Health and Medical Needs


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  • #188
    leigh
    Member

    Hi Mike,tell me a littla about the health and medical facilities.I would love to correspond with Nurses there.RN here in the Carolinas, Leigh

    #1626
    thepooles98
    Keymaster

    As you might imagine medical facilities here are a bit sparse. Especially in the winter. We have a medical building that is more like a clinic in the states. In the winter there is a Doctor and a PA. They handle everything. Before any of us can spend the winter we have to go through something analogous to an astronaut physical. Anything wrong beyond blood pressure and you don’t get to come.You do get to retake the tests if you have time.  I’ve flunked a couple of times. Once for high creatinine levels and once for low calcium at the end of the winter. Both times I repeated the tests and they were normal. When you come down here all your relatives will think you are dying because of what they find ( I never heard of creatinine). They always find something, but that is the nature of tests. One day a little high and the next back to normal.
     
    Summer  medical is busy. Several doctors and Rn’s. Also the military provides flight doctors for the flight crews. They double as physicians for the base.
     
    In the event of serious medical problems, they can get a medivac flight in withing a few days. In most cases they can stablize the patients and get them out. There have been times when a couple of days wasn’t soon enough. That’s a risk we all live with. Winter is a whole different story. The pilots can’t see the runway unless there is enough light. The sun sets next week and it will become increasingly harder to get an emergency plane in. The next normal flight is around the 20th of August. Long wait. The other problem with winter medivacs is that the temperature has to be warmer than around -45, Otherwise the hydraulics begin to freeze. That means the landing gear and flaps won’t work when they go to take off again. All and all winter flights are very risky for the flight crews and something no one wants to do short of a critical emergency.
     
    A number of summer Rns have stayed on the winter in various other jobs. Usually connected with the science center.;
     
    Mike in McMurdo

    #1627
    leigh
    Member

    Thanks Mike This was very helpful…thinking about
    spending the summer in McMurdo myself, Leigh

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    #1628
    leigh
    Member

    Mike, I am an RN here in the Carolinas and have spent
    a good amount of time with family members that
    currently live in Alaska. I have an interest in a
    position with the Raytheon Polar Project and have
    e-mailed my resume to them. Iwould love to correspond
    by e-mail with Nurses that hold current positions
    there now. Can you put me in touch with any of the
    Medical staff at your station? This would help me get
    a feel for lessons learned. Thanks for considering my
    request, Leigh Boone RN

    Mike I am currently reading The Crystal Desert(Summers
    in Antarctica) by David Campbell and one very
    interesting point he shares is that the Brazilian
    Antartic program evaluated candidates for their
    program according to fifteen criteria, including “
    resistance to longe periods of confinement, resistance
    to frustation, capacity to sustain long separation
    from one's family and a capacity for sexual
    abstinence” what are your thoughts on this? Leigh

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    #1629
    thepooles98
    Keymaster

    Well as far as I can tell summer people don’t get evaluated at all for any of that. Our medical exam is pretty extensive though. Plenty of people don’t pass the physicals.Dental is another big one. If you get hired on here make sure you get your physicals done early enough that you can do any retests they might ask of you.
    Wintering personnel undergo a rather extensive written psych. exam. It’s a standardized test and I don’t know what it looks for. There is also an oral exam where they ask you questions about how you handle stress etc. Mostly they want to know that you won’t turn to alcohol to get through the winter.
    15 Criteria? I don’t think so.
    mike

    #1630
    leigh
    Member

    Thanks Mike, do you have any one That I could
    e-mail??? Nurses currently working there???And or PAs
    or Docs??Leigh

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    #1631
    thepooles98
    Keymaster

    Hi leigh
    The summer flight nurse for the last couple of summers is working as a lab supervisor for the winter and told me she would email you. I’ll have to get your email address to her. If it’s not already on the site then put it here. I would disguise it so the web robots don’t pick it up and send you junk mail. Do something like put astericks around the “@”   It would look something like healthnurse******at******hotmail.com. I’ll figure it out.It keeps down your junkmail.
    mike

    #1632
    leigh
    Member

    Thanks Mike, it is rnboone***@***yahoo.com I will look
    forward to her e-mail, Leigh Boone RN

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