Psychiatric Registered Nurse Thinking of moving to the USVI  

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Patti5034
(@Patti5034)
New Member

Hi, my husband and I have been thinking of moving to one of the islands for some time. My biggest fear is that I won't be able to find work. Does anyone have any insight into possible mental health/ psychiatric/ substance abuse jobs for RN's? Also, my husband is a master carpenter. He has had his own business for 20 years doing anything from remodeling to building homes from the ground up. I'm assuming he would be able to find a job quite easily, however I wonder about the pay rate versus the cost of living there with our 2 teenagers.

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Posted : December 17, 2017 1:07 pm
NorthsideKevin
(@NorthsideKevin)
Advanced Member

Oooo. Finish with "2 teenagers." Not a great idea. Public schools are terrible, high schools the worst, and private schools start at around $20K or better a year per kid. When you move to somewhere where every visitor is "on vacation" and partying, things can go sideways rapidly. We did it, and a kid who still remains fairly responsible, after we sent him back to the States, he changed from helpful, attentive, always responsible, goals, etc., to limin' more often than not.

If you can stand on them and control them, might be O.K., but a whole 'nother thought process occurs in the V.I. over time.

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Posted : December 17, 2017 1:57 pm
Scubadoo
(@Scubadoo)
Trusted Member

Start doing your PMVs and wait a few years for the kids to graduate before moving. Lot's of old threads on the forum hear about lower wages and higher cost of living here but of course that is all relative to where you are coming from and what your lifestyle expectations are.

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Posted : December 17, 2017 2:09 pm
Patti5034
(@Patti5034)
New Member

Probably a dumb question but what does PMV mean? Thanks for your advice. I keep going back and forth on the thought to move move. I probably will end up waiting for them to graduate.

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Posted : December 17, 2017 2:41 pm
Patti5034
(@Patti5034)
New Member

I'm thinking your right about the kids. I'll probably weigh her.

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Posted : December 17, 2017 2:44 pm
Afriend
(@afriend)
Advanced Member

Probably a dumb question but what does PMV mean? Thanks for your advice. I keep going back and forth on the thought to move move. I probably will end up waiting for them to graduate.

PMV = Pre-Move Visit. It is always recommended you make one or more PMV’s to get a feel for what island life is really like. Come not as a tourist doing “vacation things” but rather stay for several weeks or perhaps a month or two in a housekeeping unit not a hotel or resort. Do everyday chores like grocery shopping, paying utility bills, banking, laundry, household chores, yard work, etc. - all of the same day to day things you now do “back home” as that’s what you’ll be doing if you move to the islands. It IS NOT all palm trees and pina coloadas. Life here has it’s own set of challenges and you have to find out for yourself how they will affect your life. Compared to most places on the mainland Cost of living is high and wages are low. That’s the Catch-22 of island life.

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Posted : December 17, 2017 3:43 pm
Patti5034
(@Patti5034)
New Member

Lol. I wrote that when I was half asleep. I guess I was trying to say I will probably end up waiting until the kids graduate.

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Posted : December 17, 2017 9:59 pm
rosesisland
(@rosesisland)
Trusted Member

It's also highly recommended that you rent for a year or two. Each island is different with its own culture. As is different areas of one island are different. Having lived here on STX, twice, since 1995, with break in between, I'm still not sure of what area I'd like to buy!

Island living is a dream for many and a nightmare for some!

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Posted : December 18, 2017 9:14 am
STTsailor
(@STTsailor)
Trusted Member

What culture?

Culture of slackers? 20% unemployment. 30% on gov assistance and 10% working for gov which is a form of assistance as most are redundant. Utopia on federal dime.

This is a nice playground for mainland retirees with assets. Trying to work here is more about fitting in with local slackers than actual work. Of course if you Mother Teresa type you can go from house to house and try pro bono.

Plenty of challenges in mental health here. Not sure about substance abuse as most people either drink or smoke weed or both. I would consider it part of the so called culture. I do not think anybody is looking into recovery. First step to recovery would be moving off island. Nobody is looking into changing the culture. It’s happy go lucky here and high as a kite.

Just trying to be realistic. Also consider 100 days and counting without power in the tropics.

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Posted : December 18, 2017 12:56 pm
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Trusted Member

This is a nice playground for mainland retirees with assets.

