Old new grad: take UHMS intro course?

  1. I started a new topic over in the careers area that has gotten no attention. Basically, I live within commuting distance of several wound care centers. I recently applied for a hyperbaric technician job. One of the requirements of the job is to take the UHMS intro to hyperbaric medicine. This class is being held in my area in a couple of weeks. I feel that at this stage of my attempt at starting a career in nursing, that I should pick a specialty area and go for it. Do you think it would be a waste of time and money to take the class without a job? Or might it make me more desirable as a job candidate?
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    About hotflashion, BSN, RN

    Joined: Oct '09; Posts: 282; Likes: 173
    from US
    Specialty: 3 year(s) of experience in Foot care


  3. by   CaliBoy760
    If you have any intention of becoming a CHRN or CHT you will have to take an introductory course in Hyperbaric Medicine in order to sit for either of those exams. And it would certainly help you get a job in wound care/hbot.
  4. by   hotflashion
    Hi, CaliBoy, thanks for responding. Yes, I know I have to take the class, and there is one coming up near me in a couple of weeks. There's won't be another for awhile, so if I'm going to jump, I want to decide sooner rather than later. I guess I wonder what the demand for entry level HBOT's is? I could end up educated and inexperienced and therefore, not attractive to hiring managers. i.e., that's the boat I'm in now. Educated up to my ears and unemployed.

    What are you doing at the moment? Your posts that I've read say you are moving from HBOT to LVN.
  5. by   CaliBoy760
    My career has come full circle. I was a CHT for 15 years and went back to school for my LVN. Really had no intention of going back to HBOT but saw an online ad for a hyperbaric nurse at the VA hospital in Long Beach. I started in Juanuary.

    If I were you I would definitely take the course. I think I paid around $1000 in 1995. But keep in mind that, depending on where you are located, there are only so many hyperbaric jobs available, be it techs or nurses. And if you are in L.A. or San Diego, there are literally hundreds of HBOT techs getting spit out by the local commercial diving colleges and they will work for peanuts. But having certification in either HBOT or Wound Care, or both, would certainly help you stand out. Trouble is, you can't sit for the exam until you have something like 600 clinical hours under your belt. Good info can be found at www.nbdhmt.org .
  6. by   NewRN2008
    Hello, i know this is a long shot, but are you still around on this topic? i would love to talk to you, see what you did, and kinda follow up w/ hbot stuffs! PM me if you want! Heather
  7. by   hotflashion
    Hi, NewRN2008,

    For better or worse, I did not go in that direction; I got a job in assisted living and elder care is where I'm at now. But if you want to get into wound care, have the time, money and inclination, I'd say go for it. I always operate on the belief that no education is wasted, so I don't worry too much about immediate "payback," i.e. job offers. Definitely check/keep a watch on the Healogics website to see what jobs they are advertising near you.

    Good luck.
    Last edit by hotflashion on Sep 18, '12 : Reason: correct spelling error
  8. by   NewRN2008
    thanks for the info, but i was just seeing how you were doing honestly. i have a great job, and a huge timeline ahead of me for my career. heck, if i was to get another job, that would be bad bad bad
  9. by   LTCNS
    I know this is an old thread, but I just wanted to caution any nurse who is thinking about pursuing a career in hyperbarics to think long and hard about it. It is a waste of nursing skills and can be very stressful if the company expects one person to do all the work and is not willing to hire any help.
  10. by   hotflashion
    You have a point. But for any nurse who is unable to find employment as a nurse, hyperbarics seems/seemed like an option. I am still on the fringes of elder care, but I'm in assisted living and in my state there is no "nursing" in assisted living -- nurses are service coordinators. But maybe that IS nursing; perhaps the definition of nursing is too narrow. I find that when people say "nurse" they mean "hospital nurse."
  11. by   CaliBoy760
    LTCNS, I'm not sure that providing care on any level is a "waste of nursing skills". That said, as a hyperbaric nurse, my days can be as varied as any other nurse. I do TCPO2 studies in the clinic (OP) and on the floors (IP). I do wound care and dressing changes of all types, and I run the chambers. It sounds as if you may have worked for a privately owned, for profit, HBOT clinic. I would agree that these places can be understaffed and poorly managed. That said, I would not hesitate to recommend HBOT nursing to someone who has an interest in wound care and in working in a very unique area of nursing.
  12. by   LTCNS
    Fair enough and I really should clarify and apologize for my rant. I've been having a very hard time in my position as I do work at a for profit clinic where hyperbaric patient census overrides the need for safe and adequate staffing, however, you cannot beat the benefits and corporate support from those who oversee Safety Directors. Overall it is a good company, but with a few poorly managed clinics. There's no way they can police them all. I have a great Program Director but there's only so much he can do if that makes sense.

    Anyway, I do wound care as well, TCPO2 studies in the clinic and inside the chamber, I have learned a great deal about wound care, compression wraps, debridement and get respect from the doctors as a nurse.

    I am spread very thin as a wound care nurse, hyperbaric tech and safety director. I have 5 patients per day to dive by myself with no help from anyone (We have two monoplace chambers) I am allowed 15 minutes between patients to get one patient out, get vital signs, blood sugars, change linens, get vital signs and blood sugars on the next patient going in and make sure the MD checks the patient who just came out before they leave the clinic. Lunch breaks? What is that? There is nobody to relieve me so I may not get one, but don't you dare get a minute of OT. I am overwhelmed and tired, that's all.

    I should retract my statement and say that hyperbaric medicine really is a fascinating field of healthcare, and I am seeing first hand how successful it is in healing difficult wounds that other specialists have given up on. We have saved limbs and healed wounds that never would have healed with more conventional methods, so yes, hyperbaric nursing is very unique. I hope more physicians open their minds and start referring patients with appropriate diagnosis for hyperbaric treatment.
    Last edit by LTCNS on Feb 19, '13
  13. by   CaliBoy760
    Allnurses forbids naming actual companies, but from your personnel descriptions, i.e. Safety Director, Program Director, etc., I know who you work for. The company has grown too fast with the mergers that they have gone through in the last couple of years. My ex-wife was Safety Director/Tech for them ten years ago. Their problem seemed to be finding qualified hyperbaric clinicians to staff their clinics. So, they train some RN for a week and, voila, they're the new Clinical Director. You know what I mean. I see on their website that a couple of clinics have opening for MA's or CNA's. You need to press for them to hire one of those to do BGL's, Vitals, and change linens, etc. If you are a true Safety Director (meaning you've been to an actual safety course like International ATMO) then you are within your rights and responsibilities as a licensed provider to tell them that you need help.
  14. by   LTCNS
    You would be right CaliBoy. It's the company you're describing. I came in this morning to the news of number six being added starting next Monday. I stated that I really need help for that many and was told that wasn't going to happen. I am female and already have three heavy patients, and this will be number four. Guess I know what my next step will be, and I wish them good luck in finding somebody to stay.