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coconutzz's Latest Activity

  1. coconutzz

    Considering Military Reserves but I'm a parent and husband

    Rain-man, While I have not left for training yet (I leave for COT in a little over a week!) I have been married to a service member while working as a civilian nurse and we have 2 kids. I cannot speak for the experience of being the service member during a deployment, but as the family left behind it can be very difficult. If your spouse stays at home, things like child care will be much easier. I worked and went to school during the 3 deployments my spouse has been on. I found that my instructors at school were more understanding (as much as they could be in nursing school) but it is often difficult for my work to understand that as the sole parent, I am the only one here for every sick day/doctor's appointment/early dismissal/inservice day. I had to find a lot of additional childcare, which required a lot more money allocated for that. Sometimes I had family/friends to help, but they cannot stop what they are doing for months at a time to accommodate all our needs. I had many back up plans. BONUS: I have more refined planning and organization skills:) Also, my spouse never received more than 3 weeks notice for a deployment. We keep back up plans in place even when a deployment is not imminent because it seems like his come out of no where for us. I also found there was a significant amount of stress when we moved about finding a job. Because I am a nurse, I had to pay for licensure and sometimes found it difficult to find openings in the area of nursing I have experience in. Finding a place to live and lining that up with the kind of school we want our kids to attend has also been another challenge. Sometimes the distance is too great between our current location and our next assignment to allow for a house hunting visit. This can make moving a bit intimidating! I am not saying all these negatives to dissuade you from service, but there are a lot of difficulties that come with this lifestyle and planning ahead and acknowledging the challenges can make you better prepared. We enjoy what we have and want to keep this going, else I wouldn't have applied to go in myself:) As other people have stated, you are nowhere near the age cutoff for active duty. But I think sometimes it helps to hear just how much planning and accommodating is required.
  2. coconutzz

    MEPS for commissioned officers

    There is a difference between once you are in and when you are applying. Going in, you cannot breastfeed during basic (COT, OTS, or basic). After you get in is another story. This is how it was explained to me as I was applying and hit my own roadblock.
  3. coconutzz

    MEPS for commissioned officers

    CarolinaFNP, Before you go to the board or leave for COT (it is different depending on how you apply), you need a qualifying physical. Each MEPS might have a different interpretation of the qualifying and disqualifying conditions, but they showed me the documentation that stated that pregnancy and breastfeeding are disqualifying for a MEPS physical. Because both enlisted and officers go through MEPS, and basic training does not accommodate pumping, they do not allow lactation. I was told COT also does not accommodate pumping, but I may be wrong. I would ask your recruiter to contact someone about this because it took A LOT of doctors and phone calls to get this corrected, even after months of no longer breastfeeding. It was very stressful! You can contact me by pm once you get enough posts if you have questions:)
  4. coconutzz

    Air Force March 2014 COT

    CarolinaFNP, I just want to give you some information after reading your comment. I am leaving for COT in January (selected at the October 2013 board). I was unable to apply for the Spring 2013 board due to my MEPS physical. I do not know when you have to be evaluated at MEPS when applying for a NP position, but I was physically disqualified for breastfeeding. I was told I needed to let my milk ducts dry up for 6 weeks before I could come back and be evaluated. I was very upset by this news and chose to apply for the next board, after I knew I would be done breastfeeding. It was very frustrating because I was allowed to go to MEPS 6 months postpartum only to be disqualified for breastfeeding. I explained to them that for my application, I had to have a qualified physical before going to the board. I would not even leave for COT until a few months later. But the criteria they evaluate you on specifically states that you cannot have a qualified physical while breastfeeding. If you have more questions, you can pm me. I just read you statement and wanted to share my experience, hopefully giving you a heads up;)
  5. coconutzz

    Air Force Nursing- COT training

    aminoacid9, What nursing specialty are you? I am also going to COT in January and Nellis. I am OR
  6. coconutzz

    Air Force Jan 2014 COT

    I'll be joining you all in January and then heading to Nellis AFB in Las Vegas! Super excited!
  7. coconutzz

    FY 2014 Air Force Nursing

    I found out I was selected for an OR nurse position! I am so excited, it is still sinking in! Congrats to everyone who was selected! I don't know where or when I am going yet, can't wait to find out!
  8. coconutzz

    Can a Nurse have a Tattoo???

