Nursing in Afghanistan, Iraq etc - page 2

A P.A. friend of mine was talking to a nurse that he works with at the E.D. that said he took a 9 month nursing contract in Afghanistan that paid 180k tax free. Anyone know where these jobs can be... Read More

  1. by   Fiona59
    Google Blackwater
  2. by   mariposamimi
    Thanks Fiona...I'm on it...
  3. by   nursing student 101
    Any word on the jobs? I couldnt find anything for blackwater but i did find some stuff for but nothing nursing related
  4. by   bjulian53
    Reply to: suzanne4: I'm not sure if what your saying if 100% correct either. My husband is in the military and was deployed for only 6 months and it was all tax free for the monies earned for that 6 months.
  5. by   Fiona59
    Might be different for the US military. I know the Canadians are income tax free while on overseas deployments.
  6. by   mmm333
    Right after 2001 perhaps, but supply of labor rising to meet that demand (and the corresponding high pay) inevitably drives down prices/wages. I hear the sound of old myths and wishful thinking swirling in the wind. In the Navy they call it "lore" or "sea stories".

    On these types of vacations people are worked nonstop in shift work, basically with time off to sleep and eat only.
    Your "down" time might be sitting at a desk ordering supplies or reviewing paperwork, not lounging by the pool. Especially if the pay is higher.

    It seems to me that working lots of overtime in a large population center like San Francisco or New York while keeping costs minimal is the way to make the most money. For those who don't actually seek the thrill of possibly getting shot at, mortared, or driving over an IED or tank mine in transit, it seems like a fanciful dream.
  7. by   whaterver1234
    Let me clear up quite a few things here for you.
    I have been on 5 deployments as a Federal employee so I have a pretty good insight as to what is and in NOT true here.
    1. The federal government (MILITARY) runs all of the clinics and hospitals in both theaters of operations.

    2. They ONLY use military personnel for ALL of their positions. They do NOT use ANY contract physicians or Nurses. READ THAT AS ZERO... NONE.. ZIP.. NADA. The Air Force took over hospital operations in both Balad, Iraq and Bagram Afghanistan some time ago.

    3. While there are certainly civilian contractors working in numerous positions within these hospitals doing things such as equipment repair, training etc., the do NOT hire Nurses or Physicians to work 9 month or 1 year assignments.

    4. The only way that I know of that is remotely possible to obtain such a position would be through which is the official site for federal employment. You MAY be able to land a federal position through that site.

    5. On the contractor note (such as KBR)...(they do run very small triage contractor clinics for colds and such). I would STRONGLY advise you to do a LOT of research before signing a contract with any of these companies that are doing business with the federal government in these locations.

    Make SURE you go in with your eyes open. You most likely will NOT be working under the conditions you would want nor have the standard of living you would like. There are many many horror stories online of people who had problems with many contractor firms working down range. (down range means... deployed)

    I am not singling out any one contractor, I am saying this for ANY company that you may choose to make a contract with.
    Remember this, once they have you there, you live, work and breath thier rules and THEN the Army, Air Force rules on top of the contractors rules.
    You may, and probably will, find this environment one that you will "live through" and not much else. You will work long hours in poor conditions surrounded by people that you would otherwise never want to asscociate with. Your clients will most likely be almost entirely contractor personnel.
    Your priveledges as a contractor while deployed are limited. You will NOT have the rights to medical treatment at any of the clinics or hospitals on post UNLESS it is an immediately life threatening matter. Otherwise you will have to leave the theater of operations and fly to Kuwait and obtain treatment on your own dime and most likely persue payment from your contract company after the fact.
    The news gets even better. .... If, after you recieve treatment, you are unable to return to duty, your contract will most likely be terminated.

    I apologize if I didn't paint a rosey "myth filled" picture but these are the facts from one who has been there five times and has a hands on knowledge of the facts.
    In other words folks... .... GOOD LUCK.. YOU WILL NEED IT.
  8. by   AirforceRN
    Up until recently the Canadian Military was running the role 3 hospital in Kandahar Afghanistan. We worked alongside American, Dutch, Australian and other nation's forces.
    The Canadians also sent civilian critical care nurses and various surgeons to supplement the staff there.
  9. by   Fiona59
    Quote from AirforceRN
    Up until recently the Canadian Military was running the role 3 hospital in Kandahar Afghanistan. We worked alongside American, Dutch, Australian and other nation's forces.
    The Canadians also sent civilian critical care nurses and various surgeons to supplement the staff there.

    Cdns. are still there. Check out 1 Field Ambulance's record.

    This thread was started by a "dreamer" who wanted to make big money "over there". We all know that the government will not directly hire a civilian to do a job that a member can. Hence my tongue in cheek reference to Blackwater, they supplied at one point paramedics for their own guys.

