How a Career in Medicine Can Better Prepare You for Survival

If you are in the unfortunate situation of facing a natural or man-made disaster, you are going to need to think fast. You never know when a friend or loved one will get injured, and if you don’t act immediately and provide the care they need, then things could quickly get worse. That’s why, if you are serious about preparing for anything from the next tropical storm to doomsday itself, a career in medicine is a smart investment.

There are many health fields that you can consider, from nursing to occupational therapy, and by earning your degree, you can learn many skills that can help you during a variety of emergencies. Let’s talk about how a career in medicine can prepare you for the unexpected.

Medical Skills

Whether you slip and fall while camping or get impaled during a windstorm, there are many injuries that you or a family member could sustain at a moment’s notice. As you go through your medical career, you will learn the steps necessary to help during these situations, with actions that could include cleaning wounds, administering medicine, or positioning the person in such a way that they don’t sustain additional injuries. 

To obtain your doctorate, you must first go through four years of medical school. During this part of your education, you will learn about all of the organs within the human body and how they work with one another to create a healthy system. Students will also learn many basic medical procedures that can be helpful in a time of need, including how to administer CPR, treat hypothermia and make a splint if someone has a broken bone.

It is important to remember that even if you intend to become a psychiatrist or mental health professional who focuses more on the mind than on the body, you will still need to attend medical school. The reason for this requirement is that by getting the necessary education, the student will have a better understanding of the connections between mental health and physiology, and they will also learn how to properly prescribe psychotropic medication.

You can also go beyond the basic training and become a trauma nurse, which is a professional who often works in emergency rooms and regularly cares for patients with life-threatening injuries. Since trauma can occur at any time, a nurse in this field must be able to help with many different injuries, and they must be able to think on their feet. If the idea of joining a fast-paced field sounds intriguing, then becoming a trauma nurse is a great job choice that will give you the skills you need to prepare for survival.

Soft Skills

While a career in medicine will teach you volumes about how to care for and treat the human body, there are many other lessons that you will learn in medical school that aren’t typically listed on a resume but are nonetheless very useful in the case of an emergency. These are often referred to as soft skills, and many of them, including work ethic and leadership, are essential for disasters and life in general. 

One of the greatest soft skills that you would learn in med school is how to be flexible. The ability to know what to do at a moment’s notice is essential in a hospital environment but it is also important in the real world. You never know when an injury may happen while you’re hiking or skiing, or even driving a car. Furthermore, you can’t predict what the extenuating circumstances may be. Even if you are in the middle of a blizzard or a hurricane, you will need the ability to act quickly and adapt to any situation.

Along with flexibility, you will also learn a lot about stress management. Even seasoned professionals who work in a hospital or doctor’s office every day sometimes feel like they are in over their head, but they have to learn to overcome those feelings for the benefit of the patients. The same goes when preparing for survival. You may be in a situation where you need to care for several people at once, and one of them may even be you. It is easy to panic in that situation. A career in medicine can help you to stay level-headed.

What You Can Do Now

Many people are interested in learning how to handle medical emergencies, but they just don’t have the time or resources necessary to attend medical school and start a new career. If this is the case, remember that there are still steps that you can take in the meantime that can prepare you for the unexpected. 

One thing that you can do today is to create a first-aid kit for your home and car that you will always have with you in the case of an emergency. A good kit will include food, water, and a flashlight. It should also include the tools that can help with just about any health scare, including gauze, bandages, splints, and any required medications.

If medical school is not in the cards, but you still want to be educated on how to handle the most common injuries, then you can take classes on your own time. You can learn many of the essential skills, including how to administer the Heimlich maneuver or CPR, clean and dress a wound, and how to stop bleeding by taking classes at a community college or a local organization like the Red Cross. If you are the head of the household, then it may be a good idea to bring the whole family so everyone is prepared and care can be administered without unnecessary panic. 

Of course, if you are interested in a medical career, then you can talk to a guidance counselor at your local university or you could train to be a paramedic or EMT, which you can often do without a degree.

As you can see, a career in medicine can be essential in an emergency survival situation. While it will take some work to earn your degree, the chance to save yourself or a family member in a time of need is well worth the effort.

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