Republic of Korea 1st Duty assignment

  1. Hello all, I have a question that could hopefully be simple. I am on track right now for the Army Nurse Corps boards this november 5th 2012. My husband and I would love Rep. of Korea to be my first duty assignment. By that I mean accompanied husband and children. My husband is prior service we are familiar with Korea, I have been there myself and loved it. Is there any chance at all Branch would give us ROK as a first duty assignment.

    I am a nurse with 4 years work experience in a major hospital, I am the assistant nurse manager in a heart hospital with lots and lots of beds. I am already med/surge certified. My grade point average has never dropped below a 3.8 I am hopuing with my history work experience along with the fact that I am only 27, that I will be selected.

    I mentioned my work history because with the certifications and my work experience I should be coming in as a 1st lieutenant. With no need to have the additional med/surge training. SO I would hope that would help me be able to get to Korea. So again anyone know if I could have any chance of getting an accompanied tour there.

    Thanks in advance for any help given.
  2. Visit shighsmith profile page

    About shighsmith

    Joined: Feb '06; Posts: 27; Likes: 1
    Assistant Nurse Manager, Heart Hospital; from US
    Specialty: 4 year(s) of experience


  3. by   MaumauMom
    All those are great, but with the army it's not even that complicated. If there's a spot available you would get it. It's been more than 3 years since I was recruiting and I have a few friends who still recruit for nurses. Hopefully you can get station of choice as part of your package. Like I said before, if there's a spot for you in Korea, you will get it.

  4. by   shighsmith
    Actually When I said I would hope I got selected I meant forthe Nurse boards to get a commission. I know you couldnt tell me that or not. I hear so much there are only around 40 slots for this november 2012 board kinda makes me scared, that I wont get selected. I would just love to be active army. It would fulfill a life goal.
  5. by   kcmylorn
    I am not active duty, and I have never been active duty but I did recently work a military treatment facility for the past 2 years as a civilian RN contractor. I don't think Korea is a duty station where families would be allow to accompany the service member. I don't think the base there has a hospital. I think it only has a outpatient clinic. But double check on that.
  6. by   shighsmith
    Thank you kcmylorn, but that is incorrect. There are accompanied tours as well as on post housing most on Yongsan. I am shighsmith's husband. I spent over a year there. And there isa very nice hospital. Just hope I can get a chance to accompany my wife there with our children. Just something we would love to show our children and have them experience. BTW there isnt one base but around 100 bases in south korea. with many clinics. Yongsan just happens to be the biggest and have the most facilities.
  7. by   kcmylorn
    We had alot of medics in the MTF and the ones that we going to Koreas were not allowed to bring their families and the reason why i was told , was there is no hospital just an outpatient clinic.
  8. by   shighsmith
    Not sure when that was that you are speaking of. There are hardship tours in Korea. Where you go for 12 months unaccompanied. But, there are 2 and 3 year tours, there is a large hospital, I actually got a cast on a broken ankle at it. right now there are approximately 4600+ family members of soldiers living in Korea.
  9. by   kcmylorn
    I worked in a MTF from 2010 to May 2012 in the states. It was a 'Clinic" not a hospital. These are 2 different levels of care.
    The Hospital is deemed acute care; the Clinic is Primary care. Primary care treats routine, non urgent, non emergent, illness or acute 'injuries". Injuries and illness that occur within "24-48 hrs" that fit into the routine, non mergent non urgent , non life threatening catagories. On military base, overseas or stateside, there is "Sick call" which is reserved for active duty only. No matter where the location, clinics may or may not have what is called an "Urgent care" attached to them. In Urgent care they treat acute illness or acute injuries- such as a broken leg. If a condition requires more emergent care and the patient goes to the urgent care- that patient is sent out via ambulance to an Emergency room which is attached to a hospital aka acute care.

    Korea has many US MTF 'Health Clincs"- that fall in the Primary care catagory- 9 to be exact. They do not provide the same services(level of care) as a Hospital" aka acute care
    There are only 2 US military "hospitals" that I know of in Korea both have very limited services. One is Army- Brian Allgood Community Hospital YongSan- which only has 61 beds and civilians can be admitted on a "space availiable basis. Beds are reserved for active duty first first because the beds are so limited: and the other is USAF- in Osan with 32 beds and again reserved for active duty first active duty will always go to the US military hospital if overseas. If the injury is sever enough that sever and cannot be handles at the Us milirary Hospital in Korea then the patient is medivac's to the US military hospital in Japan. If a dependant- there is another wrinkle- TRICARE. The TRICARE and US military contract with local Korean hospitals for care which is beyond the scope of the military clinic facilites. The civilan US patient will be referred to a Korean Hospital locally.

