Princess Cruises?

jaysonsd

Forum Crew Member
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Hi everyone,

I follow the remote medic blogs quite a bit and getting interested in some international work (and the daunting task of where to begin). Working as a shipboard medic doesn't sound exciting, but the travel would be interesting. Anyone have experience?

Thanks,
Jayson
 

mycrofft

Still crazy but elsewhere
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Never worked as one, but...

http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=the+dressing+station&tag=googhydr-20&index=stripbooks&hvadid=6723044577&hvpos=1t1&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=9085553351634783979&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=b&ref=pd_sl_362h91o1xh_b

Dr Kaplan includes his colorful experience as a cruise doctor.

I took one cruise with Carnival, I was able to visit their waiting room only and no opportunity to talk to the staff. Other staff (cleaning, dining room) said this generically about employment for them:

1. Paid in cash, the ships purser acts as the bank. With little to spend money on if you are not crazy in port, then you can amass some dough, but not a mountain of it.
2. If you don't measure up or the captain otherwise becomes unimpressed with you, you can be paid off and put ashore almost anywhere.
3. Looming in the background of everything else is the duty to at least avoid irritating the passengers and making it an enjoyable trip. Or else.
4. Oh, yeah. The "clinic" was in the bow belowdecks so no portholes, totally artificial lighting and ventilation. Little bins of OTC meds on the wall for passengers or crew to just take a few of PRN/Ad Lib.
 
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BeachMedic

Forum Lieutenant
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Hi everyone,

I follow the remote medic blogs quite a bit and getting interested in some international work (and the daunting task of where to begin). Working as a shipboard medic doesn't sound exciting, but the travel would be interesting. Anyone have experience?

Thanks,
Jayson

Technically, I was employed by them for a little bit. Did a week of training in LA. Princess is the first Cruise line to utilize Paramedics in that role. I know quite a bit of how the operation works and have some buds out in the field with them. Some like it. Some are looking for mainland jobs.

Contracts are 4 months on, two months off, and 4 months on again. So you'd be gone 8 months out of the year. Not easy for people with families. You're home would essentially be the ship. Americans are paid with direct deposit.

The travel is interesting if you love being on a ship. As a Paramedic you'd operate on a 24 on/24 off schedule. If you're lucky enough to be in port on your day off then you can spend the day there. I believe it's a 10p.m. curfew. For me, spending half a day in a touristy Carribean/Asian/Hawaiian port without a car isn't the same as, "travelling" to any of those locations. Keep in mind that the typical voyages for passengers are 7 days. So for whatever shipped you're placed on during your contract you'd be doing circles for 4 months. You'd see the same ports a lot.

The people running the program are knowledgeable Paramedics who know who we operate and all the equipment that we need. It's planned out really well actually. The facilities I tour'd were really nice and they did have port holes. They basically have nearly all of the capabilities of an 8 bed ER on board. (depending on the size of the ship) International waters/maritime are very interesting in regards to the expanse of your scope. There is the potential to learn a ton in regards to long term patient care.

You'd be working with Docs from South Africa and Nurses from the UK so you'd have to get used to their terminology/names for medicines. Paracetamol =Tylenol, Solubutomol = Albuterol, It's not NTG it's GTN Glyceryl trinitrate.

It makes finding a job in the Fire service (or any permanent job with retirement bennies) a million times harder if that is your angle. It'd be near impossible make any testings or interviews.

It seems like a neat gig and I probably would have loved it. It's just not something I could personally do long term. I would have had to miss three weddings (including my baby sisters) alone this year. Not to mention all the holidays. That and it's starting to look like I'm getting picked up by Honolulu EMS, which i'd probably love even more.

If you're young, single, and want to make an ok paycheck it'd probably be a pretty awesome experience. You'd probably catch the shipboard version of, "Island Fever" though. As big as those ships are, they get pretty tiny after a couple weeks. I have nothing really negative to say about my experience with the company, everyone seemed pretty awesome. Take what I say for what it's worth; I never actually made it to the field so I don't really know how it actually is once you get out there. I just know how it's supposed to work.
 

