solve your current problem vs. finding a way around it. Dodging the problem does nothing for you or Navy nursing, facing and solving things like this is what will set you apart from other Navy nurses, any Nurse can dodge the problem. Think about it......

    LCDR(s) Dan
  8. by   kookinitreal
    Quote from DanznRN
    O.K. First of all, going to Med/ Surg is not old guard thinking, that's new guard. The thought process being that if you have general nursing knowledge, a.k.a Med/ surg experience, you'll be more useful in the field. Those words came straight from ADM Busekholer (sp) herself in Feb '06, cause I asked her myself. She expects EVERY nurse to be a generalist first then get your subspecialty code as the opportunity arises. If you look at all your codes 1900 (nurse generalist) is the first one. You're right, I did come in at a different time and I lucked out out with being specialty the whole time. That's doesn't mean that I have NEVER worked on a med-surg floor. Stationed in Sigonella where there were only 3 nurses to work the floors in the whole hospital including the ED, believe me I did my share. Anyone coming in to the Navy now is going to be expected to work the Med-surg floor, it's a current way of life. Your depiction of life on a med-surg floor is misleading, yes life is tough, Navy life is tough, nursing life is tough. However, coming on here and complaining about it does nothing, but make Navy nursing appear to be a bad deal. Your experience is just that yours, I don't thinking you want to work smarter, not harder. I think you are indeed jealous and your efforts would be better suited to trying to solve your current problem vs. finding a way around it. Dodging the problem does nothing for you or Navy nursing, facing and solving things like this is what will set you apart from other Navy nurses, any Nurse can dodge the problem. Think about it......

    LCDR(s) Dan
    Sir,
    This could go on forever. Again, I agree with you 100% I say send all accessions to one of the big 3 hospitals and make them all work the med/surg floor. Once you've worked the floor for a year then you can go to peds/mother-baby/psych/ED/OR/ICU or whatever your fancy. Your right...I've been on the busiest med/surg floor in the Navy for 18mos and I can work circles around just about every nurse regardless of how long they've been a nurse. When I float to another floor "hey, just tell me what patients I have...and the combo to the med room" and I'm set. Here's the unfortunate reality check...

    Ens pm (I don't know this person) he/she probaby a great peds nurse...does everything he/she is asked...great all around sailor. (I'm just using her/him b/c she/he has a lot of posts on this site) (not trying to single you out p.m. so don't get mad. just using you as an example for danzrn)
    PM is a (7p-7a) peds nurse. This is just a blind guess...But I'm willing to bet this nurse has what I would call an extremely easy patient load. So here's a pm peds nurse with probably not a lot of nursing skill (nothing personal p.m.) who has been sent out to the fleet and has been told she/he will be able to crosstrain to a specialty area after she/he has worked the peds floor for a year. OK...Now here we have all the nurses that work up on the upper 4th & 5th deck. A lot of great nurses with a lot of skills who are taking care of really sick people day and night. (barely enough time to pee and go to lunch) I haven't seen any of these nurses have any priority when it comes to going on deployments/or crosstraining. So here we are...doing the real dirty work with no incentive...want to go from peds/mother-baby/psych to the ICU/ED/OR...(no problem) even though the folks on 4 and 5 take care of these patients everyday. Want to go on a 3 month cruise(with only peds pm experience)...no problem.

    You and pm seem to really love navy nursing, and that's great...(I wasn't there so I don't know for sure) but when asked by the hospital detailer where you wanted to work I doubt they said "we are overstaffed in the med/surg dept. Could you pick some other dept to work." It probably went something like this "I'm really excited about being a Navy nurse. I have such and such experience. I would really like to work in (blank) dept." I don't understand how being a peds night nurse makes for a more qualified ED/ICU/OR nurse...but it really doesn't matter...

