I have had the desire to join the AF Reserves since I was in school. I needed to be a nurse at least a year. I have been in the NICU since I started and could get my speciality designation for the NICU with the AF. I was wondering when you deploy what do you deploy in? I highly doubt your deploying in a NOCU capacity which I am totally fine with. Bottom line for me is that I love the high acuity patients. Should I not get my NICU designation in order to deploy in an area with higher acuity?
To be honest with you NICU is such as small specialty that I'm not sure how they are utilized in a deployed setting. I'm an active duty AF ICU nurse and I don't have any idea what they do with NICU. When you aren't deployed, I think there are only 3 places AF NICU nurses go: one in Japan (Kadena I think), D.C. area (Bethesda/Walter-Reed), and San Antonio. You're kinda pigeon-holed.
I've seen OB nurses put in inpatient med-surg when deployed. I'm not sure if that's what they would do with you or not.
Yea I know there's only 5 bases that have NICUs, San Antonio obviously being the largest. I just didn't know what deployment would be like. If I didn't get the NICU designation would they just make me a general med surg nurse?
The general, un-specialized 'clinical nurse' designation includes outpatient clinics, inpatient med-surg, and day-surgery areas (such as GI and PACU). If you are in this boat, you can literally go to just about any AF base. However, you have absolutely no control over what you do when you get there. You might be in a hospital working PACU or you might be working at a small clinic in the middle of nowhere.
If you are applying for the NICU code, you will certainly interview with the AF NICU consultant. That person will definitely be able to tell you what NICU does on deployment.
Last edit by jfratian on Feb 8
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