    Many of the Health Care clinics in Korea refer the patient to one of the neighboring Korean Hospitals to their emergency room for further treatment because the injury or illness is beyond the scope of the Health Care Clinic or beyond the scope of the US military base urgent care attached to the base Health Clinic such as a complaint of abdominal pain or a head injury or the injury or if the illness happens "After Hours" If the patient is close to YoungSan and the condition serious enough and if space is avail ble they may be Medivac'd to the Us Army hospital Brian Allgood Community Hospital. The first clue that these MTF's in Korea are only clinics and treat only routine or minor illness or injuries are their hours: 7 A- 4;30 PM. Those are never the hours of a "Hospital". Hospitals are open 24 hours. For a facility to be deemed a "Hospital" it has to have a full functionally capable emergency room attached to it which full diagnostic services- lab, x-ray. CT scan and MRI.

    I had a few military active duty who were in Korea needing this medivac moving and shaking- one active duty was in acute renal failure( needing dialysis) was flown to Japan received emergent care- placement of a temporary dialysis catheter and emergent dialysis treatment and stabilized there, then flown to Tripler- stayed there for a few days to receive another dialysis catheter and then flown to Travis, California and admitted to a civilan hospital in California for the duration of the illness. This is not unusual.
    Then there is the issues of needing cardiac stents. A Chest pain a STEMI /MI who comes into the MTF clinic. That patient has to be medivac'd depending on their location( if close to YongSan to the BAACH if that facility is capable of that level of care, may not be) may only be capable of staring medication drips in that ED and needing medivac'd to Japan or may require treatment in one of the local hospitals. There is a time period window for this condition- door to cath is 90 min. means the providers have 90 min to get that patient on the cath lab table. There are so many variables for select illnesses.

    This is why the US military issues a warning on dependent travel to some locations in Korea. If there is a special needs child or spouse- then the bowl of wax becomes more complicated. Some of the US military treament facilites are deemed an EFMP;s and some are not, in simplified terms: if there is a dependant who requires specialized treament those special needs will be able to be managed medically because there is an MTF that can manage them such as: a diabetic dependant, a child or spouse with a mental health disorder- bipolar, schitzophrenia, a ADHD child or a child with cystic fibrosis, or a child with metabolic syndrome. There are some state side bases/assignments that can not accommadate some of these conditions and there fore the active duty is not stationed there. One example: a spouse with Insulin dependent diabetes who was non compliant with blood sugar monitoring sent to a base down south, no services to manage this in the MTF clinic on base, needed to rely on off base providers and hospitals, active duty station assignment was changed. A spouse with a mental health issue and an addiction problem was not allowed to accompany AD to Guam.
    It's a case by case decision on the military"s part if the family can accompany.
  10. by   shighsmith
    lol, So when I said yes they have hospitals, and yes there are accompanied tours, and that i thought you may be misinformed I was right. Alot of text there. Basically my question still stands. What are the chances of getting an accompanied tour to Korea as my 1st duty assignment. I am thinking I need to just make friends with a branch manager and ask about this. I understand your need to push your point, but when i said they have hospitals(which have nurses in them) and accompanied tours that is all I meant, not what type of large hospital, or who they can treat in the hospitals or for what. I am already aware there arent any specialty classes in ROK which doesnt bother me I would trade that out for a couple years there. Then I can grab further education clases later, or possible tdy to the states for other training.
  11. by   Mslecia20
    You can get an accompanied tour in ROK however instead of the usual year long tour as unaccompanied you would have to stay for two years instead. That's the sacrifice (if you want to call it that lol) you make if you want your family there. Also RN can work at almost any camp in ROK in the clinics not just the major treatment center in Seoul. BTW I know why you want to go I loved it there but don't want to spend 2 years in a row lol
  12. by   shighsmith
    My husband and myself loved it also. We were both small town types, until we went to Korea. We would love our children to experience a culture so different from our own, and see the world.
  13. by   Mslecia20
    Have you ever thought about Germany or Italy? Those are also accompanied tours and I heard Italy was really nice.
  14. by   shighsmith
    Italy is such a small presence I think it would be pretty hard to get there, and I wouldnt want to go to germany.