Though we may plan and hope for the best, occasionally disaster will strike. Whether it is an emergency abroad or something close to home, having the right help on the ground can save lives and restore order to what would otherwise be chaos. Leading the charge are those we have trained to become medics, doctors, and physicians.
A medic is a relatively broad term that can cover a wide range of professions and even lifestyles. However, what they all share is an attention to the heath and continued wellbeing of the people around them. In high stress and time sensitive moments, medics can be all that stand between life and death.
If you are considering becoming a medic, then it pays to do your research ahead of time. While the profession of a medic can be one of the most fulfilling jobs out there, it is not without its risks and consequences. With that being said, lets take a moment to review the pros and cons associated with being a medic. First however, lets take a brief moment to define exactly what being a medic really means.
The Pros of Being A Medic
Being a medic means healing others, and is often associated with selflessness and skill. Along with having a well respected profession, you can also expect solid work, good pay, and incredibly useful everyday skills. But first, lets start with the potential career opportunities that come with being a medic.
1. A Wide Number of Career Paths To Choose From.
If you want to become a medic, then there are a number of different career paths for you to choose from where you will assume that role. These include emergency physician, combat medical technician, corpsman, emergency medical technician, paramedic, street medic, and doctor. While being a doctor infers a wide range of care, being a medic infers directed care towards individuals in a critical situation.
Instead of having individuals come in, your career will be more focused towards saving the day and doing what you can to help others. With a number of career paths to choose from, you can determine whether or not you want to receive training through the armed forces or through private education. With transferable skills regardless of where you are trained, having medic training can make taking that next career step that much easier.
2. Incredibly Useful Everyday Skills.
The skills you gain while training to become a medic and the expertise acquired over years of being on this career path can be applied as much out of work as it can be during work. Whether you are looking at a friend or family member’s “troubling sign” or simply helping someone on the street if an accident occurs near you, you can take charge and ensure the best quality of health to the individual.
While other people will be incapable of helping, you will be able to take step up and make a difference when it is required the most. In addition, you can use your skills to teach other people and get them both interested in the profession as well as their own health. From inspiring the next generation to making those around you healthier and safer with your presence, the skills you gain as a medic will come through again and again.
3. Good Pay and Safe Job Prospects.
Currently, the medical industry is still growing at a faster then ever rate. With that comes job security and good pay. Depending on what kind of medic career you have, there will be the potential for a secure job after you are done education.
While this always depends on where you want to live and work, medics have a higher then average likelihood of finding employment that will serve them well in years to come. A solid choice for the middle class, the skills and experiences you learn will increase your worth to prospective employers. As a final general point, the longer you are on the job, the more money you will make.
4. A Well Respected Profession.
Doctors are considered the most well respected profession in the United States. As a medic, you bring many of the first responder skills that a doctor has directly to where people need it the most. You are the person that people are calling for when they need help, and it is your skill and expertise that can make the difference between life and death.
Medics are highly regarded in society and the career path is seen really positively. Being able to provide aid to other people is an incredibly useful skill and many people will respect you simply for your time and dedication. While the job may not always be easy, you will generally have the support both of the community you help.
5. Personal, Challenging Profession.
Being a medic isn’t easy. It involves responding to a crisis, dealing with the potential for death, and staying cool at a time when it is needed the most. If you are looking for a challenging career path that will be rewarding and at times frustrating, then being a medic is perfect.
Medics report having higher then average levels of satisfaction as they provide a lifesaving service every day. In addition, medics are considered professionals and are well respected for their service and even sought if something goes wrong. Simply put, being a medic isn’t easy, but it can be a rewarding experience.
The Cons of Being A Medic
While being a medic provides an incredibly useful public service, it can take its toll on the individuals in the career path. From education requirements, tuition, and long hours to being on call in a high stress job, some medics will burn out as the experience will prove to be too overwhelming.
1. High Stress Situations Are Commonplace.
Being a medic means being a first responder to any number of tragedies, catastrophes, and disasters. While everyone around you is in shock and incapable of action, you will have to be direct, at times forceful, and on point through all of this.
You cannot take time for yourself, and instead have to be what people look to as a source of calm in this storm. Not everyone can deal with these high stress situations well. For those who can, a high stress fatigue can form, causing people to gradually become jaded with the profession. At that point, all the education and experience may be wasted if the person quits the profession.
2. A Great Deal of Education Is Required For Most Positions.
Even the most basic level of paramedic requires associates education and on-the-job experience. Getting to the position where you can help people will require countless hours of study and fantastic grades. Getting into a good undergraduate or graduate medical program will require being the top of your class and shining above the competition. While some have the time and attention to rise above everyone else, others have real life, bills, and family members to think about. As a result, the requirements of becoming a medic turn many people off from the profession.
3. Constantly Mortality Reminder.
Being a medic means that you face death every day. As part of your job, you will provide the best care that you can and do everything you can to save people. Sometimes however this will not be enough. Each and every person deals with death in their own way. For many, ignoring the idea of death suits them just fine. That is not possible when you are a medic. Saving people who are sick, dealing with the debilitating effects of age, and any number of other situations will remind you of life and death.
4. Long Hours.
Have you heard of the term, “being on call?” This means that if there is an emergency and you are needed, you will have to drop everything and go to work. While this will most likely be to provide some measure of life saving assistance, many people find being on call to be incredibly taxing.
5. Lots of Money in Terms of Tuition.
Along with having to put the time aside to study, there is also the very real downside of tuition costs. While the job you get will hopefully help you pay down your loans, there is no guarantee in life that you will definitively get a job or pursue being a medic once you start the education.
What Exactly Does Being A Medic Mean?
A medic is a broad term that changes depending on the English speaking country you are in. In the United States, a medic can refer to as a physician, a paramedic, a medical student, a military medical corpsman, and even specially trained non-medical personnel depending on the circumstance. More often then not, the word is often used when there is an emergency situation and something with any level of medical training is required.
Because of this broad definition, there are countless positions and job titles that can fall under medic. From fully licensed surgeons to emergency responders, the term medic is more about being able to effectively provide first aid and proper procedure then any specific kind of training within medicine.
So Where Does That Leave Us?
Being a medic is an incredibly rewarding job that can be taxing both emotionally and physically. Despite this, you can provide an invaluable resource to your community and spend every day helping those who need it the most.