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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The adventure of my Lifetime

The adventure of my lifetime is beginning today- a day I have looked forward to for a little over a month- actually, I guess it would be fair to say this adventure began about 6 long (short!) weeks ago.

As many of you know, I have had a rotten beginning to 2011, illness, a boyfriend that was cheating, having to move from my home.... I needed a fresh start, a change, a new beginning. I was checking out jobs in various places away from Chapel Hill, NC. The only reason I was there was my relationship- when it went south, I wanted to as well. Unfortunately, travel nursing positions in the towns I wanted to go to were few and far between. I found myself applying for long term vent dependent positions, telemetry and part time work just to get the hell out of dodge.

I was checking out www.flightweb.com when a position caught my eye- In fact, it said there 4 openings. Right where I wanted to be. Now, you must understand, I look at flightweb maybe once every 2-3 months. I was sent here to find this ad. I applied with a resume and was contacted back by the national recruiter- she was forwarding it on to the base manager. Ok, this is cool- but wasn’t getting my hopes up. I mean- seriously- it is few and far between to find flight nurse slots.

A day or two later, I had a voicemail from the manager. He was inviting me to the interview session on May 25th. Of course I said I would be there- a wonderful co-worker traded with me (Thanks Crystal!) and I was set. The very early morning of the 25th found me leaving Burlington at 430 am to drive to Columbia SC. I wanted to arrive early and have time to relax- I knew this would not be an easy interview.

I walked into the office and felt my heart sink. There were four other people sitting there- I thought, I only have a 20% shot at this. Nervousness gave away to chatter amongst us, and it came out that 2 were medics and 3 of us were nurses. Okay- now a 33% chance- things are looking up. First came a rocking hard test- questions like calculate the Cerebral perfusion pressure given the following info:..........and how much terbutaline would you give to this pt.....somehow taking my time I made it through.

Next was the simulation- with simi man- the scenario was given to me and I began thinking of the two things Dr. Corey Slovis taught me- ABC- airway, breathing and circulation, and KISS- keep it simple stupid. I ran through the scenario, removed the unneeded Mannitol, needle decompressed the chest after a successful RSI intubation and got the pt out of Podunk hosp en route to Trauma U Er.

Afterwards I had to do a face to face with three active air crew. Now I must say experience was on my side- I have done emergency medicine for close to 30 years - (damn, i do look good for 35 don’t I !!! wink wink ), but I was a medic for 12, then moved over to nursing as an RN. I have flown before, both fixed and rotor wing- so I felt pretty good, but you never know.

After all was said and done, I treated myself to what I have been wanting for a while- an enclosed trailer for my motorcycle. I found a great deal in West Columbia and went for it. Several hours later and 414 round trip miles later, I arrived home, unsure of what the results of the day would be.

The next week I had a day off and decided to play golf at Indian Valley. I was on the tee at the 10th hole when the phone rang and changed my life forever. I had made it through the interview process and was being asked to return to flight nursing! What I did not know was they had several interviews previously, and they were down to one nurse slot. How much more sweet could the offer have been! No matter how bad my golf game was, it instantly became like I was winning the Masters. I quickly accepted the position.

Then the hoops and hurdles started- fill out this application, pee in a cup, do this for your background check- oh- make sure you fill out the last page- Have you ever committed air piracy, have you ever interfered with a flight crew, ever committed murder, robbery? A whole page of questions. It takes several days to complete the background check. I became worried after they called for info, but it was only that UNC had given them my perm hire date instead of my part time date- that was quickly and easily rectified.

I finally got the all clear email and was told to report to orientation in Denver- so that is where I leave off now- sitting in the airport getting ready to board a flight with 2 others who will become my co-workers in this endeavor- the adventure is truly beginning!

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