Have you ever been interested in the medical industry? Have you ever wanted to become a Doctor or a Nurse? Or maybe you want to write a book and don’t know where to start, or maybe even develop your own board game. In this radio show I interview Dr Bones and Nurse Amy as they discuss their success in medicine and survival and give tips on how you can do it too.
Joe and Amy Alton have both been successful in their medical careers and they are here to tell you how they did it and how you can get into the medical field.
They are also the authors of The Survival Medicine Handbook. Learn how they became successful authors
The following is a text transcript of the audio. Due to the verbatim speech and nuances it may be difficult to read. However, it is being provided as a courtesy to the hearing impaired as well as for those who wish to move quickly on to the pertinent parts of the podcast. Transcript is at least 80% accurate.
Success in Medicine and Survival
Tom: Welcome Galtstrikers this is our weekly Libertarian talk show where we discuss not only the problems of today but also solutions. If you have questions or comments during tonight’s broadcast the call in number to get on the air is 1.347.202.0228. After you’ve connected remember to press one so that our producer will see that you want to be on the air. If you are listening on blog talk or any other site that carries a player you can also listen and join us in our chat room at prepperbroadcasting.com. When you’re on the prepperbroadcasting.com About mid-way down the page you will see the player and you’ll see the a chat room right below that. And just enter your user name and click connect.
So anyways, I said we are a Libertarian talk show; we discuss the problems and also the solutions. Lately we’ve been talking about careers and job opportunities and ways to advance in life as one of those solutions and so we have been bringing on different professionals from different industries that talk about how they got started and what they did. If you received an email that I sent out we are going to be talking to a couple friends of mine who are in the industry. We have Dr and a Nurse, Dr.Bones and nurse Amy. You may be familiar with them from the website Doom and Bloom.net. Thank you for being on the air Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy, how are you guys doing?
Nurse Amy: We’re doing great Tom. How’s it going?
Dr. Bones: Yeah thanks for having us on.
Tom: Thank you for coming on I really appreciate it. So you guys have done quite a few things in your career. Dr. Bones you’re a doctor and Nurse Amy you’re a nurse and you’ve had your medical careers that you’ve been successful in. You guys have also written a book, “The survival medicine handbook”. You’ve got a successful website and the other cool thing that I’d like to talk about also in this show is you developed your own board game. So let’s talk about some of these things. The listeners out there, if any of you are interested in the medical field now is your chance to call and talk to people that have done it and been successful at it. I’ll remind you that the phone number is 1.347.202.0228.
So let’s start with Dr. Bones. Sr. Bones could you tell us a little bit about what it takes to become a doctor and tell our listeners how you got started and how you got interested in your profession?
Dr. B: Well you know I was really in college I would say I was a lost soul and I really didn’t know what I wanted to do and looked around and I got this feeling that I should be doing something that should be helping people At the time I was in psychology and political science major. I was heading on a track to go to law school. Matter of fact I got accepted to the University of Florida law school and I decided that it made more sense for me if I was really going to dedicate my life to helping people to probably do something else with my life other than be a lawyer. And so I really felt that being a doctor would be a great opportunity to save lives and do other things that I think would really help people and so I applied to medical school, I had just some of the basic science courses and I just by a miracle I was accepted over at the University of Miami Medical School and so I wound up going there. I had my socks in my hand putting them in my suit case to go to the law school at the university of Florida because I hadn’t heard from the medical school and I actually got my acceptance in the mail. I remember my mother came running in with the letter and so that’s sort of the way it happened. I’ve been honored and blessed to be a popular surgeon and obstetrician in my area for gosh, 25 years and now we’ve retired and we do our thing for medical preparedness and that has become a mission for us too. A mission is to put a medically prepared person in every family.
Nurse Amy: Well you know what? Tom I just want to prompt him to say one more thing. I think it’s important with people who are starting businesses. I mean you graduated medical school and you had a choice. You had a choice to go work for someone else or to work for yourself. Why don’t you tell them what you did and how you survived it?
