Essential Medical Skills To Acquire
Cynthia J. Koelker, MD
by Cynthia J. Koelker, MD: DMSO:
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collapses and youre on your own, what medical skills seem
the most essential? The answer likely depends on your age, health
status, and stage in life. For those of child-bearing years, midwifery
skills may be paramount. For those advanced in age, diagnosis and
treatment of chronic disease becomes primary. For the otherwise
young and healthy, treatment of injuries and infection tops the
compartmentalized society has deemed that doctors should perform
these tasks, though turf wars abound over what nurses, physician
assistants, pharmacist, paramedics, and others should legally be
permitted to do. Recent decades have also seen the trend toward
home care for I.V. therapy, nebulizer treatments, dialysis, and
much more. The take home lesson is this: the layman can acquire
many skills once considered the purview of health professionals
alone. Thus, the first step in acquiring these skills is believing
that you can do so.
question is to identify what skills youd like to acquire.
Though an unknown future presents unknown threats, common injuries
and diseases will no doubt persist. Patients suffering lacerations,
infections, sprains, and broken bones fill the ERs. Infections,
diabetes, asthma, pneumonia, chest pain, arthritis, GI disturbances,
urinary problems, STDs, and assorted rashes comprise the majority
of medical problems. Learning how to diagnose and treat these problems
is a good place to start.
To be more
specific, needed skills include the ability to suture, to
apply a splint or a cast, to administer an aerosol or needed fluids,
to check urine for infection, to identify common rashes, to have
a working knowledge of antibiotic usage, and much more. Such a list
is daunting and may dissuade a person from attempting anything
but remember: doctors take a lifetime learning the practice of medicine.
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J. Koelker, MD is a board-certified family physician with over twenty
years of clinical experience. A member of American Mensa, Dr. Koelker
holds degrees in biology, humanities, medicine, and music from M.I.T.,
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and the University
of Akron. She served in the National Health Service Corps to finance
her medical education. The author continues to practice medicine
in Akron, Ohio where she resides with her family and beloved golden-doodles.
She is the author of 101
Ways to Save Money on Health Care: Tips to Help You Spend Smart
and Stay Healthy.
© 2012 Survival Blog
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