What Does an Oil Rig Nurse Do?

A qualified nurse is typically able to find a lucrative position working as an oil rig nurse. Offshore oil rigs hire nurses to provide medical care to work crews. A nurse working in such a situation will often work for one or two week spurts on a rig before having some time off. While this is a demanding job for a nurse and usually requires relocation to a remote area, it can also be very lucrative.

Job Tasks

Typically, a nurse working for an oil rig will offer both routine and emergency medical care to oil rig crew workers. Workers are susceptible to a variety of different injuries because of the hazardous nature of their jobs. Because an oil rig typically does not employ a doctor, oil rig nurses often work under a great deal of stress and must independently handle medical situations for which they ordinarily would have a doctor standing by if they were working in a hospital or a more traditional healthcare environment.

Nurses working on oil rigs must work independently and be capable of making some difficult medical decisions on their own. Some of the tasks of an oil rig nurse will include offering general medical advice, checking the vital signs of workers, keeping track of medical records on oil rig employees, and heading emergency responses to accidents that occur during work operations aboard the rig.

Skills That an Oil Rig Nurse Needs

While a nurse working on an oil rig needs to have the typical nursing skills of good communication, critical thinking abilities, and attention to detail, he or she must also exhibit some unique characteristics. Oil rig nurses need to be exceptional in terms of their ability to make good independent decisions and handle work in a fast paced environment. They also need to be even more capable than your average nurse of working exceptionally long shifts. They need to be especially well prepared to handle emergency medicine and be able to react very quickly to dangerous and highly stressful situations.

Preparation of Oil Rig Nurses

Nurses hired to work on oil rigs generally must be registered nurses, and they typically have completed at least a two-year degree in nursing. Aspiring oil rig nurses will have better chances at finding their job of choice if they have completed their Bachelor’s degree (please also see: 30 Best Affordable RN-BSN Degree Programs). It’s fairly unusual for a nurse to be hired to work on an oil rig right out of nursing school. Nurses usually need to have a considerable amount of experience under their belt before being given such a position. Not only is general nursing experience usually required, but it’s often necessary for oil rig nurses to have experience treating divers or working in emergency care before they will be considered for an oil rig position.

Those studying in preparation for a career in nursing might want to consider the advantages of being an oil rig nurse if they enjoy the idea of a fairly adventurous nursing position that will put them in some unusual environments and give them a position of independence and authority.