Dr. B: Yeah. You know the normal track for a young doctor is to be a junior partner in a big medical practice and I was really sort of a maverick and I decided to just put out my own shingle which was something very uncommon back then and so I had to, you may not believe this but I was with in beeper range for 3 ½ years and in my field I started off as an obstetrician and in my field you had to be in town and you had to deliver your own patients. You know, you couldn’t have someone take call for you at night. So I tell ya, during the day I was at the office and at more likely than not at 4 A.M. or 3 A.M. in the morning I was in the hospital. If you’re going to be a doctor or an obstetrician it pays to not sleep too much.
Tom: Yeah so we had a show a few weeks ago discussing work ethic so I am assuming to be a doctor you have to have top notch work ethic.
Dr. B: Well I gotta tell you that there were a lot of circumstances where we were so driven to do work that we accepted pretty crazy schedules. I remember showing up with another resident to the emergency room at Jackson Memorial hospital, which if anybody knows south Florida is the big county hospital in Miami Day County.
Nurse Amy: Yeah but it was really crazy in the early 80’s. It was nuts.
Dr. B: Right and of course they had Mariel Boat Lift was there. All those refugees were there as well and me and this other resident showed up at the emergency room and the guys that were coming off of the emergency room rotation said, “Okay. It’s you and him and that’s it. So split up the schedule however you want it.” That means I was there 12 hours a day, Monday through Friday and then 24 hours in a row either Saturday or Sunday. So there were some circumstances that I would be on Friday night starting at about 6 and I wouldn’t get off until Sunday morning. So you really have to have an incredible work ethic if you’re going to work at a big county hospital. You can pick a smaller hospital but you know what? I needed to see, I wanted to see everything possible and the volume of patients that I saw, there was so much that during my career I never saw anything that surprised me. In other words that I felt that I couldn’t handle. So it was an awesome education and it probably took ten years off my life.
Nurse Amy: Yeah.
Tom: Oh no. So for someone who is interested in going to medical school, let’s say they have the good grades to get accepted but they just can’t afford the cost of tuition and all of that. What ideas and solutions would they have to come up with the money? Because the other thing we talk about is student debt and some people just, that’s too big of a cookie for them to swallow. To have that big of a debt. So what are some of the ideas that people can do to acquire the funding to go to medical school?
Dr. B: Well what I did was signed up for something called the public help service which provided physicians to prisons, state prisons , state clinics and things like that and they help me with my tuition and also I worked other clinics in the area. Private clinics that allowed me to do it. There are employment opportunities, in other words second job opportunity so unfortunately sometimes, like when I was in the E.R., the schedule is to much to be able to do those but you can certainly supplement your income doing that so. And don’t forget that you can take out loans and I’ll tell ya, with the way things are maybe looking if we don’t watch out we’re going to have an administration that is going to forgive a lot of these loans. Maybe that would be good for students that are going to medical school or considering it.
Nurse Amy: Well you know what I think? I think that if they’re gonna do that they should at least pick Majors. Someone that is going to become a doctor or someone that is going to become a nurse. Or something that our community needs or our country needs. That we are desperate for a certain type of major that we could help them. I mean I think we should look at not necessarily forgiving an art majors debt at Harvard but maybe forgiving someone who went to a state school to become a doctor.
Dr.B: Yeah and is willing to maybe provide a service after graduation or something.
Nurse Amy: Right. Right. Some community service.
Dr. B: That’s what the- -right- – that’s what the public help service was and those opportunities are still there as a matter of fact. One good way of getting into medical school if you have college students that are considering it is to let the people know that you are interested in primary care. There is an extraordinary shortage of primary care doctors in the nation today as a matter of fact. We really need people that are going to be the first point of contact for patients. There are a lot of doctors want to become specialist. I ended up becoming a specialist of course many, many, years ago there wasn’t any particular shortage of primary care doctors, but now it is actually very difficult, there are a lot of areas of the country that are basically doctor desserts in essence in that they just don’t have enough doctors to feel the need. As a matter of fact I just want to say this, that is one way that people come into the country, as medical professionals there’s a program called MAVNI that the department of defense is part of in which they have foreign doctors treating our men and women in uniform that they offer a path to citizen ship in three months. So that’s how bad it is
Tom: Wow. I didn’t realize there was that big of a shortage.
Nurse Amy: Oh yeah.
Tom: What about nursing Amy? Someone wants to be in the medical field and wanna help people nursing seems to be a really good career as well. Could you give us your perspective on becoming a nurse?
