Chapter 2 – What do You Need to Know?

The more the better. Keep reading and attend all the courses you can. In addition to an advanced EMT course the following skills are what I feel the person filling the role of “medic”, should aim to be able to do:

  • Use a medical dictionary and a basic medical textbook.
  • Perform basic bandaging and dressings. Clean a wound, debride a burn.
  • Use local anesthetic to numb a wound.
  • Debride and suture a wound, but also know when not to suture a wound, and leave it open or perform delayed closure.
  • Deliver a baby and afterbirth. Suture a tear, manage a post-partum bleed.
  • Reduce and immobilize a short and long bone fracture/dislocation.
  • Use basic counseling skills.
  • Understand basic hygiene and preventive medicine practices.
  • Recognize and treat common infections:
    • viral flu
    • pneumonia
    • urinary infection
    • wound or skin infection
    • common STD’s
  • Recognize and treat common medical and surgical problems:
    • asthma/respiratory distress
    • abdominal pain – renal stones/appendix/bilary stones
    • allergic reactions/anaphylaxis
  • Look after some one who is bed bound, e.g. basic nursing care, managing the unconscious patient, catheterisation.
  • Use basic dental skills, simple fillings, infections, extractions.
  • Insert an IV and understand basic fluid resuscitation.
  • Improvise medical equipment and supplies.