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carolinapooh BSN, RN

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carolinapooh has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN.

I'm an RN in the USAF Nurse Corps, currently stationed at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea. I am prior Air Force enlisted and have a total of 15 years on active duty, with seven years commissioned service.

carolinapooh's Latest Activity

  1. carolinapooh

    Why is our salary so low?

    This doesn't explain the proliferation of direct entry MSNs - and it also doesn't allow that a huge chunk of an MD's knowledge isn't gained in school either. School teaches them the background and the mechanics. While an intern is still a student, they're also doctors, and are paid as doctors (yes, I know it's a pittance, but who's monitoring that floor at 0200? In a teaching hospital, you're calling the intern).
  2. carolinapooh

    ICU in the military

    Services have loan repayment and a lot of it didn't go away with budget cuts - it's their most valuable recruitment tool. Ask health professions recruiters what's currently on offer with each service. No one pulls a 24 hour shift, even while deployed. You do typically work 6 days on and one off with 12 hour shifts, but that's for the length of the deployment. In Afghanistan there's really not much else to do.... In the military health care is free, you're paid tax free money for food (just over $200 a month), your housing is paid and not taxed. My base pay was more than my take home from civilian nursing - and even if I'd come in with NO prior service time, my base pay - before all allowances - would have been more than what I was making on the outside. Out of my civilian paycheck, I paid for health insurance and my mortgage. Now the military pays both - tax free. I earn 30 days of leave a year (2.5 days per calendar month served). If I get sick and I can't work, I'm still paid, I don't use sick days (sick time is time served), and I still earn leave. If the doc says I have to go home, I go home. If I get pregnant, I get 12 weeks paid maternity leave - and earn eight days of leave while I'm off. If my husband were active duty, he'd get 2 weeks off, paid and not charged as leave, after I gave birth (and there is talk of extending that). I'm overseas at the moment on an unaccompanied remote assignment. My housing, as there is nothing available for me on base, is paid (it's called OHA), plus $687 a month for utilities, plus Cost of Living Adjustment because I'm in an expensive area. But they still pay me for my husband back in the States, so our housing at home is paid as well. And I get paid Family Separation Allowance because he can't be here plus Hardship Duty Pay. Try that in the civilian sector. Consider the whole picture and not just the bottom line.
  3. carolinapooh

    ADN problems now what? ARMY

    A few years ago the Army was taking ADNs. They aren't anymore. To commission as an RN in the Army, Navy, and Air Force, you need a bachelor's degree in nursing.
  4. carolinapooh

    Can I become an army nurse?

    None of the services are requiring two years' experience. They're all terribly short manned.
  5. carolinapooh

    Advisable volunteer organizations/opportunities

    Being in the Reserves has nothing to do with volunteering and can slow your path to a commission. If you want a commission, pursue it. Don't enlist.
  6. carolinapooh

    AF Reserve Flight Nurse

    Not true. Flight nursing does not involve emergency nursing. It's bedside in the air. You are not an ICU nurse - you're a regular floor nurse. I know plenty of people who went straight to flight school right out of the gate in the Reserves (most nurses in the Reserves ARE flight nurses). CCAT requires ICU experience, but not flight nursing. Anyone with a year's experience can apply to flight school.
  7. carolinapooh

    Nursing in the Airforce

    I'm prior Security Forces K9. (We don't have MOS's, we have AFSCs - Air Force Specialty Codes). Your friend is enlisted, who operates under a separate set of rules, in a critically manned career field literally on the front lines. I'm not surprised they get held at Osan or involuntarily extended. Any PCS "mess ups in paperwork" generally have at their source some oversight of the member themselves. I've been in fifteen years. You have to take charge of and manage your own career. When it is the fault of someone in personnel, there are AFIs to correct the issue. There's a problem with people just sitting back and saying "I couldn't do anything" without actually bothering to attempt to do anything. I see it all the time. There are two bases in Arizona - Luke (Phoenix) and Davis-Monthan (closer to Tuscon). Both are smaller clinics, and you can always request to be sent there. Someone has to be sent there, after all. It amazes me that people say "oh you'll never be stationed at X Base" - well, someone has to be. Bases can be hard to get, but not impossible. As a new grad it is unlikely you'd be sent there, but it's been done. You can always request it as your second assignment. When filling out a dream sheet, never never NEVER leave them any options. Fill out all seven spaces. Don't give them any room to do their bidding. (They can still do what they want, but take as much control as possible.) If you want to be an officer, don't enlist. Stay away from shopping mall recruiters. You need a health professions recruiter. You could spend an entire initial enlistment - and likely would - waiting for a commissioning slot. That's great for folks who come in with no idea of what they want to do, but terrible planning for those who already know. This is minor and a bit petty, but please call my service the Air Force. We've only been known as the Airforce once in our history: when they combined the title for the Women's Airforce Service Pilots to get the acronym WASP. :) I agree, though - you should look into the Reserves; you don't sound like someone who would enjoy the ops tempo or lifestyle of an active duty member - and that's okay. Without the Reserves I couldn't do my job.
  8. carolinapooh