Nurse Amy: Absolutely. You know I had the choice like everyone else, “What are you gonna do?” And you know I really did have the grades. I had nearly straight A’s in high school. I got into the nursing school that I wanted to which was a private catholic school. Very hard one to get into. They were probably one of the hardest schools to get into. So good grades are very important. If you don’t have the good grades, now and days they are at least taking into consideration the essays that you write. So they really want to see what kind of person you are. Dedication, commitment, what kind of things have you done to help other people in your life time so far.
Dr.B: Well-rounded people.
Nurse Amy: Exactly. So it doesn’t always have to be the perfect straight A student. Passion is very important when you’re having your interview for the school. They want to see that this is really, really what you want to do. Now, I picked nursing. I could of become a doctor several times during my first couple of years in nursing school. I almost went over to pre-med. The reason I did not was one, I really wanted the flexibility to have more time with my family. It was very important for me to have a family. My mom had passed away, literally and this is an absolute truth, 8 hours before I started my first class at college. I mean my first day. And she, my mother was the one who was sick and she really wanted me to be a nurse. So I was kind of committed to be a nurse. I wanted to have family. I only had a brother and a father at that point. So it was important for me to be able to give my children time and I knew the hours and like Dr. Bones had talked about, the 24 hour shifts, the always being gone. You have more flexibility as a nurse. A lot of times its shift work and then that’s what I started off doing after nursing school. Pick the best nursing school you can. Go where you can get some scholarships. Again scholarships are not always based on just grads. There are other ways to get scholarships. I did get quite a few from various community groups which was wonderful to help. I eventually ended up having to take some loans for school which I paid back. They were low interest and after I started working I wanted a little more independence so the way to get that when you graduate from a bachelor’s degree is to go back to school and become a nurse practitioner. And I had started my OB rotation and my bachelor’s and loved it. In fact Dr. Bones and I have talked many times and he was actually a guest lecturer at my nursing school when I was in school in 1986.
Dr.B: Oh God, don’t tell them, don’t tell them.
Nurse Amy: 1986. Spring of 86’ he was a adjuncts professor and I remember a doctor coming in during my OB rotation and talking about, during one of our classes, about that and it ended up being him. It’s really funny because we didn’t actually end up meeting each other until several years later. But him talking and going through my rotation really got me interested in labor and delivery. I was a labor and delivery nurse and then I saw that there were nurse midwives and I thought well that’s really cool. I really want to do that. So university of Miami had a program, I don’t think they have the program anymore. There are not to many of them here. There was a combination nurse practitioner and also certified nurse midwife. It was a little bit longer but it’s what I wanted to do and when you become a nurse practitioner you have more independency. So you can write prescriptions. When I was practicing in the office I would see the patient, I would be able to diagnose and treat.
Dr.B: You could write prescriptions?
Nurse Amy: I was able to write prescriptions and my patients did not need to see the doctor unless I felt it was necessary. So there were certain things that I said, “Hey listen, you need to see the doctor and I’ll go get him or I’ll put you in a room and then you can see one of them.” But you don’t have to and when patients were going to deliver there I was on call or they requested me. I would go in and there would be no doctor there. I was in charge. So it gives you that freedom to be more independent, have more responsibility, feel like you’re contributing more autonomy but still have a schedule that is a little more flexible for your family and I did have young kids when I was in school. I actually had one that was young and then I had another one in the middle of school which is hard. But the master’s degree was very good in Florida because they really want a nurse practitioner. They actually subsidized most of my school but because I couldn’t work and I had two small children I actually had to take loans out to pay my bills. Cause I actually needed a roof over my head and food on the table and so I had quite the load of loans and I am looking at what their thinking about doing and gee I really could of used some forgiven debt.
Dr. B: I just want to say that Amy and I and some other midwives were one of the first doctor/midwife combinations. There was this thing where some doctors didn’t like mid wives and I was really against that. I really felt that mid wives provided a service for their patients. They have such good relationships to with their patients and so we were one of the first practices to actually mix the two disciplines and I have to say – –
Nurse Amy: And you were very respectful.
Dr. B: I have to say that nursing is an awesome career. There is so much more you can do in nursing these days and you know anyone that is considering a career in nursing I highly recommend it. There’s a lot of freedom, you get a lot of responsibility certainly, but you also have much more freedom to treat your patients than nurses did maybe some time ago.
