interested in the virgin islands

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    [This message has been edited by bshort (edited February 20, 2001).]
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  2. 26 Comments

  3. by   traumaRUs
    Went to St. Thomas (cruise) in Feb and loved it. I'm an experienced ER (level I trauma center RN. Send me the info. Thanks Judi
  4. by   tele-hag
    Not to rain on the parade, but I came very close to accepting a position in the usvi last winter. I spoke to a nurse who had gone herself. A few things to consider :
    --working conditions: since the hospitals are funded by the gov., at the end of the month if supplies run out, well... one gets creative! Also I was told the a lot of the staff resent travelers for coming and making the BIG money--yep, that $14/hr!!
    Next, find out about transportation--it is cost prohibitive to ship your car--most travelers buy a junker there.
    Ok, well PHCS boasted their "beach-front housing"--sounds great, but you had a copay each month even though you SHARE with someone! (No privates) And they said pets are not allowed thru customs, etc. One last thing--although you make less, don't count on spending less! Most goods are shipped into the island and are rather costly! The moral? By all means still GO FOR IT, but ask your travel company lots of questions, save your pennies on your high paying assignments to take extra cash with you, and avoid hurricane season! Have fun and don't burn!!
  5. by   cardio24
    Originally posted by tele-hag:
    Not to rain on the parade, but I came very close to accepting a position in the usvi last winter. I spoke to a nurse who had gone herself. A few things to consider :
    --working conditions: since the hospitals are funded by the gov., at the end of the month if supplies run out, well... one gets creative! Also I was told the a lot of the staff resent travelers for coming and making the BIG money--yep, that $14/hr!!
    Next, find out about transportation--it is cost prohibitive to ship your car--most travelers buy a junker there.
    Ok, well PHCS boasted their "beach-front housing"--sounds great, but you had a copay each month even though you SHARE with someone! (No privates) And they said pets are not allowed thru customs, etc. One last thing--although you make less, don't count on spending less! Most goods are shipped into the island and are rather costly! The moral? By all means still GO FOR IT, but ask your travel company lots of questions, save your pennies on your high paying assignments to take extra cash with you, and avoid hurricane season! Have fun and don't burn!!
    i just spent six months in st. thomas. i would not recommend working as a travel nurse there. you can make ten times the money bartending or waiting tables. the hospital is horrible and that is the nicest word i can think of to describe it. st. thomas and the surrounding islands are wonderful, but definately stay away from that hospital.
  6. by   osiris7
    I worked on St. Croix, which I believe is preferable to St. Thomas, but all the above statements are true. I still had a great time and met some great friends.
  7. by   blueiwahine
    Just thought I'd put my two cents in. Lived in St Croix for 2 years. Have to say the hospital there was horrible. Hubbie had a dive accident and was sent to St Croix hospital ER-scary cause I knew more about the bends than the doctor. Then he was flown to St Thomas hospital to be put in Hyperberaic chamber. That place was a nitemare too. It's the truth about having to make do with what ever, when supplies ran out. At the time was friends with a nurse from Canada, who was doing a short stay there and she gave us the scoop. Love the islands, but even local doctors told us if we needed anything major done to fly back to states. I think taking a job there would take a very very strong willed person to make it, besides getting lots of attitude from locals about being there. Don't get me wrong the islands are great if you don't have to work and deal with gov. policies. Just take this with a grain of salt, was just expressing my opinion. Ciao!
  8. by   jrmcdoug2
    Ok, I was born in the virgin islands. I left and went to college at Syracuse University and have not been back there to work. I just got back from visiting there(St. Croix) and it was lovely. I do agree with everyone, the hospitals there are a mess. But because I'm from there and I can adjust and get an attitude just like my fellow natives, I am sure I can do ok. Plus my parents still live there so I will stay with them for the 13 weeks and pocket the housing money. HeeHee. I visited the hospital just before I left to inquire about the travel agencies that they use. The only one I was familiar with was RN Network. They also told me that I can "negotiate" my hourly pay. Oooook. Whatever. I've never done any travel nursing so I figured I'll start with someplace familiar. I'm wondering if anyone here went as a Maternity RN there? Would like to hear from you! Oh,the best time to take an assignment there would be from Dec 15th onward(It's carnival time)! The worst is Oct-Sept.(peak of Hurricane Season). Well good luck to all who decide to go!
  9. by   casahilo
    I worked in the St Croix ER for a year. Pay was 15.00 an hour.
    25.00 Housing fee out of each check IF you lived in provided housing. Option was getting your own housing for which got you an extra 900 bucks a month. I shared a 3 bedroom place with 2 others. My share was 250 plus utilities. Paychecks were about 1400.00 per two weeks. The staff RNs made the same as we did but no housing allowance.

    Yes hosp is gov funded, they are slow to pay there bills there so venders dont ship supplies. You will run out of some items from time to time. Staff nurses like to let the travelers do all the work.
    They don't go to codes!!!