    If the navy was serious about having more experienced general nurses they would send everyone upstairs for a while. You wouldn't have the opportunity to be a pm peds nurse(1st year out of school) and go on a float(pm I'm really not trying to pick on you). Who's dodging what? I'm sure you and pm had the opportunity to go med/surg...and you didn't...that's ok. Doesn't sound like it held either of you back. In fact, you're both doing better than me. Why would the viewers of this post not want to follow yours and pm track?
    GO TO A SMALL COMMAND...OR YOU REALLY WANT TO WORK WITH PREGNANT WOMEN/CHILDREN/PSYCH....
  9. by   kookinitreal
    Quote from kookinitreal
    Sir,
    This could go on forever. Again, I agree with you 100% I say send all accessions to one of the big 3 hospitals and make them all work the med/surg floor. Once you've worked the floor for a year then you can go to peds/mother-baby/psych/ED/OR/ICU or whatever your fancy. Your right...I've been on the busiest med/surg floor in the Navy for 18mos and I can work circles around just about every nurse regardless of how long they've been a nurse. When I float to another floor "hey, just tell me what patients I have...and the combo to the med room" and I'm set. Here's the unfortunate reality check...

    Ens pm (I don't know this person) he/she probaby a great peds nurse...does everything he/she is asked...great all around sailor. (I'm just using her/him b/c she/he has a lot of posts on this site) (not trying to single you out p.m. so don't get mad. just using you as an example for danzrn)
    PM is a (7p-7a) peds nurse. This is just a blind guess...But I'm willing to bet this nurse has what I would call an extremely easy patient load. So here's a pm peds nurse with probably not a lot of nursing skill (nothing personal p.m.) who has been sent out to the fleet and has been told she/he will be able to crosstrain to a specialty area after she/he has worked the peds floor for a year. OK...Now here we have all the nurses that work up on the upper 4th & 5th deck. A lot of great nurses with a lot of skills who are taking care of really sick people day and night. (barely enough time to pee and go to lunch) I haven't seen any of these nurses have any priority when it comes to going on deployments/or crosstraining. So here we are...doing the real dirty work with no incentive...want to go from peds/mother-baby/psych to the ICU/ED/OR...(no problem) even though the folks on 4 and 5 take care of these patients everyday. Want to go on a 3 month cruise(with only peds pm experience)...no problem.

    You and pm seem to really love navy nursing, and that's great...(I wasn't there so I don't know for sure) but when asked by the hospital detailer where you wanted to work I doubt they said "we are overstaffed in the med/surg dept. Could you pick some other dept to work." It probably went something like this "I'm really excited about being a Navy nurse. I have such and such experience. I would really like to work in (blank) dept." I don't understand how being a peds night nurse makes for a more qualified ED/ICU/OR nurse...but it really doesn't matter...

