I'm not sure which forum to post this (AZ, NM, Native American, General, OB) so I'll post here for starters.
I am interested in an assignment in one of the IHS hospitals in L&D, days/evenings, no nights. I've gotten approval from Chinle AZ through Access Nurses, which offers 8 week contracts. I've not travelled before, so I thought an 8 week contract would be good place to start, and I can extend if I want to. I am also in stage of getting approved by Anderson & Bates, which staffs federal health care facilities. They offer 13 week contracts, and I believe the pay is higher than Access. (I have no preference for either agency; I have not read negative things about either of them.)
I'm holding off on Chinle until I hear about Shiprock because I want to know if I can do 3 12 hrs/week with them, instead of 7 12's in 14 days, which is what Chinle wants. I'm starting Frontier's distance midwifery program, with online courses, and am hesitant to commit myself to working that much as I don't want my school progress hindered by work. My plan is to work a contract, study like mad on my days off in the nice solitude of the rez, save up my money, then return to the midwest to complete my coursework (then back to the IHS for clinicals, but that's another story ....)
Staffing in Chinle L&D did not sound good -- one RN in L&D (5 beds), one in nursery, one in PP. There is a CNM on as well, they also do 12 hour shifts. However, this could be a great experience to run the floor and work with the CNMs, as I've already contacted them about doing my clinicals there. Talk about learning to be an independent practitioner .... How did this work out for those of you who have worked there? I'm terrified of the days where there's more than 2 patients in labor and I'm the only nurse. Heck, 2 patients in labor and I'm the only nurse is bad enough, although the CNM may be a great help with patient monitoring and care, as far as I know. Is this the usual staffing in other IHS OB services? IE, minimal ....
The nurse manager was very nice, but seemed surprised to hear about minimum staffing ratios of 1:2 for L&D.
What is living in Shiprock vs Chinle like? I looked online for motels in Chinle and 2 of them offer internet (which I need for school); I'm not sure about Thunderbird, although this sounds like the coolest motel of the 3. Holiday Inn has a fitness center, which is a plus. The hospital does have housing for staff, but it is generally full, so the overflow are housed in the motels. There are no cooking facilities in the rooms, unless you bring a crockpot, and there's a microwave and small refrigerator. What do you travellers do? Eat in the restaurant? What do you cook in the rooms? Do you have crockpot recipes or resources to share?
This could be a fabulous opportunity for me but I do want to hear more from other RNs who have worked at these hospitals before.
Aug 12, '06
Quote from texascowgirl
why does Anderson and Bates website say only MD's and CRNA's?
i was going to take an assignment at Shiprock, but i didnt want to travel from Farmington, where they were going to house me. i think it would be interesting, but challenging to work with the Navajo and Hopi population. i would assume you would see lots of alcoholism, poorly managed diabetes, and suicide attempts there...it would be interesting to see how their belief system is and to see tribal medicine.
tell me more about Anderson and Bates...you are an RN right?
Yes, I'm an RN completing an MSN/CNM with FNS. So I'll be studying on my days off and would like the gorgeous solitude of the high desert for a few weeks
. I had not looked at the A&B website until I read your post. I got their name and number from another travel agency recruiter I spoke with on the phone, I think it was someone with Cross Country. I called them and the recruiter, who has been very nice, said they specialize in staffing RNs with federal health care institutions, including IHS. They do 13 week assignments and the pay seems a few dollars an hour higher than Access Nurses.
Last edit by Selke on Aug 13, '06
Sep 17, '06
Quote from bagladyrn
Just to give you a heads up - I have friends still on permanent staff at Shiprock - worked there for many years - and from what I've heard recently the OB dept. is in a mess - shortstaffed to the point of closing postpartum for days at a time, keeping only the L&D open with minimal staffing. If you were willing to put yourself in that kind of position I'm sure all the OT in the world would be available, but not sure it would be worth the risk!
Hey bagladyrn -- we've emailed from Delphi Forums. You're right about staffing in L&D at Shiprock. I do like it here but they have 3 - 4 RNs (1 for PP, 1 for nursery, 1 for L&D, 1 charge, who winds up in L&D most times) and when the pregnant lady bus lets off, like it has since I've been here, it's dicey. They've put me in PP mostly so I've been spared the worst. For now. I do not know if they try to get more RNs and can't, or if they have a mandate to run the place with only 4 RNs maximum. I will say, the staff pull together and work well together to get through it all.
If census is low they will put the PP pts in L&D -- esp when there are only 3 RNs. Today we had one PP pt and L&D had one triage pt all day (thank the goddess as I was in L&D and it could have been like last week, with all the rooms full and pts in the waiting room.)
Last edit by Selke on Sep 17, '06