Nurse Amy: Absolutely.
Tom: Ok. We’re interested in that because my wife, she is Filipino and she took 2 years of nursing in the Philippines and I don’t know how those credits will transfer over here but if I’m not mistaken I think it would be pretty easy for her to get into starting out as a CAN.
Dr. B: Oh yes. I wanted to tell you that we had a number, I just want to say that we had a lot of Filipino nurses where we were and they were awesome so I very much encourage.
Nurse Amy: That education definitely transfers.
Dr. B: Yeah.Yeah. Definitely encourage your wife to do that.
Tom: So yeah and she wants to continue her education here so and eventually become an RN. So I am supporting her on that career choice and to help her with the college and the tuition and helping her apply for the scholarships. She has a place to stay while she is going to school. That’s the career choose and I am supporting her on that.
But we were looking at this interesting question popped in my head. When I was looking at all the various degrees that a nurse can have, I mean all the way you can get a Doctorates degree at nursing. So if you’re getting a doctorates degree as a nurse does that mean you’re a doctor.
Nurse Amy: No. No it’s be clear- –
Dr. B: But wait, wait, before you do that. Yes. Yes they will call you Doctor.
Nurse Amy: It would be lovely if that was actually how it’s done.
Tom: You’re not a medical doctor but I always remembered when I was, I think it was in first or second grade and we had a principle and I think he had a doctorates degree in education or something. And he made us all call him Doctor whatever his last name was. The first time- –
Nurse Amy: Well, doctorates are actually pretty difficult to get. It could take anywhere from 3 to 5 years after your masters degrees. So we are talking about 4 years for a bachelor’s degree, 2-3 of a Master’s Degree and then another 3-5 years depending on your program to become a doctorate. It’s very difficult so the people that get the doctorate they deserve to be called that. The problem- –
Tom: Well yeah that’s what I was thinking ya know but then you get the – – you could be a doctorate of English. I knew somebody that was getting a doctorates degree in that. And you’re gonna be able to call me doctor now. Si I can see the confusion or where confusion would arise and especially in the medical profession if you’re a nurse and you’ve got a doctorates degree well, yeah you got the doctorates degree but you can’t call me doctor because we got the doctors around us now.
Nurse Amy: Well I’ll tell you what’s happening now is there is a lot of politics in medicine when it comes to exactly what you’re talking about and if you’re a professor in a University and you’re nursing but you have a doctorate, you can be called doctor but in the hospital the Doctors across this country are fighting to not allow nurses to get a doctor degree to be allowed to be called Doctor Alton. If I got a doctorate and I was working in a hospital when I was, let’s say I was still delivering babies or whatever I was doing in the hospital. The administration is going to tell me that I’m not allowed to use that title.
Dr.B: Oh boy.
Nurse Amy: There is that coming down. They’re now also telling nurse practitioners that your additional 2 or 3 years after your 4 years bachelor’s degree, you’ve got your master’s degree, is now soon not going to be enough to be a nurse practitioner. They are going to demand, – -this is all coming from the doctors mind you. Not my husband but from the doctors generally, – – going to demand that nurses now have a doctorate degree to become a nurse practitioner but not allowed to use the title doctor.
Dr.B: Alright now that’s ridiculous.
Nurse Amy: I know but it’s the truth.
Dr.B: No, I’m not saying it isn’t.
Nurse Amy: It is ridiculous. My husband is 100% supportive but this is what’s coming down the pipe, unfortunately. Yeah.
Tom: It’s interesting topic to learn about. It’s something I never knew about. So what is the highest degree a nurse can achieve?
Nurse Amy: Well yeah, the doctorate. That’s it.
Tom: That’s the highest?
Nurse Amy: Yeah. You can get a couple different doctorates but you know once you’ve got the doctorate there’s no other title. There’s no higher education in anything.
Dr.B: Most nurses reach the pinnacle of their profession even with just Masters. For example a certified nurse on essence that’s a Master’s Degree right?
Nurse Amy: Yes it is.
Dr.B: And a certified nurse mid wife, that’s a Master’s Degree so you can get very high in your profession with just a Masters.
Nurse Amy: Until they change the rules which are coming down the pipe.
Tom: Wow. So but you get up that high and you got a lot of career choices open up to you?