    If the navy was serious about having more experienced general nurses they would send everyone upstairs for a while. You wouldn't have the opportunity to be a pm peds nurse(1st year out of school) and go on a float(pm I'm really not trying to pick on you). Who's dodging what? I'm sure you and pm had the opportunity to go med/surg...and you didn't...that's ok. Doesn't sound like it held either of you back. In fact, you're both doing better than me. Why would the viewers of this post not want to follow yours and pm track?
    GO TO A SMALL COMMAND...OR YOU REALLY WANT TO WORK WITH PREGNANT WOMEN/CHILDREN/PSYCH....
    Now having said that...before all the hate mail starts to bombard me. I'm not trashing/downing talking bad about fellow sailors (especially pm). It's been an honor and priviledge serving and I look foreward to serving out my time. I'm merely pointing out there is a HUGE workload disparity in nursing and I think new nurses joining the navy should have some insight before they talk to their detailer. Large command med/surg you WILL ABSOLUTELY work your tail off. You will look foreward to the few days when you only have 4 patients two of them is A&O and can walk. < than 10% of your patients will be young enough for active duty. Mother-baby/peds/psych are generally much easier patient loads and you will get credit for "working the floor." Furthermore if the trend continues, you can crosstrain into a speciality area much sooner if you work in mother-baby, peds and psych. (incentive to go to one of these areas) Like I said before, I'm not trying to discredit anyone's work ethic. I'm not on this thread to complain. I'm just stating some stuff I wish someone had put on here a couple of years ago before I talked to my detailer.
  10. by   kookinitreal
    It's pretty interesting reading through all the posts. Are there any east coast MTF's med/surg floors out there where the age of patients range from 18-100 average = 75? Usual patient load is 5-6 patients ranging from post-op TKA/Whipple/drug-ETOH withdrawl to comfort care and everything in between.
  11. by   bonodonnaonaroll
    Here, here! I am a lurker here, keep thinking about joining but talk myself out of it. Unfortunately, med-surg is an incredibly hard area. Having had experience in M/S, Onco and ICU I can say they can all be equally hard but in different ways.
    Depending on the unit, M/S night may be incrdibly busy or fairly slow; again, depends on the pt mix. I have had 1 pt in ICU and was lucky to go to the bathroom 3 times in 12 hours. I have had 2 leukemics and been at a dead run most of the shift.
    Nursing is hard all around. Here in TX there are medical units taking up to 8 pt's, frequently with no NA. If you are going to stay in nursing, and thrive, you have to find what you love and become an expert in that area. If you don't love it, you'll hate it-who wants to spend their career like that?
  12. by   KAINETX
    Read some of the postings, wanted to let you know that in the Navy you might not be able to leave a Med/Surg floor after 12 month if their are no avaible other units to transfer to and your stuck in Med/Surg whether you like it our not, try to avoid small command state side, not sure about the overseas. some nursing spend 18-24 months in Med/surg
  13. by   kookinitreal
    There's good and bad with every job. I've been discussing most of the bad on this thread b/c I'm tired M/S nursing. Let me point out some of the good.

    If you don't like your work areas you usually won't spend more than 2-3yrs there. If you don't like your coworkers, boss, docs or who ever... don't worry they'll be gone pretty soon too. However, the opposite is also true. (Everything's going great...enjoy it...it won't last long) The only thing constant in the military is change. 10yrs and I haven't paid a dime for healthcare. Luckily, my healthcare needs are minimal. Now that I'm married and raising kids it adds up quick. In 10yrs I can walk away from the military with a pretty good pension which I didn't contribute a dime to and healthcare I'll pay $460/yr. I live in cali and claim Fl as my state of residency(no state tax, significantly reduced auto registration) and I don't pay (fed)taxes on approx 35-40% of my income. If you come to the Navy with prior nursing experience it's recognized and you'll come in at a higher rank or less time to make the next pay grade. (1:2) My friends with nursing experience had one year knocked off to make the next pay grade for every two years of NURSING experience.

    If you don't like M/S chances are you won't do it for long unless you get suckered like I did. The vast majority navy nurses I've talked to skirted around M/S but never really got dirty. Unfortunately the nurse corps treats M/S nursing like a auto accident. Everyone likes to slow down and look so they can say they saw the accident but no one wants to stop(it might explode or something). I say it's unfortunate b/c large command M/S should be used as a training area like docs do. I've worked closely with several nurses who transferred from small commands M/S and they were stressed like someone straight out of school. But, at least these nurses worked M/S at a small command and were able to take patients. (our floats from peds/psych/OB (RN's) usually end up just sitting 1:1) (I'd love to get paid to read a book and watch one old disoriented person) There are a lot of nurses at large commands who go straight into peds/psych/OB who rarely touch M/S, and from what I've seen it looks like the retention rate is a lot higher for nurses who don't work the heavy M/S so the cycle of not training on heavy M/S perpetuates itself. The point is...if you want to be a nurse without dirty patients...it's pretty easy to get.

    If you do get suckered into working (or just like it) M/S, the pt are pretty good. Unless they're really out of their mind(this happens a lot), they're cooperative and understanding. We really work our butts off and the patients often state we give the best care they've ever had and they love coming to our floor. Our equipment is old, beat up and doesn't work a lot , the accomodation are meager but the patients are sooo greatful for your service...so, it's rewarding in that aspect.

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