    The surgeons that have gone from my hospital didn't make a mint BUT they gained valuable trauma experience.

    The medics in 1FA did a fantastic job and some have retired and are working in Edmonton area hospitals with very valuable skills.

    Get rich? Hell, everybody has either invested or spent their deployment pay now and are getting ready to go again.
  10. by   AirforceRN
    Quote from Fiona59
    Cdns. are still there. Check out 1 Field Ambulance's record.
    Oh I'm well aware :-) We are no longer running the show however, we have recently passed the reins to the American team and are now supplementing their staff. Its kind of odd though...they are planning on having more boots on the ground in Afghanistan by 2010 then we have in our entire military. They don't "need" our medical help but its always nice to work together.
  11. by   mmm333
    Indeed. It sounds like the original poster was lied to/ duped with exaggerations by a friend of a friend or friend's friend, possibly with a little wishful thinking involved in the process. So far, we have only 1-2 firsthand posters who have been feet dry in country and say that these jobs are a myth, further clarifying some little-known inconvenient truths about the matter that sound genuine to the trained ear. And if it did happen early on in either Iraq or Afgh, it most likely isn't happening now. Especially not after the post-Blackwatergate political sandstorm.

    Yes, the military does contract with civilian staffing companies to provide RNs at Naval Hospitals etc. inside the United States. The gap is open because the Navy Hospitals run short-staffed after deploying their military members overseas. These temp/staffing companies are NOT set up like Blackwater. Yes, civilian companies have hired some ex-Navy SEAL Paramedics etc (with 15-20 years of intense uber-paramedic experience) who had become LVNs or RNs or even PAs. Imagine the temp agency that supplies office workers sending people to war zones- they simply aren't set up for that. However I don't see why you couldn't get to a base in Rota, Spain, Bahrain, or even Kuwait (outside of active war zones) as a civilian, and it's certainly worth looking into if you want a taste of adventure and a look at military nursing.That is, if it's possible.

    Civilian contractor companies like Blackwater basically generally hire operators and paramedics (they are more interested in Paramedic quals/experience than in RN which is just an expanded prehospital role to them). They hire by word-of-mouth/reputation for the most part. All were male. I have never heard of a female getting hired into any of the downrange positions. The rationale there was that they only hire primarily ex-SEALs or other men with military experience served under SOCOMM (special operations command, which manages the SEAL Teams & Navy SWCC, Army Special Forces & 75th Rangers, Marine Special Operations (MARSOC) & MEU-SOC/Recon, Air Force Pararescue/Combat Control Teams & maybe SOAR, etc.), units which simply do not have women in them. All of these guys recieve at least roughly EMT-B level training at a minimum. For example, SEALs & SWCCs all know trauma stuff, IV therapy, some meds, 02 etc. Their medics are all EMT-P qualified and go to some hardcore schools unlike anything civilian EMT-Ps go through, learning trauma, field surgery, etc. on a TCCC model in addition to the civilian basics on the BTLS/ATLS models. So Blackwater hires special operators, some of whom happen to have the history of paramedic specialization under their belt. They also hire guys who had other specialities like Sniper, Radio, Intelligence, VIP protection, etc. Medical is just one co-equal role among these, a secondary job on top of being a fighter.

    Back to the actual military: If you weren't in one of these SOCOMM units and especially if you never served in the military at all, the idea of working for these guys in a combat/security/close support role (prehospital/emergency) seems to me and many others an exercise in fantasy.

    Those in the military who sacrifice so much and make such huge commitments to that career might get perturbed when people fantasize about strolling onto the base in for 9 months and do their job at 3-4x their pay. They make these sacrifices in exchange for the rewards of military career which includes- leadership opportunities unlike in civilian nursing, training unlike in civilian nursing, teamwork unlike you'll see on most civilian floors, world travel, adventure, etc. Does a civilian know not only what to do in case of a go fire, but how to go ahead and put out that fire? And do they know how to "return enemy fire" if absolutely necessary? To send messages by radio? If you did get hired into their world, you'd most likely get treated like a leper.
    Last edit by mmm333 on Dec 15, '09
  12. by   ERtraumanurse
    Just sticking my nose in here - there was a posting on a Canadian job board for civilian nurses to go to Afganistan on short rotating deployments (8-10weeks) I believe this is for Canadian nurses only though - and the job entails working in the clinics looking after the civilians working over there? I applied for the position - mind you they did require trauma certifications so I will see if they call me to discuss the opportunity
  13. by   mmm333
    Interesting. More power to you if you can find short tours like that and gain the experience. I hope you let us know what you hear.