Its not even that anymore.

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Posted : December 18, 2017 3:05 pm
islandjoan
(@islandjoan)
Trusted Member

STTSailor, stop being such a downer. Geez. Lots of good people here making a difference, working jobs, NOT abusing alcohol or drugs. Myself included.

You know, "your mileage may vary"

Lots of different stories here, they don't all fit your negative description.

I know lots of things suck more now, but look on the positive side.

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Posted : December 18, 2017 4:01 pm
Gator's Mom
(@Gator's_Mom)
Trusted Member

(tu)

STTSailor - May be time for a vacation off the rock. Is your boat still above water?

STTSailor, stop being such a downer. Geez. Lots of good people here making a difference, working jobs, NOT abusing alcohol or drugs. Myself included.

You know, "your mileage may vary"

Lots of different stories here, they don't all fit your negative description.

I know lots of things suck more now, but look on the positive side.

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Posted : December 18, 2017 4:13 pm
STTsailor
(@STTsailor)
Trusted Member

(tu)

STTSailor - May be time for a vacation off the rock. Is your boat still above water?

STTSailor, stop being such a downer. Geez. Lots of good people here making a difference, working jobs, NOT abusing alcohol or drugs. Myself included.

You know, "your mileage may vary"

Lots of different stories here, they don't all fit your negative description.

I know lots of things suck more now, but look on the positive side.

You recommend I follow your steps?

It will take two years to float that boat I was told by the yard. But that is besides the point.

I suggest to OP to come and visit for a month. Find out how you feel without electricity, challenge yourself to fixing generator, hunt for spare parts. Do it all while you keep working your day job.

Yeah nature is great here, love the ocean, clear water. Come here to spend money. Living here and working here is for selected few optimists.

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Posted : December 18, 2017 8:36 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

Patti: There are problems with mental health services here.On St Thomas, there is one long term care facility and it is always full, with a long waiting list. There is a small acute care unit in the hospital. Interestingly, with the substance abuse issues, there is only one rehab program, and it on on St Croix.There are people doing good work,but often under very difficult conditions. A visit before you move is really recommended, whether you call it a PMV or not.;)

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Posted : December 18, 2017 10:32 pm
islandjoan
(@islandjoan)
Trusted Member

I am actually a pessimist by nature but have been working on changing my default setting. It really does help to focus on the positives in one's life.

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Posted : December 18, 2017 11:11 pm
AandA2VI
(@AandA2VI)
Trusted Member

I think you’ll get really beaten down here and really disappointed in the general lack of giving AF from the government on mental health. A good friend works in metal health and loves what she does but hates the way those in need are treated... or the lack there of. To the severity that people have died unnecessarily because of it. She’s done and working on exit plan. I’ve been in the VI a short 5 years and most... actually all but 1 person that I know (about a dozen) who worked in healthcare are gone.

In your case I would come alone for two weeks and shadow one of the professionals that you’d be working with as a volunteer. I don’t know legalities if that’s possible but honesty it’s a huge move with teenagers you’d better bettter be extra prepped. I don’t have kids nor want em lol so I can’t speak to anything kid related. I do hear horror stories occassionally from parents and when I worked the bar STX I had a few families who’s teens hated STX and went back and fourth to the mainland for school. That’s my extent of knowledge in that. We have no mall, Best Buy or similar, so if they’re used to having everything they want, they’ll be REAL disappointed! If you kids laugh at the thought of buying clothes at Kmart - the VI isn’t for you. Heck with home depot and Kmart country closed I AM DISAPPOINTED lol. I can’t get anything right now for our new place and I’m going crazy. Amazon, eBay, overstock.com and wait. Ugh. STT cargo will know me very well by the end of Jan!

If it were any other job I’d say you’d be fine after a PMV and 50k to blow, but the healthcare industry here and what goes on is criminal and I can’t imagine many are built for it long term. Yes I did say 50k.

Sailors assessment - delivered just a bit head on - is not all that off base. Especially about the part about drinking and drugs. Luckily the majority of friends that I knew who had major problems managed to get back to the states but I did lose a couple of friends to suicide since being here. Its a beautiful place with freedoms felt like never before but It’s a terrible place for vices. If you aren’t one that can hold yourself personally accountable, you wont do well here. I’m lucky that my only major vice is the ocean although even she can be dangerous.