    Yes SOME of the docs are scary.
    OR, ICU, OB, MS, used staff docs, many not from the US.
    ER also used some US traveling docs who could be trusted.
    The saying is "have a pain-take the plane."

    You can ship your car from Miami but it's spendy and they will damage it and rip-off anything not locked down.
    But it is doable. Island cars, most need some work.
    Prices vary, less money-more work.
    2000.00 will get you a decent ride.

    USVI are black islands. If you are black you will get along fine with the locals. If you are white you will learn what it feels like to be a minority. This in itself is not a bad thing, however there is a high rate of street crime in the VI, and whites are prime targets.
    Especially females. Muggings common.
    BUT, it's like anywhere else a little common sense goes a long way. I lived in a local neighborhood and had no problems there.
    Blue collar folks, spending the evening playing dominos.

    We worked hard, and played hard. Diving, sailing and dancing.
    I love island life. This was a fun place to be.
    Would I go back?
    I did several times.
  10. by   kayaker
    My wife and I also were looking into working in the VI. I happened to find one agenct that offered $25/hr, plus 1100/month housing allowance, and a few other perks. This sound like much more than everyone here said they got paid. Have wages changed that much, or am I not being told all the facts. Its sounds like the hospitals are marginal, is it really that bad? If you had to choose, which hospital would you work in. We both have extensive experience with hyperbaric medicine if that makes any difference.

    Thanks in advance...Vern & Michelle
  11. by   Brownms46
    Originally posted by kayaker
    My wife and I also were looking into working in the VI. I happened to find one agenct that offered $25/hr, plus 1100/month housing allowance, and a few other perks. This sound like much more than everyone here said they got paid. Have wages changed that much, or am I not being told all the facts. Its sounds like the hospitals are marginal, is it really that bad? If you had to choose, which hospital would you work in. We both have extensive experience with hyperbaric medicine if that makes any difference.

    Thanks in advance...Vern & Michelle

    I would ask for everything in writing...you will find...if you haven't already...that agencies get creative when stating pay and perks... Everything I have read here seems pretty close to the truth...as I have friends from VI and referred a white nurse who went there and did two contracts there. She went there in the 80's and the cheapest housing on the economy was $1,ooo/mo without air!! Also slept under misquito netting!. On the advice of friends I had...I had her stock up on non perishable items...especailly personal care items! The only thing that is cheap over there is fruits and vegetables... I would plan on not taking your car...as there is a lot of crime especailly in St. Thomas! But she had no trouble living there...and her roomies always went out together...never alone! Be cautious but....enjoy. I have turned down two assignments there...as I haven't been able to have the luxury or not making money on an assignment! The one thing I have constantly heard about working there is not having supplies!!


    There is a lot of drug activity there...and another nurse I referred to an agency, who went there...was a awesome nurse when I worked with him in the states!! I mean he looked professional, carried himself in a professional manner, and did excellent pt care! Got over there...moving out of shared housing...which by my other friends description was very nice. He later was arrested for dealing drugs there and had become hooked himself!

    But my other friend stayed there a year...so ...Be careful...but enjoy..
  12. by   live4today
    I thought about doing a traveling assignment in St. Croix once, but changed my mind after being told the pay was lousy and the conditions even lousier. Went to Hawaii instead where the pay was better, the housing better, the treatment better, etc. Although as a Black woman, I was treated fantastic, but the White nurses were warned to sight-see and go to clubs in groups...never alone. The agency I traveled with handed out a sheet of "safety precautions" to the White travelers because there you are a 'minority'. My youngest daughter traveled with me (she was eleven at the time), and she was treated very well where the White nurses children were not treated well at all. This is something to take seriously IF you are White and contemplating traveling to those Islands or Hawaii. Enjoy....yes! Use extreme caution...absolutely!
  13. by   urty
    Hello! I am a pre-nursing student that lives in the states and would love to go to St. Thomas for nursing school. But from the sounds of the hospital setting is nursing school at the University of the Virgin Islands a bad idea?
  14. by   cariad
    we are nurses on night shift at the hospital, and being entertained by the comments. I am a traveller, and you either love the place or hate it...the island that is, the hospital is what it is.....run by the government, and on the virgin islands that is enough of a comment in itself. as a traveller the pay is reasonable at $25 for an rn, time and a half for over 40 hours, and as much overtime as you want. plenty of sunshine and beaches. a very laid back lifestyle and island living. I think that there are only 2 agencys sending nurses here at the moment, mine doesnt any more. but I have an 18 month contract anyway. the agencys have housing which is ok, and either give you a car or pay towards a rental.
    the hospital does run out of things and yes we do become very creative, and at the moment are short staffed, but we survive and live for the next days off to go to the beaches, where the water is 85 degrees. and yes we are just about to go into hurricane season, but we will live through that as well.
    ps...I am white and yes I am now a minority, but get along fine with my co-workers. people can have an attitude towards you, but its not to do with colour, its do with them having a problem with anyway.

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