Nurse Amy: Oh absolutely. I mean you think about a nurse (inaudible) we’re not going to have fewer operations in the world. You know. As the population ages, especially in America, where there’s just going to be more and more surgeries. More knee replacements, more hip replacements, and more heart surgery. They come up with new surgeries all the time so they are able to replace more and more organs these days. And they’re growing them.
Tom: So I gotta another question too. So let’s say someone is interested, maybe their life dream is to become a doctor but for whatever reason they don’t have the time commitment. Maybe they got kids; maybe it’s the cost of tuition to go to medical school. Would it be a good and wise path to maybe start out as a nurse and later on in life changes their major to become a doctor? Is that a good path to go that way?
Nurse Amy: You know what? I’m gonna say no because your credits as a nurse are not going to be acknowledged in medical school so you’re wasting your time. If you’re gonna do it, do it. Now if for some reason you were a nurse and suddenly changed your mid and wanted to become a doctor you have got to go back, back to your bachelor’s degree. Let’s say you even have a Master’s Degree, you have to go back to your bachelor’s degree. You have to take more sciences, more classes to get into medical school. So you’ve got to start taking those classes because there is a certain list that is required- –
Dr.B: Pre- requisite.
Nurse Amy: Required for medical school that are not required to graduate as a bachelor’s degree and become an RN. They’re not the same sciences that I needed to take to get into my Master’s Degree. So you’re gonna have to go way back, you don’t have to go all the way back to high school, but you’re gonna have to go back to your bachelor’s degree and it’s almost like starting over. So if you’re gonna pick that path the best way is just do it. Get it over with because the older you get, the more responsibilities you have, the more bills you have, the more children you have, the harder it becomes. There is more road blocks and let me tell you the suffering and the misery that I went through to get my master’s degree I cannot describe to you. It was so hard so just do it as soon as possible and get it done. Git ‘er done.
Tom: And then the other question I have would probably be an equally difficult path, I don’t know. As far as paying for your school, for like example my wife took 2 years of college, 2 years at a University in the Philippine’s. The cost of that is so cheap that I mean, someone here working minimum wage could pay that cost of that college education that she got and so I’m wondering is it possible for an American citizen to get their education in another country where the cost are much, much lower and then come back to the United States and then come back and use those credits here?
Dr. B: Yes absolutely.
Nurse Amy: We have examples of this. Go ahead honey.
Dr.B: We have a there were a lot of doctors that were in the hospitals that I worked that came from other countries. You still have to take a special foreign medical graduate exam. Number one to show confidence but also to show that you can communicate in the language. It’s hard to be a doctor without being able to talk to the patients in this circumstance.
Nurse Amy: But you also had friends that left from here and went to medical schools in other countries.
Dr.B: That’s what I’m saying. Yeah. Yes that’s what I’m saying. You can go to the school in Mexico as an American Citizen. You can go to Grenada has a medical school. A lot of these people come right back to the United States and pass their test and they can apply for residencies and internships in the US.
Tom: That might be a viable economic solution, especially for somebody that is bilingual to get their education in another country if they can’t afford it. The thought came to mind, people talk about medical tours and going to another country where the medical cost are much lower. Like for example the Philippines. That’s where I got my dental work, was in the Phillipe’s because it was really, really cheap and affordable. Then I got to thinking is there such things as educational tours where you can go there and get your education then come back?
Dr.B: You definitely can. I can’t tell you how much it cost to do that because obviously it’s so many years since I was a medical student I can’t really tell you. But there are probably, ill tell you, if you look at the wall of your doctor’s office don’t be surprised if you see a medical diploma from places like Grenada or Guadalajara or places like that.
Tom: Alright. That sounds great. We’re gonna go to a break here and then we will pick it right back up in just a few minutes.
Tom: Welcome back everyone. This is Tom with Galtstrike and I am talking with Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy from DoomandBloom.net. We just got done talking a little bit about how people can join the medical profession as a doctor or maybe even as a nurse and some possibilities on how to fund that. We were just talking about also for example the possibility of American citizens who can’t afford school here who maybe bilingual could travel to another country and live in another country for a while. Get their degree there then come back to the states. I thought that was an interesting idea considering that my wife is from the Philippines and she studied there and she’s seeking to become a nurse here in the United States. So thank you for being on the show Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy.
