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ED. iCU, now add on PICU
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midinphx has 19 years experience and specializes in ED. iCU, now add on PICU.

Commissioned 2010. So far 2 Middle East deployments. Multiple units and many moves!

midinphx's Latest Activity

  1. midinphx

    Quality of life: Air Force vs Navy

    I’m AF. I was prior in army. I chose AF because it always seemed nicer than army. It’s not. Quality of life is a vague term. So we have nicer bases and dining facilities and gyms. That does not equate to better quality of life. I don’t spend off duty time on base. I don’t eat at the dining facility at home station. Deployed - yes, having nicer living quarters is nice. But Stuff is not what helps morale. AF is highly competitive all the time as rank is sought by all members. It impacts how we take care of each other. Work life balance is upside for me. People who put family first are seen as not as committed. In most hospitals you work 48 this week and 36 next then repeat. And there is additional training and requirements that often are on your own time. Wow, this sounds very negative. I’m still staying in despite the hard stuff. I believe in what I get to do. I’m on my 5th deployment in 8 years. Deploying is something I would never get anywhere else. These are the times that are the worst for me but have given me the greatest job satisfaction in my career (RN x 24 years) For me the tough stuff is something I think people need to hear. Come in with your eyes wide open. Come in because you have the heart to serve and you just know it’s where you belong.
  2. midinphx

    AF Nurse Corp Info

    I was prior service military before coming in as a nurse. I thought I knew what to expect. Nope, lots of surprises. Your time is rarely your own. That's what it felt like at first. AF can work you 6 days a week. Same pay. They can switch you nights to days and back at their whim. Ok, so it's supposedly mission essential - but most times it's seems to be bad leadership. I was ICU nurse coming in. That was my goal. I was 42 years old with 14 years as a nurse. I was repeatedly asked what I wanted to do when I "grew up". Really. You must always have the next goal, even when this is your goal. Lol ICU in the AF is not like ICU as a civilian. You have for the most part a very stable young and healthy population. There are few real ICU units left in AF. San Antonio and Travis are your best bets to be in a real ICU. Those are 2 big hospitals with crazy political games. At first you will be immune to the games as you learn your new position. But after a couple of years, you'll see it. this was a huge decision for me. There have been ups and downs. I thought about leaving when the time came. But despite the stuff I don't like, I love being a part of something as great as our AF.
  3. midinphx

    Air Force Nurse Pay

    This is a really old post. Bonus change based on needs. But you will not be eligible for any other bonuses if you take an accession bonus.
  4. midinphx

    Nursing Schedule in the Air Force or Navy

    You are not going to get a real answer to this question. There is no standard answer. It varies by base, unit, mission needs and manning. Sounds really harsh, but true. I came in full qualified ICU RN. My first unit worked what they called panama - but it was too random to be panama - you should be able to predict when you'll work with panama. But I have found every unit I've been on will randomly change your shifts if you don't have a request off granted. I've worked one month with 0 days off - but that was really situational, but they can do that. If you are assigned to an inpatient unit - Expect 7 shifts every 2 weeks. With all those extra duties and training and PT on your own time. If if assigned to a clinic or not 12 hour shift place - expect 10+ hour work days 5 days a week. Also, be aware that even though you come in as a specific nurse, they will use you as they need you. even though I'm ICU, I now have a day job in an office. I'm the infection preventionist now (it's karma kicking me after all my arguments with IP in the past!). I have weekends off for the first time in over 20 years. I liked my 12 hr shifts. But now I can plan my life! I get the actual holidays off, which I'd never cared about. I will also point out the amount of time I've spent away from "home". I got lucky and deployed within 9 months of coming in. I did COT then. another unexpected surprise of 2 day notice for a 7 week training. Then 3 weeks in CSTars. 7 months in Iraq with a month detour thru Afghanistan. Supposed to be 18 months at home before next bucket for vulnerability - I got 14 (with surgery recovery I was off the list a bit). In that 14 months I had 2 tdy training - one for 7 weeks and anothe just a week. I got tasked for 3rd deployment 2 days after I got back to leave in 9 months - my commander cared about his people and refused to let me go. Instead I sent to SOS for 7 weeks. Lol. Then I got my golden ticket and PCSd. I'm in England. No challenge clinically, but a great AF learning opportunity. But I am still off to classes. 1 month done in June, back in Texas again ironically. I have a bonus item of a tasking to Slovenia for a training mission. Then I get to go back to Baltimore for 3 weeks. Live become an excellent packer! too much info, I know. But it isn't just the number of shifts you work to answer your real question.
  5. midinphx