    airforce bases

    Your odds of getting a random administrative position as a second or even a first lieutenant are pretty much nonexistent. I'm a captain with seven years in commissioned and I have yet to get a random administrative position. They have no shortages there. Not too long ago the call for candidates for flight nurses included up to lieutenant colonels (O5). They have shortages on the ground. What they were doing was taking people like me, giving them patient oriented jobs, and then stacking what used to be a separate position on top of us. It's been so bad at times it came up in climate surveys, and was actually recently addressed directly to us via email by the Secretary of the Air Force herself. It's changing, and it needs to - it's an Air Force wide problem. Telling you what I do will identify me clearly, as I am the only person on my base who does what I do. It's valuable training and I don't mind the job, but I won't be doing it when I return to the US by my own choice.
  9. carolinapooh

    Air Force Reserves Flight Nurse Process

    It's so bizarre that the men's pants (at least at AAFES) are almost curvy and the women's pants are straight. When I bought my uniforms prior to COT I went to the base (because I had no option at the time) and the woman in there took one look at me and said - you need the men's pants. Trust me. LOL. She was right. I wear a women's 12 pants, in most brands, straight off the rack. The uniforms for women didn't fit me in a size 18, which is just stupid.
  10. carolinapooh

    Air Force Reserves Flight Nurse Process

    When I PCSd to Lackland from COT in 2009 they tried to say I had 42 days to take a PT test...uh, no, and here's the paperwork to prove it. So when I read that I thought, hang on - and just looked up the reg. You get 42 days to acclimatize if you're in that six month window (PT tests are every six months unless you score higher than 90, then it's once a year). This is to prevent people moving from, say, flight training in Texas to your base in Colorado and failing a PT test because running at 5000 feet is very different from running in Laredo. Or moving from Alaska to Florida in the dead of winter. But if you took your PT test today, and moved to your first base next week, you aren't due to test until six months from the day you arrived on station - as long as you have your paperwork.
  11. carolinapooh

    Should I become a nurse?

    Just because we're bordered by two countries doesn't mean we're an open door. I'm the wife of a legal immigrant to the US from the UK. It is not easy to get someone into the US by legal means (and we'd been married for nine years before he applied for a green card....) - and I know this because I've done it.
  12. carolinapooh

    Bed Bugs

    And I can't eat Rice Krispies any more. I hear that sound in my head like them biting me. I know that's ridiculous but that's what I hear when I think about what those big patches of bites looked like.
  13. carolinapooh

    Bed Bugs

    Yeah, it was gross. They didn't itch, though - they burned like wildfire. Mine were swollen and full of fluid (I had huge patches on my arms, face, and legs) so if I'd scratched I would've dug them open. The NP at the UCC and then my doc back at home both said it was the worst allergic reaction they'd ever seen. It took ten days, two steroid tapers, multiple antihistimines, and two Decadron injections for them to go away. Now I'm completely paranoid in a hotel (and this was a NICE hotel, for the record)!
  14. carolinapooh

    Bed Bugs

    If they're well fed they might not migrate. But they can hitch a ride home on someone's clothes and get in their car...I know someone that had a car infested with them. Lovely.
  15. carolinapooh

    Bed Bugs

    Bombing is just a high-powered spray. Since bedbugs do not self groom (I've had a run in with them myself), bombing is ineffective. They're killed by heat and freezing.
  16. carolinapooh

    Air Force Reserves Flight Nurse Process

    Not exactly on #1. Your PT test at COT, like the PT tests OTS, are ONE HUNDRED PERCENT VALID. They tried that on me as well when I got to Lackland, and lost. This has always been the case. AFI 36-2905, 21 October 2013 and Incorporating change 1, 27 August 2015 (the most current incarnation); p 47; paragraphs as follows: (FA = Fitness Assessment, the PT test) 7.1.1. Officer accessions will be given at least 42-days from their Date Arrive Station (DAS) to acclimatize, but will test NLT 6 months from DAS. DAS may include tech school or their first duty location. FAs administered at commissioning sources are considered official, provided they are administered IAW Chapter 3, and will be recorded into AFFMS II upon arrival at the first duty station. Upon graduation, officers will hand carry the AF Form 4446 for input into AFFMS II by the FAC at their first duty station or technical training (UFPM or training instructor), whichever location they report to first. NOTE: The next test date will be based on guidance in paragraph 3.11.1. If the officer reports to the duty location without an AF Form 4446, the officer must test within 42 days as stated in para 5.2.5. You don't retake it. Take your documentation to your duty station and have it recorded. Your unit violated a reg unless you didn't have your documentation.