MrJones

Iconoclast
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Technically, I was employed by them for a little bit. Did a week of training in LA. Princess is the first Cruise line to utilize Paramedics in that role. I know quite a bit of how the operation works and have some buds out in the field with them. Some like it. Some are looking for mainland jobs.

Contracts are 4 months on, two months off, and 4 months on again. So you'd be gone 8 months out of the year. Not easy for people with families. You're home would essentially be the ship. Americans are paid with direct deposit.

The travel is interesting if you love being on a ship. As a Paramedic you'd operate on a 24 on/24 off schedule. If you're lucky enough to be in port on your day off then you can spend the day there. I believe it's a 10p.m. curfew. For me, spending half a day in a touristy Carribean/Asian/Hawaiian port without a car isn't the same as, "travelling" to any of those locations. Keep in mind that the typical voyages for passengers are 7 days. So for whatever shipped you're placed on during your contract you'd be doing circles for 4 months. You'd see the same ports a lot.

The people running the program are knowledgeable Paramedics who know who we operate and all the equipment that we need. It's planned out really well actually. The facilities I tour'd were really nice and they did have port holes. They basically have nearly all of the capabilities of an 8 bed ER on board. (depending on the size of the ship) International waters/maritime are very interesting in regards to the expanse of your scope. There is the potential to learn a ton in regards to long term patient care.

You'd be working with Docs from South Africa and Nurses from the UK so you'd have to get used to their terminology/names for medicines. Paracetamol =Tylenol, Solubutomol = Albuterol, It's not NTG it's GTN Glyceryl trinitrate.

It makes finding a job in the Fire service (or any permanent job with retirement bennies) a million times harder if that is your angle. It'd be near impossible make any testings or interviews.

It seems like a neat gig and I probably would have loved it. It's just not something I could personally do long term. I would have had to miss three weddings (including my baby sisters) alone this year. Not to mention all the holidays. That and it's starting to look like I'm getting picked up by Honolulu EMS, which i'd probably love even more.

If you're young, single, and want to make an ok paycheck it'd probably be a pretty awesome experience. You'd probably catch the shipboard version of, "Island Fever" though. As big as those ships are, they get pretty tiny after a couple weeks. I have nothing really negative to say about my experience with the company, everyone seemed pretty awesome. Take what I say for what it's worth; I never actually made it to the field so I don't really know how it actually is once you get out there. I just know how it's supposed to work.
Did you get a feel for where a medic would be in the shipboard pecking order? Rank makes a huge difference on the cruises ships with regard to everything from billeting to working conditions to the amount of BS you have to deal with in general.
 

BeachMedic

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Did you get a feel for where a medic would be in the shipboard pecking order? Rank makes a huge difference on the cruises ships with regard to everything from billeting to working conditions to the amount of BS you have to deal with in general.
You'd be a 1 stripe Officer. So an Officer but lowest on the Officer totem pole.

Which is still huge. You'd get access to the passenger space while in uniform. (Which is a huge plus. A lot of staff can't enter passenger space and are restricted to the crew ares of the ship, which aren't too appealing.)

You also get a private quarters (with personal bathroom/shower) and access to the Officers' Mess as well as the Ward. The room is decent, but nothing compared to passenger cabins of course.

So as far as jobs are a cruise ship go, medic is a pretty good deal compared to a lot of others. I think the entertainers have the best schedule.
 
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jaysonsd

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Thanks BeachMedic, that answers a lotta questions I had. I have my interview tomorrow and I was reading through a FAQ that they sent out that left too many questions open. I've grown interested in international work as I've been watching the socal scope become narrower and more restrictive. Its always been frustrating to have an interesting call and have HIPPA shut down most attempts @ follow-up. We're not Norcal.

I only have one fire interview (SDFD) and not interested anywhere else. Prop B might remove the pension anyways (not to mention the hiring freeze in place right now). I've thrown out my cv to international organisations and got shut down everytime. You'd think 10 years b/t EMT and medic would count for something, but it doesn't. So, maybe this is getting my feet wet.

For anyone that's interested, I can send you the FAQ and applications stuff. They are doing some kinda accelerated hiring process right now.
 

BeachMedic

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They are pretty good about answering any questions you have during the interview.

I'd say wear a suit/tie even if it's a skype interview. That worked for me. Or since you're So Cal they might even have you just do an in person interview.