We’d like to move forward a little bit – -Oh I do have one question that was asked in the chat room. One of our guests asks about becoming an EMT or a paramedic. Could you share what you know about those career fields?
Dr.B: Oh I have to tell you that if you want to have a sense of accomplishment and you really want to help people, I mean directly help people, then I think going into the emergency medicine or emergency medical services field I think is an awesome idea. EMT basic course takes a few months; it can take well up to a couple years depending on how intensive you do it. It’s about 150 hours of course work. There are so many tech institutes around, community colleges that have these programs. Almost every good sized municipality would have it and you know what? You are really going to save lives if you go into this field. If you can’t make the time commitment that you would need to study to be a nurse or a physician and still want to be in the medical field I can’t think of a better way to do it then become an EMT or becoming a paramedic. There are of course all sorts of different levels of emergency medical services personal and you can just progress through them as you need to. I think it’s an awesome field and I strongly encourage anyone that’s considering it to indeed take that course.
Tom: So would that be a good career and classes to take and a good career to get into to become an EMT or paramedic to maybe help fund their college to become a nurse? Could they being that kind of work on the side while they’re going to school?
Nurse Amy: Well the paramedic is a little more intense. I would say EMT would be a good way to start and work on the side to then go to medical school because the paramedics are actually pretty highly trained and again they’re specifically doing a paramedic program. I’m not sure exactly how the courses cross over between nursing and paramedic but to become a paramedic you can get an associate’s degree. You can also advance your career and end up with a four year bachelor’s degree. I just am not 100% sure how separate the nursing courses are verses the paramedic courses. So I would say that the EMT basics would be a great thing to do. They make good money. I was just looking up what some of them pay.
Tom: Yeah that’s what I was wondering. The amount of money they make. I mean does that pay well enough to help someone fund their nursing education?
Dr.B: Well that depends on their expenses I guess just like everything else in life. But I’ll tell you that I have, we have people that follow our website follow our podcast and videos and things like that that have gone through the emergency medical services route and are now nurses for example. Even in the wilderness medical society of which I’m a member, we have people that have been paramedics that are now doctors. So you could take your education as far as you want to take it. It’s just sometime life gets in the way though and you have to decide to continue your education or move on and make money.
Tom: Yeah. So now let’s move on to talk about your website and your book, “The Survival Medicine Handbook”. Which one do you want to start with first? The website or the handbook?
Dr.B: Well I can tell you that our website is DoomandBloom.net and that we now have 850 articles, podcast, and videos on the web site. All of it relating to disaster, and epidemic medical preparedness.
Nurse Amy: Or Gardening. I’ve got a lot of gardening articles.
Dr.B: We’re master gardeners for the state of Florida and so we believe that is part of it to. Amy, as a matter of fact has one of the largest medicinal gardens in the state of Florida. She really has a green thumb but our website is different from your average per se website in that what we right about assumes that medical care is not immediately at hand. In other words that you, the average person, might just be the end of the line for a period of time. Or for good when it comes to your family’s well-being and so from our standpoint we write as if you are the guy. And that you don’t have the ability to just transfer to the nearest hospital. So that’s what makes us different.
Our book is called, “The Survival Medicine Handbook; The Essential Guide for when Medical Help is not on the way”. It’s now in its third edition, its 700 pages and I think it’s a great edition to your survival library and everything is written in the same mindset as the website. Nowhere between the front cover and the back cover does it every say go to the hospital or go to the doctor because the whole book assumes they don’t exist anymore. And so what we are trying to do is get people through disasters. It could be short term disasters but the bottom line is that the hospital is not an option and we are there to make people effective in their role as medic in times of trouble. And so we have, we have been very blessed to have really the support of the entire preparedness community. We really had, we’ve had a lot of book sales of the first, second and now the third edition. The third edition if you’re looking at it I think this second edition is still on amazon. The third edition has a red medical kit with a white cross on it. Just so you know I think the other one has a red cross on it and then we realized, “Uh-oh, I think the red cross is- –
Nurse Amy: It’s perfectly fine honey.
Dr.B: It’s owned by the Red Cross.
Nurse Amy: No it’s not.
