Disaster Medical Specialist Job Description
Disaster medicine is a comparatively new area of expertise for medical professionals who want to be ‘the first on the scene’ of an emergency that involves mass injury or sickness.
Physicians who dedicate themselves to disaster medicine also help hospitals and government agencies plan effective disaster response and resurgence plans.Create this Resume
Disaster Medical Specialist Skills/Duties
The practice of disaster medicine focuses on 3 aspects:
• Pre-disaster planning
• Patient triage at the calamity / adversity site
• Transport and care of the victims
A natural disaster, such as earthquake / floods / hurricane or a man-made emergency, like a train derailment / terrorist attack, involves thousands of victims.
A disaster medical specialist aims to reduce casualties by reaching the location as speedily as possible, assessing and stabilizing the victims, and sending them to healthcare facilities.
He provides care and supervision on-site, and manages teams of health care personnel, first responders and volunteers.
Disaster medical specialists operate in diverse clinical jobs, when not positioned as part of a disaster management team. They may function as primary healthcare clinics and offices, specialty clinics, emergency departments, etc.
By definition, disaster management is a high stress field. You do not know where and when you will be sent to a disaster site, or what you will expect there. The pressure is intense. You must be comfortable getting your hands dirty and making life-or-death decisions on the spot.
If the resurgence work lasts several days, you may have to put in long hours, catching sleep whenever possible, on a cot or even on the ground. Disaster medical specialists save lives when the unimaginable happens.
Disaster Medical Specialist Education and Training
• To become a disaster medical specialist, you need to complete a 4 year undergraduate degree, if possible in one in the sciences, like, physics, biology and chemistry.
• A 4 year education at a credited Medical School is essential. During the course, students are coached in the basics of healthcare and systems of the medical profession. A broad outline of varied medical fields will be provided to the students. Hands-on experience and training with the diverse medical procedures is also given.
• After graduating from Medical School, expert training in a particular medical field (pediatrics, gerontology, oncology, etc.) can be taken on through a Residency Course. This education program may range from 3 to 7 years, depending on the specialty.
• After completing the Residency Program, a licensing examination has to be appeared to practice the profession.
• A licensed doctor needs to finish a 50 hour coursework in Disaster Medical specialty. Half the assignments are given in the classroom and half are carried out in the field. Field exercises and practice aim to provide you with hands-on experience.
• Once completed, a medical professional is given a certificate as a Disaster Medical Specialist and he becomes a part of the National Disaster Medical System.
• As a rule, the medical institutes where the physicians, doctors and nurses pay for the training, and they agree to arrange and set up their employees during disaster circumstances. Some of their physicians and nurses may be pulled out of their regular shifts and deployed to the sites where they are required.
Disaster Medical Specialist Job Outlook
Employment opportunities and job prospects for disaster medical specialists look good, according to the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
Disaster Medical Specialist Salary
A disaster medical specialist, on an average earns approximately $150,000 to $300,000 per year.