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About A.Raven

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  1. So my initial appointments with patients tend to go along the lines of consents, HIPAA forms, various measures (PHQ-9, medical history, etc) followed by CAPS, and then a less structured "chat" after, because CAPS usually ends up being pretty intense for them. About 40% of the patients I see indicate feelings of being "better off dead" or that their families would be in a better position if they were. In terms of SI, plan and intent, mention of a timeline, method, recent attempt. ("I want to jump off X bridge this weekend/I put my sig in my mouth two nights ago/Every day I think about taking all my meds at once" - obviously not usually said so baldly) needs to be present for me to place a psych hold. That includes non-fatal self-harm, not solely suicide. If there's history of SI in their med charts, or certain aspects of conversation are dropped during CAPS, I tend to finish the appointment talking about certain aspects of home life and med history: -social support -religious beliefs -future plans -access to weapons/prescription meds -substance abuse/alcohol. -previous attempts/self reports of SI -inpatient psych stays -clarification of anything they've mentioned during the appointment that raised concerns. However since we're usually talking about combat trauma or MST for a couple hours, I have to build a certain level of trust during the appointment, and often what's expressed in one on one, once we go to the resident psych or supervising MD is not mentioned - usual fear of being held as inpatient etc. I can place them on a psych hold, involve security, if I am seriously concerned about the immediate safety of the patient and they are refusing a further consult. Patients have to be stable (>3 months since last attempt) before I can enroll them in any treatment program due to the CBT/exposure treatment being pretty intense. Sorry for the long reply, - can I ask how long you were a Corpsman?
  2. That's fair. Reason I started this thread is cause I'm torn between sticking with nursing or switching to a different science major that's less likely to get me the "do you want to be a nurse, or a PA?" question as I'd be going straight from BN to grad school application. Just started so I still have option to switch. It's great to see the massive variety in backgrounds. Haven't done Catalina yet. Did La Jolla shores/Coronado islands, not bad - I'm completely spoiled cause I learned in aus on the Barrier Reef and then did Thailand and Colombia, so cold water ain't much fun - agree with you on the weight/thick suits. Even with a 7mm and hood its freezing below thermocline.
  3. What made you do the double switch, if you don't mind me asking? Taking 16 units a quarter right now, 50 hour/week working in PTSD treatment, volunteer at weekends. I slept plenty when I did my time in UK college, don't need much nowadays. Also dive when I get the chance, although I haven't done much here (SoCal). 3 jobs and kids.. so, 1 hour sleep a night, give or take? Where do you dive, if you still do?
  4. Damn me. Sure you didn't want to add anything else to that? Did you get any sleep during college?
  5. Looking for some HCE feedback. Been working @ VA for 3+ years, all PTSD research - first two years were as EMG startle tech (running emg testing 1on1, 12 patients a day) working on base with AD marines. Now last 8 months is PTSD screening (CAPS) appointments with veterans I screen for eligibilty and schedule myself. Appointments include 2x 1on1 sessions; I assess for validity and we discuss trauma, symptoms and other life stressors in depth, before they are randomized (if I deem eligible) to a treatment program. Usually 5+ hours 1on1 per patient. Also includes lab work, I don't draw blood (no phlebotomy training) but take patients to clinic and process samples after. Occasionally consult with supervising MD but mostly working solo. MD has no interactions with patients other than if I deem SI to be extreme. Patients vary, but majority have comorbid diagnoses - bipolar, major depression, BPD, schizophrenia, substance abuse etc. Planning to take EMT cert in Spring and hopefully work in the field part-time alongside school & VA position (study ends when I start my BS) for next 3 years. (Already have British college time which accounted for VA position but credits not accepted by CA schools due to how long ago it was/some not transferable) Question is, will any of my psych work count at all towards HCE? I'm aware research is one of those touchy areas. Thanks in advance for any info.
  6. Thanks for all the replies guys, that seems like one of the great things about PA school, the variety of backgrounds. I've not been accepted to a nursing program yet, (would be applying in spring) - I have to confirm my major end of this year, so the feedback is really helpful. Good luck with school/career, all of you!
  7. A.Raven

    Navy PA advice?

    Thanks a lot for the feedback guys, greatly appreciated. Current plan for bachelors major is nursing (working on my transfer credits right now), plus will be getting EMT cert within next two semesters. Then will aim for as much clinical hours as possible. Can I ask what your majors were for bachelors? Deployment wise I know it's been a lot more sporadic, but I would likely volunteer - I'm however not going to piss and moan if I don't get an opportunity. Heading to talk with a recruiter in 2 weeks, to get some more info. PA school is still a few years away however, so things are gonna shift and change a lot in that time I'm sure.
  8. Looking for a bit of feedback on major choices. What did people do for their bachelors prior to applying for PA school? Bio, Chem, Nursing, etc? Am on a transfer system going to night classes at a Cali community college; currently working full time @ VA hospital (3+ years of trauma psych/clinical research work with veterans and AD, and ongoing). Planning to get EMT certified next spring and get some clinical experience on weekends as am hoping to focus on trauma/CC as a PA. Current major is nursing (bachelor program, not associates) but since my end goal is PA and Navy service am wondering if nursing is the best major to aim for - does it actually give me more flexibility, like it seems to, as opposed to straight Bio or a non-science B.A? Have until the end of the year to decide as then I need to decide which specific Bio/Chem classes to take. Current GPA is 4.0 but that's in community college classes so we'll see. Thanks for any feedback.
  9. A.Raven

    Navy PA advice?

    Thanks for the quick reply Oneal. Although sure HSCP would be great to have, its not a case where the scholarship is the be-all end-all; if I don't get it I'll suck it up and pay through student/bank loans. Thanks for the heads-up though. Any suggestions on clinical experience? Also when you say trauma/CC is a long shot, do you mean its more likely that I'll be expected to do primary care/family etc, or do you mean strictly in the case of deployment? Cheers for the info.
  10. A.Raven

    Navy PA advice?

    Looking at my options for navy PA career... In night classes working towards my bachelors, and working full time at the VA working with veterans with PTSD...treatment and research. Mainly working with combat trauma, some MST, ranging from WWII to OND. All branches. Will be switching to full time school once current DOD funding is up in two years time. Prior to that was back and forth from 29 Palms, doing PTSD screening and research, working with active duty marines over a 2 year period, pre and post deployment. My school background is British (an English equivalent of pre-med/pre-vet) - sufficed for the DOD work but credits wouldn't transfer to Californian colleges so I'm having to redo a lot of work pretty fast. Currently legal resident but will be applying for citizenship year before I graduate from bachelors. Looking to get some feedback/advice as to path for trauma/critical care. Fully flexible with stations stateside and overseas, would prefer working greenside and have no problem with concept of deployment. I know right now with cut-backs and adjustments post OEF that positions are competetive; am planning on taking an EMT course this year, and getting as many clinical hours as possible in the next two years. Anybody got any advice for an older female (26, will be 28/29 at graduation)? Will my age hold me back? Is the VA psych experience likely to be worth anything towards the PA school application? Any advice as to additional paths of work experience to pursue? Will be going to speak to a recruiter soon, but want to get as much info from other sources as possible. Thanks for reading, cheers in advance for any info.
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