For the clinical interview think a lot about your steps to approach a call from top to bottom since the questions they ask are a little vague and designed to see your thought process.

Vague like, you have a man with abd pain. What do you do?
 

JPINFV

Gadfly
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Its always been frustrating to have an interesting call and have HIPPA shut down most attempts @ follow-up. We're not Norcal.
Sigh, say it's for QA, which falls under the Health Care Operations permitted use section of HIPAA.
 

jaysonsd

Forum Crew Member
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Yes, from my QA department... 3-4 months later w limited information. I actually worked up in the QA/QI department while still working the box. No help.

And then when I was back on the box FT, maybe I'd get an info but the nurses were short staffed and one medic's request was waaaay down the list.
 
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Jon

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JaysonSD,

Thanks for posting... I've seen the ads, and actually toying with the idea of applying.
 

jaysonsd

Forum Crew Member
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Had the interview yesterday over Skype. I'll break down more info when I'm on my comp. Basically you work everyday, the 24 on/off is as a first responder. There's still the clinic two times a day, which has reduced hours when the ship is at port.

I think there's a great opportunity for learning. There's a total of six medical staff per boat (two docs, two rns, two medics) and I get the impression that the crew gets pretty tight from that. There's a crew gym along w the guest gym we'd have access to. Satellite internet is free and phone is supposedly cheap.
 

Jon

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...Satellite internet is free...
Giggity. That was a big question for me. I can't live without EMTLife. :D

I'll look forward to your reply. Big question - are medics a new thing? Are they replacing RN's with medics?


And how does emergency response work?
 

abckidsmom

Dances with Patients
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I would do this in a heartbeat if I was single. Sounds fun, and the worst that can happen is that it will be a bad memory.
 

BeachMedic

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Giggity. That was a big question for me. I can't live without EMTLife. :D

I'll look forward to your reply. Big question - are medics a new thing? Are they replacing RN's with medics?


And how does emergency response work?
Medics are brand new. The program started earlier this year. They are not phasing nurses out. They are adding a first responder skill set they believe has been missing from cruise industry medicine.

You respond solo with the first responder bad. (small O2 tank, aed, code drugs, and an iv set up. The bag is very basic and with good reason; on duty you carry it for 24 hours every where. Approx. 20 lbs) And a wheel chair if you like. For the most part everything is load and go to the clinic. Once at the clinic you would do everything you think the pt needed. (e.g. Iv, blood draws, and xrays.) If it's a long term patient you could turn care over to a nurse. If it's short term you could keep the patient and discharge it yourself.

For a stat call or a code you get on the radio and call a code alpha. When you do that you get the whole world coming. I think it's 15 people total including like a 12 person stretcher or lift team.

There is a fully stocked set of gear available. Just like we have in the field; including airway bag, drug box, pedi bag, trauma kit, c-spine gear, suction. Like I said the people running the program are ex field medics. They know who we are and how we operate.

Protocols are very, very basic. I'm talking just asa and vital signs basic. You can do the ecg at the clinic. Not a lot done on scene at all.

On your day on you have to run 2 clinics for the crew. (the nurses do the passenger clinic.) Keep in mind that the larger ships can have up to 1500 personnel. You run a morning clinic and an afternoon clinic.

That's the gist of it. Just nabbed a call at work. Later all.
 

Jon

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So did they just ADD people to med staff? Or did they loose some RN's/MD's, etc?
 

mycrofft

Still crazy but elsewhere
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It's come a long way since Dr Kaplan's adventures.
 

bigbaldguy

Former medic seven years 911 service in houston
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I remember reading a great article about the living and working conditions onboard cruise ships that pretty much put me off ever wanting to take stab at it.
 

Jambi

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I remember reading a great article about the living and working conditions onboard cruise ships that pretty much put me off ever wanting to take stab at it.
If what was said about being a 1 stripe officer with your own quarters, it's likely that the situation would be vastly different for the medic right?
 

NomadicMedic

EMS Edumacator
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You say protocols are basic, Yet there is a full load out of ALS gear?

Any chance you could post some protocols? Say for an unstable tach or pulmonary edema...
 
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