Princess Cruises?

chillybreeze

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This sounds like a dream job!! Please let me live vicariously thru u!! :) keep us updated on the job you do!!:D
 

Sea Medic

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@TransportJockey - I know the medic you are talking about. She is an absolutely amazing person and a damn good medic. Her ship is a good one and from what I hear she is doing exactly how expected.

There is internet but it's not DSL. It is satellite based and speed is determined by the ship's location. You can access it from your PC but you do have to by an internet card (think calling card) for reasonable rates ($20 for 300 MB). You learn very quickly where the free wifi is in port and I have grown to love Starbucks even though their coffee is expensive, their internet is not.

And don't think that this is not a job that can be done by someone with a family. It's not the easiest dealing with family issues at sea but it can be done. I call home whenever I want and the time difference is usually the biggest hurdle.

I gave up high volume EMS for this job. It hasn't always been easy but I can't think of too many medics back home that can say that their view at breakfast changes daily simply by going to the open air deck and eating in the buffet area. Ship life is not for everyone but for those that understand the ups and downs, your view always changes and the travel oppurtunity is amazing.
 

Handsome Robb

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So tempting in so many ways. Too bad I don't have 2 years of ALS experience. This seems like it'd almost be a perfect job for someone like me, especially if I could snag a boat doing cruises in AK.
 

socalmedic

Mediocre at best
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So tempting in so many ways. Too bad I don't have 2 years of ALS experience. This seems like it'd almost be a perfect job for someone like me, especially if I could snag a boat doing cruises in AK.

I have just three short months until I will be applying.
 

TransportJockey

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So tempting in so many ways. Too bad I don't have 2 years of ALS experience. This seems like it'd almost be a perfect job for someone like me, especially if I could snag a boat doing cruises in AK.

I didn't see the two years experience bit. I got another eighteen months
 

Handsome Robb

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ExpatMedic0

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Silly question but I promised to ask. My buddy wanted me to confirm this is an "unaccompanied" contract aka you can not bring your wife along correct?
 
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jaysonsd

Forum Crew Member
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Silly question but I promised to ask. My buddy wanted me to confirm this is an "unaccompanied" contract aka you can not bring your wife along correct?

I can answer that real quick. After one year, you can bring guests aboard for a max of sixty days for a dollar a day. After probation (one year), things open up as far as benefits. You have to put it in writing, and that person stays in your cabin while aboard.
 
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jaysonsd

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Okay, so orientation is over. One day on the Golden Princess and two days of training.

For people interested in applying, it appears they are getting a large amount of resumes. Of the 11 people there, only one person had the minimum 2 years experience (and had a fair amount of ER exp on top of it). Everyone else ranged from 5-30 years experience. Who they are looking for (and I now understand why) are not medics that still crave working a 911 system. They want people that are not burnt out, but people that are ready to move onto something else and they are having more success in the 5+ year experience category. If you are sold on the idea and still hitting the minimum experience, fluff your resume with clinic/ER work. It demonstrates you have some understanding of this job.

There's spin in orientation, but the overall response from the medical teams is positive and they are looking to expand (and other cruise lines are putting the program under the microscope). One of the senior VPs is a former ship doc who created the idea of medics on board as expanding the medical skillset, namely prehospital. The program is only 9-10 months old, don't expect it to be smooth in transition.

Things I like:
Your secondary responder in the 911 response is the clinic doctor, no nurse intermediary. AMAs, variations on orders, additional resources, questions and concerns are all through the 'on call' physician. To me with too many years with MICNs, this is HUGE.
The emphasis that the medics are in charge in the prehospital setting. Assuming you know what you're doing and have demonstrated that to the rest of the medical staff, you're calling the shots, delegating actions, and jumping in where you want.
Uniqueness. You're an officer, one of just seven medical officers (around 200 officers on a ship), and usually one of the only Americans. The guy who scanned my ID was from Nepal, the server at lunch was from Laos.
The attitude. Too many years working the city has worn me down. The overall tone on the ship is different. As one shipboard medic put it, when everyone is smiling at you, it can't help but be infectious.

Things that suck:
Paperwork, as in real paper and there's a lot of it. Only thing electronic is (ha) billing. Your prehospital paperwork is simplified, but working in the clinic means learning nursing notes and charting. Yuck, but necessary.
Monitoring gastroenteritis. The bane of cruiselines, how its controlled involves a lot of isolation and monitoring of crew and passengers. The only interesting part, it evolves like an immune response in a body :p.

Lot more stuff I can put down but football is calling. PM me with questions.
 

Sea Medic

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Jaysonsd added some good info but let me clarify a couple of points. The actual role of the paramedic outside of the clinical setting is specific to first response. There are sometimes when you will be doing preliminary nursing notations but in-patients are specific to only nurses. Our staff has a good understanding that after hours, the medic is responsible for the initial triage and baseline procedures (IV's, EKG's, labs). If the patient will be admitted the on-call nurse is called and the medic is freed. There are occasions when the medic assists for a little longer but the inpatients are the sole responsibility of the docs and nurses.