    I have a large chest tattoo that is easily seen if I am wearing a shirt that does not sit close to my neck. I have not had any issues at either job I have worked. The first job had a tattoo policy that they had to be covered, but they were pretty relaxed about it. I was asked to cover up once, but I didn't and it was never brought up again (it turned out to be another coworker who I didn't have a particularly good relationship with trying to get me in trouble). Other than that one time, I have never had it be a problem. I don't want to stop getting tattoos so I just try and keep them in places that I can cover them for interviews.
  9. Would TNCC be helpful to critical care nursing? I had heard it was based on assessing a patient when they first arrive to the hospital, but if you are likely to see trauma patients in your ICU, would TNCC be helpful? Are there any other courses that may be also be helpful for critical care?
  10. coconutzz

    circulating and scrubbing?

    are there many hospitals out there that have RNs who circulate and scrub? And I don't mean scrub once a month but consistently scrub? I am interested in RNFA but I work at a hospital where most scrubbing is done by techs. Thanks!
  11. coconutzz

    Pregnant when applying for the Air Force?

    Hi! I am currently pregnant and now have more information thanks to my recruiter so I'll share:) You can be pregnant anytime except for MEPS and COT. If you have to get/renew your physical and are pregnant, you have to wait for 3 consecutive periods before it can be done (I would like to know how that is verified). Other than that, no big deal. Last I heard the new fiscal year boards are in October 2012. I will be applying for the January 2013 board because I need to renew my physical after I have my baby. I'm an Operating Room Nurse, but my recruiter explained that if you apply as a specialty, you can also include that you would be willing to go Med-Surg if that would get you in. He had several applicants recently who tried to apply for a specialty but instead accepted a Med-Surg slot so they wouldn't be rejected completely from the Air Force. I hope things work out this time, but I also feel it is too early to get excited (for me at least) about how many applicants I'll be up against. Last time I applied, it was for NTP, it was something like 25 out of 150 were chosen. Are you applying for NTP or as a Fully Qualified?
  12. coconutzz

    New Grad in Pre-Op?

    I work in the OR but I can definitely empathize with you. When I was in nursing school, before I got to see OR nursing, I was like "oh ****, I'm paying to go to school for job I don't even like!" I found med-surg to be overwhelming and I always felt like I was forgetting something, and then I worried I would forget something critical. Plus, I thought it was really difficult because you worked so hard and rarely saw the benefits of your labor. But then I saw OR nursing and realized I found a job a could be happy with. So if you feel you could be happy in pre-op, go for it! Nothing is worse than dreading your job, especially on your time off!
  13. coconutzz

    Refusing to do a surgery?

    While I was a volunteer, not a nurse, at the time, I was a patient hand holder during elective abortions. I am also pro-choice, so, now that I am an OR nurse, I have no problem with this particular scenario. The best way to look at it is to remember that you are there to support a patient through a hard time and ensure that their procedure is safe for them. When you take yourself out of the picture, it is much easier to focus on the patient's needs.
  14. coconutzz

    Number of Applicants?

    I figure I'll share my GPA because that was something I was wondering too when I applied to NTP. My nursing GPA was 3.8 and my GPA from my first degree was 3.4. I was never given an exact answer as to what the criteria were but it was alluded to that it had to do with graduation date. The boards I applied to were one month before my graduation. People who graduated the semester before already had their RN license and seemed to have a better shot at being selected.
  15. coconutzz

    Number of Applicants?

    No, I wasn't selected. I was told that there were so many applicants that some people's applications were not even looked over. They just used arbitrary criteria to decrease the number of applications they actually had to review. That meant that when I asked for feedback on why I wasn't selected, I was told they didn't actually make any notes on my packet or give me a reason why I wasn't selected, just too many applicants. I was told to get one year of experience and try again, so that is what I am doing. I was really disappointed when I wasn't selected. My advice would be to apply, but also have a palatable back up plan if you don't get in on your first, or subsequent, attempts.