New to Navy, ODS, Portsmouth-need any help? - page 16

Hi there, I've been a nurse since 2010 and graduated from University of Portland, Oregon. I worked in mental health and with the red cross for a year before applying for the Navy. 13 mos later I... Read More

  1. Visit  PineappleCrush profile page
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    Quote from slc1984
    I really want to try for Bethesda but after reading these, I'm worried it will be too much of a culture shock for me! I've never used any kind of public transit in my life! What is the cost? How long does it take to get into work from the outskirts?
    My husband just started in the ICU at Walter Reed and he takes the Metro in to work; they DO NOT openly offer parking for employees at Walter Reed. My husband said they shared a statistic in one of the orientation classes: there are about 11,000 employees vying for 3,000 parking spots. Do the math

    There is a Metro stop on the RED line called "Medical Center" that stops literally across the street from the base. They will pay for ALL of your Metro fares if you choose this way, so I would highly suggest looking for housing/apartments near the metros! We live about 7 miles away from the base in Rockville, but it takes about 30 minutes (at the absolute fastest) to drive there because of traffic and all the lights on the road. One day I was driving there to go to the Navy Exchange (the store they have on base) and it took me 50 minutes because of construction. Oy. It only takes 13 minutes on the metro, but you also have to factor in walking time from the apartment and whatnot. My husband leaves here at 0550 in order to get to his unit, change into his scrubs and be ready for report by 0645, so that's really not that bad (IMHO). But to each their own!
    Last edit by PineappleCrush on Apr 18, '13
  2. Visit  PineappleCrush profile page
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    Quote from BSN-NavyNurse
    1.) Do you know of anyone that can recommend places to live nearby in Bethesda? I hear there are no housing options near the hospital so I wanted to get an idea where some good areas would be to rent an apartment (I really hope I make some good friends at ODS so we could share an apartment!).


    3.) How would you describe the camaraderie between you and other officers (especially other nurses)? I have witnessed older nurses "eating their young" during my clinical rotations and just cringe at the thought of being away from my support system here in Chicago, adjusting to military culture and learning to be an excellent nurse...whoa.
    My husband and I are both nurses, but he got into the Navy Nurse Corps and I didn't (long story, but I'm trying again next boards! lol). He got stationed here in Bethesda and went through ODS in February and we've been living here ever since he graduated!

    1.) We live in Rockville, which is fairly close to Bethesda, there is a Rockville Metro stop. According to my husband, there are a lot of coworkers that live in the Grosvernor/Strathmore area (another metro stop, the one just North of Medical Center where Walter Reed is), as well as White Flint and Twinbrook. Just a word of advice, though, each ODS class is different, but in my husband's class, there were only like 4 other people coming to Bethesda, so try not to get your hopes up for finding a roommate at ODS, just a warning! My husband had classmates going to Guam, Japan, Spain and even one went to Peru... haha. So everyone is going everywhere and are from all kinds of specialities.


    3.) I can't really speak for on-the-unit camaraderie since I'm not IN the Navy or on his units or anything (although if you can't tell I live vicariously through him most of the time hehe), but him and his classmates at ODS were all very close at the end. It was really neat seeing them all at the little banquet dinner they had the night before graduation. So suffice it to say that you will make some really good friends at ODS, that's for sure!
  3. Visit  izzycatswimRN profile page
    1
    Quote from BSN-NavyNurse

    1.) Do you know of anyone that can recommend places to live nearby in Bethesda? I hear there are no housing options near the hospital so I wanted to get an idea where some good areas would be to rent an apartment (I really hope I make some good friends at ODS so we could share an apartment!).

    3.) How would you describe the camaraderie between you and other officers (especially other nurses)? I have witnessed older nurses "eating their young" during my clinical rotations and just cringe at the thought of being away from my support system here in Chicago, adjusting to military culture and learning to be an excellent nurse...whoa.

    Thank you for all of your help and time, it is very much so appreciated! :-)
    Hello! I'm currently stationed at Walter Reed Bethesda. Been here slightly more than 2 years. Not sure who told you there are no housing options near base because there are a ton! I lived in DC proper my first year and took the train. I currently live on top of the White Flint metro. Craigslist has been my apartment finding miracle. Lots of nice places to rent within the limits of an O1 BAH. As someone else said don't count in lots of people coming with you from ODS. 3 other nurses came with me from my ODS class. Only one is still here. I've opted to live alone which has been great for me, especially when I rotate to nights every 2 months.

