From private message to thread so we can share the wealth!
Congrats on surviving ODS. I just had a few questions for you if you don't mind! Do you have any tips for surviving ODS? What was the hardest thing for you? What was the best? As far as the swim wear goes, are they really strict on a solid black suit or can it have some white piping on it? How about women's hair...any suggestions for taming the lion? Is the sock bun the best way to go?
How long did you go not being able to contact family/use your cell phone?
Anything else for a rookie? What's it like transitioning to your first duty station? Do you feel like a newbie or part of the team?
Thanks for any info and your time
-OCUI2 ALMOST ENS!!
In addition to what I said earlier-the top three things to know, everything in ODS was easier than I expected. I was planning on and looking forward to a tough boot camp environment-I planned for the worse. The physical, mental and emotional stress was there but for others, and me just when it was getting bad it was over. For example, we had to ‘get on our face’ and do push-ups but just when I thought it was getting tough it was over. The stress of being constantly told what to do was more intimidating than the physical toll. I was honestly a little let down by it but you have to remember that they do not want you to fail, they want you to come work as a nurse.
-The most stressful part of ODS was being in the dark. You are purposely placed in the dark in regards to the entire day, most of the expectations and requirements and meant to be clueless and mess up. It’s annoying but certainly a learning experience and a humbling experience for those who need it.
-The best part was the camaraderie! Everyone is in the same boat. So though we didn’t even know each other’s first names for the first week, we knew how to keep each other squared away. You will make long-lasting friendships here.
-The number one way for a company to be successful at ODS is peer-peer correction. Keeping each other in line, helping each other out, looking each other over, etc.
In regards to ladies, I went out and bought a new black speedo because mine was bright blue. Black or navy is required but if it has some white is on the straps it was not a problem for my company. Note you will wear the swimsuit 2-3 times total.
-Hair was not an issue for me because mine is short-on my head.
-Long hair is easily managed. Though it says don’t bring hair supplies-DO! Our class officer didn’t want to deal with strays so she allowed it on day one.
-Hair must be out of the face. You can use bobby pins-I never saw anyone count them. The sock bun is the way to go and it cannot protrude from you head greater than 2 inches, which can be an issue for thick hair that’s down to your butt (otherwise you can do it). Short hair cannot touch your collar when in uniform (some say the top of the collar, others say the bottom, in the back). Use a button up shirt to reference.
-The people with the most troubles were shoulder length cuts that were too short to be pulled back. They were the ones that were told to go get cuts, which we were allowed, in town, with a stylist.
-If there is a situation with your family, your HHG, you car or credit card payment, just communicate it to your class team (your instructors) and they will help you out. Do not be deficient in these areas or things like them.
-We earned one phone call the first Sunday and full privileges the next weekend and then after hours. Note your cell phone or any other personal belongings (besides food that’s left out) are not taken away from you.
-This is a privilege that is earned and will depend on how well your company performs-how well they watch out for each other etc.
WHAT TO BRING
The list of what to bring is largely outdated. Allow me to re-write it and post it soon.
FIRST DUTY STATION
-Portsmouth is huge so it was an easy transition as there were many other new folks around. So I did not feel like an ugly duckling at all because people are being trained all around me (note-it’s a teaching hospital-the First and the Finest).
-Being on the units feels like being new on any hospital unit. The biggest difference for me is greeting most people in the hallways when walking past them. Though not everyone practices this, smiling and saying good morning to people makes it a better environment. And we’re in the Navy now.
-The nurse graduate program at Portsmouth is 8 weeks long. The one at Bethesda is 25 weeks (insane). Nurse grad program means you are demoted to being a student nurse and have a preceptor at all times and go through rotations before your final assignment (I still don’t know what mine is but I was able to put in preferences). I like it. I’m getting experience in Peds and ER for the first time. At Bethesda I can’t imagine it, it’s very inclusive but if you’re not a new grad it can be annoying. It’s also the allotted time to get all your command training done-really boring, medical/dental appointments, complete the huge orientation checklist. It’s time to collect yourself during the initial transition. It’s a good idea and I’m glad to have it.
Again I want to focus this on finding your own sense of pride for being in the military. You will gain it at training if you care to. Always have an answer for why you joined the Navy and plan on being asked every day. When I say have an answer I mean think about it now and think about it every day. Basically, if you’re coming in, just start drinking the kool-aid day one until you discharge and be proud to BE IN the Navy. Inspire yourself as you are part of the one percent. You are part of the Global Force for Good.