    AF Flight Nurse (active duty route)

    If you want to be a flight nurse, do NOT come in as an ICU identifier. You will not be allowed to reclassify from 46n3e to 46f for at least 2 assignments. We are critically manned in icu.
  6. Joining the military to pay off debt may prove to be a poor decision. It's not a last choice. Military is a way of life and a deep commitment. Don't join for money.
  7. midinphx

    SAMMC housing

    You will want of base housing in San Antonio. The AF housing is on Lackland mostly. Lackland is across town from SAMMC. People with families seem to like living up North of town. Good neighborhoods and schools. You will get time to find housing after you spend 2 days doing must do now in processing. Make reservations asap at the Lackland inns for when you get there, to ensure a space there. There are multiple ICU units there at SAMMC - I think it is 7 total. You will go to a unit that needs a nurse, whether it is what you want or not. Be prepared to be flexible. :)
  8. midinphx

    How to start.

    Skip the Associate. You've got the time and the money for your Bacchelors! Good on you for wanting to get a jump on it! Once you get settled at your duty station, you go by education and training and they can help steer you. There is tuition assistance (though it gets cut off at times based on national budget issues) while you are in the military and make sure you use your GI bill. Get started on the prerequisites (maths, English, psych, chemistry, etc). Those all are necessary for an associates or a bachelors in nursing.
  9. midinphx

    NICU in Air Force

    I know a couple of NICU nurses who have deployed. Deploying has different challenges for everyone. Even experienced nurses face new experiences with the same kinds of patients we are expecting. The NICU nurses I saw on deployment performed and adapted in fantastic ways. Honestly, the things that you will find hard when adjusting to military life are not the ones you are expecting, and probably can't plan for. So jump in! You can do it.
  10. midinphx

    Age of joining as AD RN

    Commissioned at 42.
  11. midinphx

    NICU in Air Force

    I am ICU and worked the PICU at Joint base San Antonio, it also has a large and active NICU. You have very limited options as to where you can go in such a specialty. It can also limit your choices should you chose to pursue other career broadening assignment. That is not to discourage you, but to inform you ahead of time. When I floated to the NICU, they were nice and helpful. Lots of feeder growers. And some pretty sick ones (which they didn't give to a big icu nurse, lol). Sometimes the NICU nurse would floated to the Picu, but was rare, and we give the easier patients to the floaters. Shifts. You can expect to work 7 12hr shifts every 2 weeks. Schedules vary as to how they are made but that is the number to expect. Most units rotate between night and day shifts - quarterly is common but not the rule. Deployments. You can expect to deploy as a med/surg nurse. I'm not sure what else you are asking about deploying. hope that helps some.
  12. midinphx

    Military Nursing// May not be single parents

    I'm a single parent but my teenage son stayed in Phoenix. I thought I'd get to go see him whenever I had time off. I was wrong. Visiting away from town was way harder than I had anticipated due to travel rules at the base. I did have to have a family plan even though my son didn't live with me. It was a bother. they wanted names of someone local who would take responsibility for my son - who? No one knew him and he wasn't even in town. Frankly, I'm glad my son wasn't with me. I had loads of traveling at the last minute. I had 2 days notice of a 7 week TDY and another time with 2 weeks notice of an 8 week TDY. That does not include all the advance notice travel I had related to deployments. In 4 years, I lived in 3 different apartments and never completed a full year lease - I packed up everything into storage for deployments. I was on the go constantly. I don't know how i could have ever done that while worrying about my teenager at home. Single parents in the military have a very big chore and more worries. It's a good topic!
  13. midinphx

    AF Nurse Looking For Crit Care Bases

    Bureaucracy mess seems like it's everywhere! It's true that SAMMC is its own animal. I thought going to an all AF base would be different. Well, it's different, but can't say it's better.
  14. midinphx

    Air Force FY 2015

    Morgan , sorry for your bad news. Keep pressing forward. This year will give you time to growing make you that much stronger for next year. Good luck.
  15. midinphx

    Air Force FY 2015

    I would hesitate to say that OTS list is a final answer. We nurses attend COT and may not be on the same OTS list as the BOT list. Wait to hear from your recruiters.
  16. midinphx

    Air Force FY 2015

    Hard news. Time to prep for the next round! Go get some certificates and experience. ACLS and the national cert in your field. Be sad for a set amount of time then start building again. It's not over, just delayed.