You don’t have to go through four years of medical school to acquire useful skills that can serve your own survival and others. In this article, we’ll highlight six certifications that can help you not only help yourself but those around you as well.
All of these programs are affordable and usually available through both the workplace and your local community college. There are even free training programs available through organizations like the Red Cross and others.
Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC)
I’m listing Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) first because I think this is one certification that all concealed carriers should get. The TCCC course teaches you the basic principles of care under fire and dealing with the main elements of combat trauma. You’ll learn what you need in your Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK) and how to use everything in it. You’ll also learn patient assessment and application of techniques in trauma medicine. The length of TCCC courses varies as I’ve seen some 2-Day and 4-Day courses. The TCCC course I took from VATA Training Center was a 2-day course. You will be tested at the end of the course and will receive a TCCC Certification if you pass the test.
At the very least, take a Stop the Bleeding course. You won’t get a certification, but you will learn how to use tourniquets and stop hemorrhaging. The course I took was about three hours. I brought home some good knowledge but knew that I wanted to learn more and signed up for the next TCCC course they offered.
Bonus: I’ve been listening to a relatively new podcast that helps keep the things I learned in the TCCC course fresh. It is the Civilian Medical Podcast and is hosted by the Skinny Medic, and We Like Shooting’s, Shawn Herrin.
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Training (CPR Training)
CPR training isn’t just about chest compressions and breathing for someone who may be suffering from a heart attack. CPR training can also help you identify subtle signs that might get missed by untrained people. All modern CPR training includes using an emergency defibrillator (AED) as well as manual CPR techniques.
You may even benefit from retaking this course as the training continually updates to reflect best practices.
Emergency First Aid Training
Heat stroke, emergency wound care, dehydration, and more. You’ll learn to recognize symptoms of critical and noncritical injuries and have a plan of action to execute to help. Emergency first aid training can be offered alongside a CPR course or as a standalone section. In either case, it’s incredibly worth it. Not only will you learn about how to react to others being critically injured, but you can also learn what to do if you are critically injured as well.
Emergency Medical Technician Basic Training (EMT-B)
The nomenclature may change depending upon where you live. But the EMT-B training course is usually offered at most community colleges. It is designed to help prepare you to deal with advanced principles taught in emergency first aid. You will be given more information on how to stabilize patients for transport to a medical facility.
The big advantage of this course is not just the techniques you will learn, but the equipment you will become aware of. You will now know what equipment you want for your first aid kit and emergency bags — and how to use those items properly.
If you’re looking for the certification, there will be costs associated and training may take up to 8-12 weeks to complete. If you’re looking for only the courses, you may be able to complete the course portion in just 6-8 weeks.
Medical Assistant (Certificate Course)
Medical assistants often act as an extra set of eyes, ears, and hands for the physician during medical check-ups and screenings. The advantage of a medical assistant certificate is that you are better able to assess someone you are caring for. You understand infection control and a greater degree of non-critical medical care. Programs offered through a community college may differ in terms of length or requirements. But most programs are designed to be completed in as little as a year and a half.
Pharmacy Technician (Certificate Course)
When people think of emergency medical care, they often think of paramedics rushing to the rescue. Pharmacy technicians, though, understand to a greater degree how drugs can influence a person’s body. They’re trained to pick up on nuances such as drug contraindications or even drug allergies. Far from a full-fledged pharmacist, at least you know where to look to find out if a drug you’re being supplied will be effective in its application.
All of these aforementioned medical degree certificate programs have direct application in daily living. You will be empowered to a greater degree to understand not just your body, but help others as well.