Worked in Virgin Islands?

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    Can anyone relate their RN work experiences in the Carribean?

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  2. 17 Comments...

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    Never worked there, but when I visited the USVI a few years ago, I was told about a local saying:

    "Got a pain? Get on a plane."
    cloudwatcher likes this.
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    Quote from jjjsps
    Can anyone relate their RN work experiences in the Carribean?
    this is probably late. my friend went to the us virgin island of st. croix with o'grady peyton.she is from london and she hates it even the other nurses from other carribean islands don't like it.the island is very unattractive , had hurricane 8yrs ago and no reconstruction help done and she says most of the nurses feel stuck till they do their time with the agency coz of the penalty fee.but they tend to fly to the mainland when off. hope its helpful.
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    i worked in the VI in 2004. I worked in St. Thomas. It is a beautiful place, the ferries are cheap to go to St. John and St. Croix. The beaches are free. The jewelry, cigarrettes and alcohol are VERY cheap (if you smoke and drink). HOWEVER, you should be informed that the working environment is very dangerous.

    (As of May 2004).....
    ICU has 8 beds with staffing of only 2 nurses. ICU RN responds to codes (which happened EVERY night) so that leaves one nurse for 8 critically ill patients. The MDs are....lets say..... not as educated as I have seen in the mainland. One MD stated to a nurse during a code "Well, don't you know what to do?!" Wish I was joking, but I'm not.

    On the medical floor I would have critically ill patients that needed to be in ICU but alas no beds were available. Mannitol drips for CHI, Cardiac drips and no monitoring... etc.

    As far as supplies... If I needed to give blood there was no tubing. If i needed to hang IVFs we would have tubing but no IVFs, etc etc etc. No hot water, sometimes no power. No TVs in the room, no kleenex, etc. Family would have to bring in all of that.

    As far as the staff.... the CNAs would "disappear" at night. They bring in their pillows from home and would go to the staff library or an empty room and sleep. The other nurses that I worked with would go to sleep and heaven forbid if I would wake them up!! Expect to have 9 patients at night and be in charge with absolutley NO help from the staff (because they're all MIA taking naps!).

    If you STILL want to go to the VI please take a travel buddy. The island is dangerous. We would see a couple shootings and stabbings a night in the ER. We would see frequent rapes as well. At night I would ABSOLUTLEY advise you to do the buddy system and do not go anywhere alone... even if you are a guy.

    One of my friends got his car broken into twice. Another friend had her apartment broken into... everything was stolen (including the diamonds she just bought). Another friend was held up by gun point walking to work IN THE DAYLIGHT. She didn't last but a week and went home.

    If you happen to get sick there... LEAVE!! Even if it's only to Puerto Rico, its better than staying there. When I was there the mortality rate of abd surgeries was 80% this is no joke.

    All in all it just wasn't worth the pay and the worry that I could have lost my nursing license because of the working conditions.

    Hope this helps.
    Firefeme and NurseCubanitaRN2b like this.
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    well here I am on st croix...and yes some nurses had a hard time working and living here...not me and theres a lot more can say the same......the hurricane that hit here was hugo in 1989. its a beautiful island, lots of guns stab wounds and gunshot victims, but mostly amongst the criminal element themselves.
    the icu is staffed mostly by 2 RNs on nights for 6 patients, sometimes the same 2 nurses for 1 patient. and no they dont respond to codes on nights! usually a nurse from ER will come with the doctor. occasionally we do run out of supplies but not as much as the above poster says. and yes some doctors I wouldnt let come near me if I was ill, but there are also some excellent doctors here.
    I do know the english nurse who came here, hated it and demanded to be moved, and yes they moved her to the states.
    life is what you make it....we love the beaches, the sea and the weather. pm me if you want any info from someone who is here and can give you accurate information.
    copeRN likes this.
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    As I stated previously,
    I worked on the island of SAINT THOMAS not St. Croix. I had some friends complete their assignment in STT and then move on to St. Croix and state that it was "a little" better than STT (St. Thomas). I have no experience on St. Croix so I would never say anything about it. However, being a travel nurse for over three years I do know that facilities vary greatly from location to location, even if it is a difference of only 10 miles.

    St. Thomas Island is the main cruise ship port in the USVI so yes, we DID see a lot of tourists and vacationers in the ER who were violently assaulted.

    I believe my recollection of my ST. THOMAS experience in 2004 is accurate and my friends who are STILL THERE tell me nothing much has changed. I do believe it is all in what you are looking for in an assignment. Awesome weather, beaches and food do apply to St. Thomas.

    As in any travel assignment, common sense and strong nursing skills apply.
    Hope this clears things up...cariad.
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    apologies travlingirl...I did misread your post, and thought how could things change so much here as I arrived here july 2004, I have only daytripped to STT, but do have a friend who works over there now, she went from here, even although the hospital here is so out of touch, I would still advise anyone who wants to come not to hold back from the experience. theres lots of places in the states that applies to going out and keeping safe, also with a high crime rate the same as in these islands. `although there has been some staffing shortages, mostly we are well staffed, I cannot compare it to the states as I have not worked there yet, but have heard plenty from american travellers who come here.
  9. 0
    Quote from jjjsps
    can anyone relate their rn work experiences in the carribean?
    no no no not work on st croix!!!! Just returned from there and it was pure hell !!!!
  10. 0
    please tell me what company is the best to work for? I hope to go in November. I work ER and ICU
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    Come on folks, give us the real info here. I am in the process of getting an assignment to the US Virgin Islands but don't know which one yet. I am versatile in many ways and know you have to be careful everywhere now days, even the states. I would like to know if the experience is worth it. Please let me know for sure

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