Tag Archives: Medicine

Steve Farzam

Your Guide to Becoming an EMT

While technology is eliminating the need for some jobs, we will always need paramedics: In fact, EMT job growth is expected to explode by up to 33% within the next two years. So, how can you enter this career, which is both financially and emotionally rewarding? Here are three simple steps to pursue your future as an EMT!

Do You Have What it Takes?

Becoming an EMT requires more than just a desire to help people. To begin, you need a high school diploma or equivalent, along with a clean criminal record. If this describes you, you may be qualified to pursue this type of career, provided that you have also reached your eighteenth birthday.

It’s also important that you possess certain skills, such as the compassion to relate to your patients on a personal level and the ability to get along well with diverse co-workers. Listening and communication skills are also important because you’ll need to explain situations to your patients and follow the instructions other caregivers relate to you. Finally, physical strength is important, because there is much lifting and bending involved in the day to day activities of an EMT.

Get Your Training and Certification

This is a multi-step process that begins with obtaining basic CPR certification, but it also involves several other training and certification courses. Once you have CPR training, you’ll need to pursue your EMT-B certification, which is the basic certification for most EMT personnel. The courses for certification can take anywhere from three to six months to complete with a tuition of $500 to $900.

Once you have your EMT-B training completed, it will be time for you to take the National Registry EMT-Basic exam. This is a computer test that adapts to your level of knowledge. The more you know, the more difficult future questions will become. The test is intended to establish the full range of your knowledge.

Advancing Your Career

From here, you have a few choices. You can either begin working as a paramedic immediately, or you can pursue additional training to get your EMT-I (EMT Intermediate) certification. In either case, you’ll eventually have to enroll in paramedic school, which requires 1,300 hours of training and will earn you an associate degree. Tuition costs vary, depending on the community college or technical school in which you enroll. If you obtain employment as a EMT-B/firefighter, your fire department may pay a portion of the tuition.

Paramedic school will teach you more advanced procedures, such as administering an IV and learning how to interpret echocardiogram (EKG) readings. You’ll also learn advanced human anatomy and biology, and college level math and English. Next, you’ll get certified as an ambulance driver, as well. Once you’ve fully completed this training and earned your degree, it will be time to take the National Registry exam for paramedic.

The process for becoming a paramedic is long and challenging, but it can lead to a rewarding career. If you’re interested in helping others and changing lives, this may be the right career path for you. Taking on the title and responsibilities of paramedic can lead you into a worthwhile career and one that will always be in demand.

Steve Farzam

How To Make Emergency Preparedness Kits For Your Home

Disasters are unfortunately more common than many of us may realize. In fact, as of October 2017, America witnessed at least 15 natural disasters that include two floods, seven severe storms, three tropical cyclones, one drought, an unprecedented streak of wildfires, and other calamities. Altogether, the weather and climate have claimed 323 lives, and each disaster has cost nearly $1 billion each, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Although towns, states, and the national government have plans in place to respond to crises when they arise, in many cases, individuals must rely on their own initiative in order to remain safe when disaster strikes. With that in mind, individuals and families alike should create emergency preparedness kits stocked with essential items so that they can be prepared when Mother Nature comes knocking.

The Essentials: Food, Water, and Medicine

Be sure to pack at least three-days’ worth of non-perishable food, like canned goods, in your emergency preparedness kit. You’ll also want to stock at least one gallon of water, per day, for days for each person in your household; for example, a family of four would need 12 gallons of water to last them three days. This water will be used for both drinking, cooking, and bathing or sanitation.

Furthermore, to treat any injuries or ailments that may arise after a disaster, you’ll want to have a first aid kit handy. This should include bandages, antiseptic wipes, prescription medications, and more.

Basic Supplies

Key utilities in a disaster scenario include a NOAA weather radio to receive updates from the outside world, a flashlight and LED headlamp, extra batteries, cell phone charger and backup battery, pliers and tools, a whistle, and flares. Round out your emergency preparedness kit with dust masks to filter contaminated air, plastic sheeting and duct tape to create shelters-in-place, a heat reflective emergency blanket, garbage bags, moist towelettes, feminine products, plastic ties, a manual can opener, and local maps.

Additional Items

To be as prepared as possible for any situation, you’ll need more than a standard emergency kit, so consider adding supplies like non-prescription medications—like pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids, and so on—glasses and contact solution, matches, candles, a fire extinguisher, warm blankets or sleeping bags, and changes of clothing. It’s also a good idea to pack some family documents, like personal identification and insurance policies, as well as cash or checks in a waterproof container.

Maintenance

Your kit isn’t finished once you stock it with all of the items on the list. Instead, you’ll need to continue to check it regularly. Inspect the kit twice a year to see if any items have expired or become damaged, and if so, discard and replace them. You’ll also want to update your kit as your family needs change; for example, if you welcome a baby home, you’ll want to include diapers and formula in your kit as well.

Steve Farzam

Common Driving Injuries and How to Treat Them

Americans spend an average of 290 hours per year driving on the more than four million miles of roads across the country. And although automakers continue to introduce new features that make cars an increasingly safe form of transportation, over two million people are still injured in car accidents annually. Nobody plans to be involved in a collision—that’s why we refer to them by the euphemism of “accidents”—but when it inevitably happens, preparation is critical in order to minimize damage and protect the safety of both passengers and drivers. Take a look at some of the most common injuries related to car accidents and how you can treat them.

Scrapes and Cuts

During a car crash or accident, projectiles can fly around the interior as if the vehicle were a snow globe: think cell phones, broken glass, coffee mugs, books, laptops, and more. These objects pose a threat to anyone inside the car and often cause scrapes, cuts, and even serious lacerations. If they should occur, apply pressure to stop the bleeding, and clean the wound with soap and warm water. Lacerations may require stitches, which should be administered by a trained medical professional, but you can use standard bandages to cover less severe cuts.

Chest Injuries

Drivers are often knocked forward into the steering wheel during collisions, and this can cause chest trauma. The effects of such injuries can be as little as bruising on or around the chest, but they can also lead to difficulty breathing, broken ribs, and potentially even death. When treating collision victims for chest trauma, be careful with them and take care to immobilize their neck and back in order to prevent spinal injuries, and ensure they are in a safe location until professional help arrives. Monitor their breathing and perform CPR if they stop breathing. And whatever you do, do not remove any objects puncturing the chest, such as knives or needles.

Back and Spinal Injuries

These are some of the most dangerous injuries related to car accidents because they can lead to severe lasting damage like paralysis. As with chest injuries, immediately immobilize the neck and back so that the spine remains still and you do not bring about any further damage. Do not move the victim unless they remain in imminent danger where they are, and even then, do your best to keep the neck and back immobilized.

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list, and there are other injuries that can arise as the result of car accidents. In these and in other injury scenarios, however, the first step should always be to call 9-1-1 so that medical professionals can provide care to the victims. A key rule should always be that the scene is safe before getting involved.