Leap of Faith Into Extreme Medicine

From Emergency Medical Technician to Mountain Medicine

The ‘leap of faith’ in to Extreme Medicine

I am now starting to get super excited about a couple of things that I have recently booked.  Shortly beforehand I watched Russell Kane‘s standup, ‘Russell Kane Live’, catchy title, but watching it got me thinking.  He mentions that adults, especially men rarely do a ‘jump for joy’, which made me look ahead.  Career wise I have stuff to be excited about, but they are all quite a way in to the future.  So with that in mind, a 4 year old child, and another on the way, I made a wise, yet irritating to my wife, decision.  I booked the World Extreme Medicine Expo in November, run at Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh this year, and a one week course in March in Polar Medicine, based in Norway with Expedition Medicine.

Having booked them I am now super excited, but fearful of a number of things.  I know they are expensive (or just worth it) and I am still doing the maths as to figure out how to pay for them, as credit cards don’t pay themselves. So I am planning plenty of freelance work and overtime to cover my costs.   Historically I have been super cautious about such moves due to their expense.  Ultimately I think the only way to guarantee an outcome is by being proactive.  I have also spent a couple of years now wondering, ‘how am I going to get in to the expedition industry and especially the medicine side?’  I am sure there are several ways of doing this, but I needed to take a leap of faith and get cracking.  I have managed to get abroad a few times on personal trips and a school expedition, but now I needed to move towards the medicine.

As career people we’re all climbing ladders, and we  have to make decisions in life as to where we start on that ladder.  I decided to start out in the outdoor industry at the bottom and ended up somewhere near the top in management of some great companies, which went far beyond my original expectations.  Now I am an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) working with North West Ambulance Service, hoping to work my way up through to the Paramedic role in the next few years.  Having spoken with a range of newly qualified Paramedics who have skipped these initial rungs, it is clear they all feel out of their depth, and would have preferred the EMT route like myself.  Obviously confidence, self esteem, etc, etc. all contribute to your ability to climb the ladder effectively, you just have to ensure you don’t miss or skip the key lessons of each rung on the way up.

I am now getting myself super psyched for a cool November and a bloody freezing March in Norway, still awesome.  I am keeping my eyes peeled for opportunities and prepping the CV.  The hard skills of polar travel have alone got me excited like a little child, dog sledding and skiing, things I have wanted to do for years.  I have thought about every aspect I can, so I am convinced these are going to be the best events I have ever attended, I am sure of it, I feel it in my bones.

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