    Regarding comraderie, I worked in day surgery and now on a regular med-surg ward. No one on my floor eats the young. Our civilians are all excellent as well as the fellow navy and army nurses I work with. I'm not sure if it was you who also commented about time worked but on my floor we generally work 84 hrs a pay period and switch days/nights every two months. If you have more questions abt Bethesda please feel free to Shoot me a message and ask! This hospital has given me great experiences, particularly on my floor where we care for many wounded warriors. It is unlike anything I thought I would get to do!
    Sw88tpea likes this.
  4. Visit  BSN-NavyNurse profile page
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    Thank you Pineapple Crush and IzzyRN for your insight! :-)

    Anyone else out there going to ODS in two weeks?
  5. Visit  ymmb17 profile page
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    Hey Sw88tpea first of all thanks for all the info. I was wondering do you get some kind of vacation after finishing ODS or do you have to report quickly to your duty station?
  6. Visit  240zRN profile page
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    You usually get 10 days of leave you may *use* before reporting to your new duty station. Keep in mind these are leave days you havn't earned yet, so if yoy don't feel like you need a break, just report asap.
  7. Visit  Sw88tpea profile page
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    240zRN is right. After graduating ODS you have 1-7 'travel days' to report to your next station-show up, in uniform and have your orders stamped. I had two days of travel coming from Rhode Island to Portsmouth. Friday, graduation, counts as a travel day. This being said, upon arrival I was given a list of tasks to complete for the first week and once completed, I was off duty until the following week. I busted it out in the first two days and then had some time to house hunt and get settled. I would not take leave for this until you find out what your boss is going to expect of you. I was also given a day off for when my household goods arrived. Your bosses know what it's like to move and all the things that have to get done. I found my superiors understanding of me having to leave early to get some things done 'during business hours,' etc.
    I highly recommend you have your household goods packed and shipped prior to ODS. If you find a place to live prior to ODS you can have them meet you there afterwards. I found a place to live after ODS and it took... I think 5 days to schedule the arrival of my household goods. I borrowed an air mattress, pots and pans, and dishes from Fleet and Family Services until they arrived. Glorified camping :-)
  8. Visit  oaktown2 profile page
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    Sw88tpea - how much of that info did you have prior to leaving for ODS? I know that I will have some time before I leave and trying to figure out if I should attempt to find a place before and I could also move my car before ODS and then I would be flying directly to my duty station and allow me to reduce the travel time.

    Thanks again for all your info!
  9. Visit  ymmb17 profile page
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    But are those "travel days" the same things as taking leave? Or do those "travel days count as taking leave?
  10. Visit  DSchulte99 profile page
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    Travel days depend on your mode of transportation and distance. They do not count as leave. For example if you drive from Rhode Island to San Diego you get 9 days. If you take more then it pulls from your leave. In addition to that when you check in you can request 10 days for house hunting which doesn't pull from your leave.
    Sw88tpea likes this.
  11. Visit  LMR9742 profile page
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    What's the nurse patient ratio? Do you have CNA's?
  12. Visit  Sw88tpea profile page
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    Quote from oaktown2
    Sw88tpea - how much of that info did you have prior to leaving for ODS? I know that I will have some time before I leave and trying to figure out if I should attempt to find a place before and I could also move my car before ODS and then I would be flying directly to my duty station and allow me to reduce the travel time.

    Thanks again for all your info!
    I guess I felt I had all that info. I had my household goods moved prior to ODS. They were put into storage at my ultimate duty station in Virginia. I had my motorcycle shipped with my HHG. I flew into RI early and purchased a car (my first one). I took my car to ODS and then drove to Virginia. You could drive your car to ODS-you will get reimbursed for gas and lodging, your recruiter should arrange this.
    I did not have a place to live prior to ODS. I found a roommate at ODS and him and I found a place to live about 7 days after arriving in Virginia. We stayed at the Navy Lodge until then on the Navy's dime (they pay up to 10 days then you just get BAH). After finding my place I had my HHG delivered, I think I remember it taking less than a week. In the meantime I borrowed an air matteress and kitchen supplies from Fleet and Family Services. Overall I was pleased and impressed with the process.


    DSchulte99 is right about the travel days-they do not count as leave. You are expected to arrive in uniform and have your ordered stamped at your next duty station the following day. Often your command is expecting you to be at work by the Monday after ODS if you are stationed on the East Coast. You're welcome to PM more about this!
  13. Visit  Sw88tpea profile page
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    Quote from LMR9742
    What's the nurse patient ratio? Do you have CNA's?
    It is different at every facility. I work at one of the three big Naval Medical Centers in Portsmouth, Virginia. I work on a critical care ward (stepdown) where I have 2-5 patients and am assigned a corpsman who can do more than a CNA. Upstairs on the med-surg wards, one of the wards has RNs with 4-8pts, and an LPN and a corpsmen on your team. Corpsmen can essentially be assigned to do whatever you train them up to (except IV meds, pull naroctics and work with central lines).

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