Tom: so since we are on the topic of the book we got a question. What would, from the chat room, what would be the top ten things to learn how to treat for non-medical people? So people like what this book is written to. What would be the top 10 things they should learn how to treat?
Dr.B: Well I think number 1 is you need to know how to treat water so it’s safe to drink. The bottom line is most of the deaths that you’re going to see, the avoidable deaths are because you did not pay enough attention to sterilizing questionable water. So we have entire chapters on water sterilization and how to sterilize instruments and how to basically make sure that you’re dealing with clean drinkable water. If you start with that then you are going to avoid a lot of infectious disease that otherwise would run repent in your family or your group in times of trouble. Oh speaking of which infectious disease, learning how to recognize and treat infectious disease is also very important. Things like an infected wound. So like an infected wound would be red, swollen, sort of shiny. It has a tendency to be very warm to the touch compared to other areas. The redness tends to spread. So that’s some of the things that you would learn with regards of how to identify an infection. We do that not just for an infection of the skin or soft tissue but we talk about all sorts of infection. We talk about abdominal infections and we talk about infections that occur in your eye or in your ear. We talk about really 150 different topics in the book.
Also we talk about animal bites, insect bites, and snake bites. That’s something that’s important and you need to learn how to deal with those issues. I think that’s very important.
Learning how to recognize allergic reactions asthmatic reactions, things like that. And respiratory problems as well. So we talk about those issues.
One of the big things though is you need to know how to deal with hemorrhage. Hopefully there’s not going to be a lot of gun fights at the OK corral but they can happen. Or accidents can happen. Even if you live in a remote homestead this book is a good book for homesteaders as well. If that’s the case, if there is an accident you need to know how to stop bleeding and so we go through a whole big thing with that.
One of the newest things in our book is the how to deal with terror events. Active shooter situations. So we talk about how to work with tourniquets, how to work with blood clotting, powders and things like that. So that I think is very, very important. Especially in today’s times.
Then we need to talk about orthopedic injury. There’s going to be a lot of sprains and strains. There are going to be a broken bones and things like that. So we talk about everything from soup to nuts with regards to that. We tell ya how to deal with sprains, a broken bone. Tell you how to deal with dislocations. We tell you how to deal with even a collapse lung from a rib fracture let’s say. So you know, this is very important. You need to know how to deal with trauma to muscles and to bones. Those are a very important thing.
You may find this unusual but you need to know how to deal with dental problems as well. Now I know that a few days without power because of a storm, obviously you’re not going to need to have any dental supplies or dental equipment or probably any major dental knowledge but in a long term event, if you believe that some long term event might possibly occur that will take you off the grid for any significant amount of time, then you’re going to start having people with dental issues. During Vietnam 50% of the sick call patients were from dental issues, not for medical. And so this is something that is very important. We have an entire section that tells you have to deal with everything from a loose tooth from a broken tooth from cavities- –
Nurse Amy: To pulling a tooth.
Dr. B: And we even discuss dental extraction. In 90% of medical emergency can be dealt with by extraction. That’s the way it was in the old days and that’s the way it might be if you find yourself off grid for a good long time. So that’s going to be something important too.
Also you might have to deal with a pregnancy. If things go bad long enough then you need to learn how to deal with a pregnant woman. You need to know how to deliver a baby. We talk about that in major detail in our book. These are things that are really important.
Nurse Amy: I’d say another thing would be knowing how to check for infections but when you get an injury and we’ve already talked about stopping the bleeding, but learning how to properly clean the wound. We talk about a lot in our articles over the years about how dirty the infections are going to be in survival situations. You think about the tools that we might get hurt with might have been used for butchering or chopping wood. Or things that are not necessarily the cleanest procedures prior to injuring yourself. So a lot of these wounds are going to have to be cleaned out really, really well. We teach you how to do that and you’re also going to learn how to treat them and care for them being open. You’re not going to be able to close them up with stitches or staples because you’re going to create an environment that bacteria will just be so happy in you’ll end up with a horrible infection. So you know you’re going to have to learn how to take care of wounds that are left open.
Dr.B: Also, it’s very important to realize that you’re going to be in a true survival setting. You’re going to be outside a lot and if you’re not prepared for the climate and the weather the environment becomes your enemy. You need to know how to deal with heat exhaustion, heat stroke, a lot of the country right now is going through a major heat wave so you need to know how to deal with people that may be experiencing heat exhaustion, heat stroke. You need to know in cold weather, how to deal with people suffering from exposure. Things like frost bite and hypothermia. So these are very, very important.
