One Year in the Army Nurse Corps, DNA x 3, and Tinfoil Lining in my Patrol Cap
by Pixie.RN Asst. Admin
My first year in the Army Nurse Corps has had its ups and downs, but I love it! I have learned so much about the Army way of life, and learned more about myself along the way ... like the fact that either I'm not human, or perhaps I'm clone-worthy!
- 13 Published Apr 15, '12
In March I hit my one-year-in mark. Hooray! How are things going, you ask? Overall, not bad. I still work a lot of hours, and it's still probably too much (in others' opinions). The difference is that I have one employer instead of three, as I did in my civilian life. Are there days that are supremely annoying? Of course. Do I still love wearing this uniform? Absolutely.
Funny story. Apparently no one took a DNA sample from me at my commissioning physical at Walter Reed, nor was one collected at BOLC at Ft. Sam. (Note to all direct commissions: if you are not prior service and already on file, ensure that you get a DNA sample drawn to be placed on file at AFIP. This would have saved a lot of headaches lately if it had been done when I came into the Army!) So I started getting phone calls from people in my hospital chain of command, telling me that I needed to take care of this issue immediately. Okay, fine ... tell me where to go. The answer: go to the troop medical clinic (TMC). Really? I go there for nothing, why would I start now? So I call the TMC lab, who tells me they don't do DNA samples there, and that I need to go to the hospital lab. I call the hospital lab, who tells me to go -- guess where? -- to the TMC. Hmmmm. I'm at a dead end. So I talk to one of the super-smarty SPC-types at the lab, who suggests the Welcome Center, where soldiers in-process when we sign into post -- well hey, that seems logical. Problem? No one has their phone number. I call post information, and end up making about 5 phone calls until I get the right place. Unfortunately the Welcome Center medical section doesn't do DNA samples. Sigh. Luckily they suggested the Soldier Readiness Center (SRC). I finally get a phone number for the SRC lab, and the lab NCOIC tells me, "Sure ma'am, come on over and we'll take care of you." Success! Because at this point, I was getting emails and phone calls from various officers in my facility, wanting to know why I hadn't done this yet. Not sure why so many people were tracking my lack of DNA sample, but whatever ... I had my answer.
It took a couple of tries at the SRC lab to get my sample done (the "person who knew how to do it" wasn't there the first time I went), but I finally got it done in January and it showed as "drawn" in my MEDPROS, instead of the "blank" that had been there since forever. About a week later it showed that my sample was on file with AFIP. Hooray! Great!
A couple of weeks ago I got a text from my head nurse, who asked what happened with my DNA. I can't believe it ... after all that, I check MEDPROS and it once again says ... blank. Arrrghhh. I emailed the nurse who did my sample, who forwarded my email to our MEDPROS coordinator. She did some research, and then determined that it would be best if I had another sample done because it appears my DNA sample was rejected at AFIP. Perhaps I'm not human? They need more to build my clone?! I don't know.
Unfortunately I had not saved the phone number for the SRC lab, so I did the same phone-call gymnastics again and reached a lab person. He told me I could come on over any time and they'd get it done. I stopped by and had it redrawn with little fuss. Once again, my MEDPROS was green, my DNA was "drawn"! Hooray!
I came home this past Thursday to a very apologetic voicemail from the SRC lab, who informed me that there was a problem with my DNA draw and that I'd have to come back. I could only laugh. Clearly I am being cloned, and they need more of my awesome DNA. At this point I declared I was going to line the inside of my patrol cap with tinfoil, just in case "they" were also reading my mind. Haha. It only sounds a little crinkly ...
I went back to SRC the next day -- I actually managed to do this during my work hours, instead of on one of my few days off! The SPC who drew my sample the previous week apologized profusely -- he had drawn my lab in the incorrect tube, but he used the tube he was told to use by the nurse over the phone (which was true, I heard her). In any case, it had to be redone. Another one of the nurses decided he would draw my sample, and -- bonus! -- missed my vein on the first stick. Sigh, again. I have great AC veins, but when he put the tube on the vacutainer adapter, he pushed the needle out of the back of my vein. Whoops. I told him no biggie, I wanted to get this DNA drawn done correctly, and we proceeded to get it done using my other arm. Finally, success!
As I left the SRC, the SPC who drew my lab the prior week called out cheerfully, "See you next week, ma'am!" My kind of humor. Hopefully this sample won't be rejected at AFIP, or I'll be back to square one.
I just want access to one of my clones; that is all I ask. She can go to work for me, do my semi-annual PT test (next week!), and fill the SANE call schedule. Awesome!Last edit by Joe V on Apr 15, '12
LunahRN: a short green-eyed redhead, very tattooed, Army ER nurse, no-longer-so-new-ish 1LT/66HM5. Avid reader, addicted to good shoes, allnurses, and her Android smartphone.
Pixie.RN joined Aug '05 - from 'everywhere and nowhere - global nomad'. Age: 41 Pixie.RN has 'NREMT-P: 11, RN: 6' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'ED/Trauma, 66HM5 (Army)'. Posts: 11,848 Likes: 6,395; Learn more about Pixie.RN by visiting their allnursesPage2Apr 15, '12 by VivaLasViejas GuideHahahaha!!! Sounds like the typical Army "snafu"*, as my son and daughter would see it. But I'm glad you're still hanging in there and enjoying your life as a soldier. Thank you for your service!!!
*Situation Normal All Fouled Up