The travel program is a little tricky. It is seniority based with a reduced rate but it depends on your specific officer status. Outside of spouses or immediate family, you are restricted to the amount of time that you have had the person you wish to travel with you "on the books" to at least 6 weeks. This prevents someone from bringing their girl/boyfriend while their husband/wife stays at home.

The only other thing is that experience is key but balance makes the difference. For medics that come from a busy 911 system, they would like for you to be able to recognize the need to slow down and explain the medicine side of EMS. For those that don't come from a busy system, the ability to multi-task with positive outcomes is a desirable trait.

Above all, 90% of your time outside of the clinic will be in a social setting, either amongst the crew or being around passengers. If you don't like small talk and the customary "where are you from" questioning, you will be in complete misery on a ship in the ocean with 2800 people that ask that question 10 times a day. The positive side is that when they see USA on your nametag, they honestly look like they won the world's biggest scavenger hunt.
 

Sea Medic

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One last thing to keep in mind. Princess Cruise Lines prides itself on the fact that you don't really see any Princess commercials on TV. That is because they have an extremely loyal traveling fan base. The point is this, the cruisers on our ships are not spring chickens, they are older with the normal amount of older medical problems. Some of the best advice I can give is be able to understand the disease process as it relates to the older population. If you can portray an understanding of this and basic hospital lab work/tests, you will be leaps and bounds above the rest. This is a good job as long as you stay grounded in the fact that you will not spend a lot of time running and gunning.

You will however get the chance to see countries most will only read about, experience things that others will be fascinated by, and realize that all that clinical time and riding third person looking out the back of an ambulance at all hours will have finally paid off for some of the best pictures and stories imaginable.

If you have questions, please let me know. I may not have the answers but I will do what I can to point you in the right direction.
 

TxFFP

Forum Ride Along
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Brief Question for Jaysonsd and Sea Medic...

Dear Jaysonsd and Sea Medic, I enjoyed reading your posts; they were quite educational.
I have a brief question, if you all would indulge me. I e-mailed my resume to Princess on 10-11-12. A follow-up e-mail confirmed that they received the attachment. I've e-mailed them one additional time to check on the status of my resume.
In your opinion, how long should I wait before moving on and putting Princess behind me? I've been a paramedic for 26 years, and a couple of my certifications include NRP, ACLS, PALS, GEMS, Master Firefighter, etc...
Thanks in advance for any advice you(or anyone else out there) could send my way.

Regards,

TxFFP
 

Sea Medic

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I'll answer as best as I can for now but will see if I can get some guidance from the office. I do know that on top of the normal dad to day operations, the medical department has been overrun implementing some massive changes across the fleet. Add that to the increase in the number applicants and you can easily see why there is delay. November and December are busy as there is usually a change in personnel before the Christmas rush.

I say all of that with the point being to not get discouraged. They do check as many resumes as they get sent but right now it's just a busy time. Give it to the first of the year and then touch base with them. As word has spread there's been an increase in candidates.

I will keep my ear to the ground and see what I can find out.
 

waffleiron

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Always happy to see this thread come back to life. Now that a few of you have been working on the ship for a while, can you guys give any updates on how the job is? What is a typical day on the job like? What sorts of cool places have you been to so far?
 

paramedic68whiskey

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SeaMedic, Thanks for the info. I have been doing contracts overseas for a while and just recently sent my resume to Princess. Looks like a decent gig.
Now did you have to get your TWIC and STCWs before deploying with them? I have both and need to refresh on my STCWs and was wondering if that would be a plus to have on my resume. Like the above poster I still haven't heard back from them. fingers crossed.... Thanks again
 

Sea Medic

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I just finished my first ship and will head to my next one sometime in the first of the year. The job was a huge break from what you would expect on land. A lot of downtime with a few instances of complete confusion. The beauty of being on a ship is that even though you're there to work, you're not really working. Our typical day was clinic from 0800 to 1100 and then that afternoon from 1600 to 1900. Outside of that, the on-call medic had the on-call pager but both of us had a lot of free time. There was the occasional life and death cold and flu with the even more exhilarating gastro illness but all in all, we spent a lot of time learning. Again, this job is not your run and gun EMS and is not for the adrenaline junkie.
In four months I saw more places than I thought possible. From whale watching in Glacier Bay, Alaska to snorkeling with sharks in Bora Bora, I can not even begin to describe the sights and experiences that I was paid to see. It makes those sleepless shifts and late night studying of paramedic class years ago well worth it.
 

TacMedic

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Sounds perfect for what I'd like to do. I am also waiting to hear back after submitting my resume in November. This will be my second attempt at it. I managed to get an interview last February, but didn't get further in the process. Still wondering why I may have been passed up. Hopefully 2nd attempt will pan out.
 

Sea Medic

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We did not have to get training for either certification prior to boarding. All necessary training for shipboard emergencies are handled in-house through training on the ship. Carnival Corporation (owner of Princess and about 10 other cruise lines) is very strict and structured when it comes to training. The day you join you start that training before the ship even leaves the port. I can't say that having vs not having the certifications would help or not but I will say that they make it very clear that in the event of almost all emergencies, your role would be as a medical team member.
 
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