*** The views and opinions expressed in my posts are soley those of A&A2VI and other like minded islanders. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the majority or any/all contributors to this site. Have a GREAT DAY!

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Posted : December 19, 2017 2:38 am
AJ
 AJ
(@AJ)
Advanced Member

I think the idea to come for an extended visit of at least a month is a really good one. Its very challenging right now, and it will be awhile before things return to normal. But there are good, hard-working, and friendly people here and if you want to try something different its probably less different than places which are non US (aside from Canada). While I have friends whose kids have done fine, its a lot to uproot teenagers and move them to a place without the things they take for granted.

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Posted : December 19, 2017 3:38 am
Scubadoo
(@Scubadoo)
Trusted Member

With all that said and valid I will mention we have a great new movie theater and Home Depot and Kmart are open on STX.

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Posted : December 19, 2017 3:59 am
Oldie1
(@Oldie1)
Advanced Member

All this negativity....didn't realize moving off Island was not an option.

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Posted : December 19, 2017 9:45 am
STTsailor
(@STTsailor)
Trusted Member

I was approached today at the gas station by a young man swinging his baseball bat . He asked me for a $. We were alone.
I know the man. He is mentally challenged. He is swinging his baseball bat at imaginatinary daemons all the time. I refused “donation” and thanked him. He didn’t make a run at me. We swing his bat a few time and mumbled some BS. This happens at STT multiple times everyday I go downtown, post office, gas station or grocery store.

Life on the rock continues.

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Posted : December 19, 2017 11:02 pm
STTsailor
(@STTsailor)
Trusted Member

Any type of employment where you depend on, collaborate or try to do business with the VI government in any shape or form (directly or indirectly) is an exercise in futility.

As an outsider, not connected, unrelated, speaking mainland English, being more Anglo than Nubian you are on borrowed time here and will become very frustrated trying to function. You can have charming conversations with charming people who have nothing but words and nothing to deliver. if you are here to accomplish or make a difference you will burn out quickly.

Just go to BMV, police station, superior court or try to pay your estimated taxes at IRB. Any interaction with these low lever pions will make you run back to live in Chicago south side or North Philadelphia or East LA.

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Posted : December 19, 2017 11:22 pm
stjohnjulie
(@stjohnjulie)
Trusted Member

There would be a ton of work for your husband right now if he can do roofing and carpentry. Someplace you may want to I sure is at Insight Psychological Services on St Thomas. They run a satellite office on st john as well. The kids are the tough part. Public school is probably not a good option for new transplants in high school. And like others have said, private school is really expensive. If you are in the financial position that you could spend a month or rain here over summer break, that might guve you a much better idea if you could make the move with teens or if you should wait until you have an empty nest.

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Posted : December 20, 2017 6:36 am
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

Patti: Right after the storms, Public Health Service had psychologists and psychiatrists around offering counseling. Everyone said, "I'm fine, thanks" and went on their respective ways. I would love to see them come back now, because, as you can see from this thread, people are becoming less "fine".

This has always been a place for transient workers, but unlike AandA, I know many long term health care providers. If you think this place is going to be like the states, you will be sorely disappointed. In many ways, it is a world in which long held social mores are tipped upside-down at every turn. As we always say, "living here is not for everyone".

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Posted : December 20, 2017 11:19 am
stjohnjulie
(@stjohnjulie)
Trusted Member

I too think this would be a good time for them to make their rounds again. I am also seeing a lit of people doing less 'fine'. The attitude towards mental health issues and wellness has a certain stigma that only seems to be amplified here. Ive known several people who were taken to the clinic one a month for their 'shot' That was the extent of their care. Always had a spot for these people. They were only ok for about a week out of the month. So sad. Most of them are now dead. And I miss them.

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Posted : December 21, 2017 7:11 am
Dancerjaimie
(@Dancerjaimie)
New Member

There are definitely options and a need for psychiatric RNs here. On top of the hospital, on St. Croix, I would look at Frederiksted Health Care & Island Therapy Solutions. That said, there are many of the challenges noted above in the mental health field and just breaking into the local workforce in general. Good luck with a very difficult decision and process.

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Posted : December 21, 2017 4:28 pm
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