Nurse Amy: I’m going to add a number 11. I’m going to add sanitation. A lot of people don’t think of the medic or the medical professional or whoever is taking charge of that for a group, community of family but if you don’t learn how to properly dispose of your waste that are going to come out of your body whether you like it or not. You can cause serious illness in a family. If you’re not disposing of things. If these are disposed of near where you’re growing food or near your water source. Things can become contaminated so you really need to learn proper waste disposal.
Dr. B: Absolutely.
Nurse Amy: And possibly, unfortunately deceased disposal.
Dr. B: Right. In addition, it’s important, here we are telling you all the things you need to, all the abnormal things that you need to learn to recognize, you need to know what is normal as well. Our book talks about how to perform a physical exam and how to do it in a fashion so that you know what’s normal and what’s not. That’s the thing, if you don’t practice checking things out to see what is normal, many times you won’t recognize when things are abnormal.
Tom: So your book pretty much covers in detail most of your medical situations that people might encounter when there is no doctor available. You know I’ve gotten several books that I’ve collected over the years on different topics like you know the Army survival manual and different survival manuals but your book covers a lot of the things that those books don’t even touch on. And so for having a survival manual I think that your book is a really good manual that covers a lot of things that other books just don’t have.
Nurse Amy: Well I think that in the third edition that we have, you know we really do listen to people and I think people who have met us in person or people who have corresponded with us either through face book or emails or phone calls understand that we truly are here with a mission to put a medically prepared person in every family. We really believe that deep down in our soul. Through the years writing and creating the first book and then writing and creating the second book and then writing three more years and creating the third book, not only did we get feedback from our article but some of those articles were generated because of people saying, “Hey! Could you talk about this? Could you talk about that? You know I haven’t seen anybody mention this.” So if you really look at our book it is not Dr. Alton and Amy Alton just writing that book. This really is a book that represents the survival community and their needs and us responding to what people have asked for.
Dr.B: And the most important thing about the book is that it is all written in plain English. If there is a medical term that I have to use I tell you exactly what it means right then and there so there is no doubt as to what we’re talking about. So it’s is a very easily understandable book. It’s a book that the average person, the average 13 year old could read and be able to act if they need to.
Nurse Amy: Right. And we do have teenagers that are interested in it and its so cool when young folks – -in Texas we had an 11 year old who was a little shy. Her dad came up and was talking and he was like, “My daughter really wants to say hi to you guys.” I’m thinking oh you know, a child. Like they really care and I’m thinking the parents are just pushing this on this poor girl. And you know she shakes our hand and she’s all nervous and the dad says, “She doesn’t want to say it but she wants to grow up and be a doctor because of you guys.” I wanted to cry. He’s like, “She got a hold of the book. She started reading it. She can read it. She understood it and now she wants to be a doctor.” I was like, I’m a mom of daughters of course and I’m like aww that’s so cool. But you never know who you’re touching, who you might help, I mean even if nobody uses this book. Maybe in 50 years something might awful happen when most of us are gone who are even here talking and the book still exist in some homes that have been transferred in libraries to grandchildren. Maybe it will help somebody then. You know we don’t wish tragedy on anybody but stuff happens.
Tom: Real quick, we’ve only got just a few minutes left and I want to give enough time for you guys to talk a little bit about your board game. Maybe explain a, we only have like 3 or 4 minutes left and maybe explain real quick some tips on how people that are interested in writing a book how they might go about doing that and same thing with your board game. Some tips on how people can get started with Kick Starter.
Dr.B: Yeah, alright. We decided because there were a lot of preppers that couldn’t get the rest of the family on the same page as them. We wanted to give them a way that they can get people in the survival mindset in their family without having it sound like a lecture or having it crammed down their throat. So we put together a board game in which you wind up making survival decisions throughout the game. And it’s a fun game, you’re exploring places, you’re making decisions, you’re accumulating assets, you’re using up assets. The game is called Doom and Bloom Survival and the game comes with as a kick starter reward, miniatures so we give that to everybody who orders a game now because we have some extra. So the game is called Doom and Bloom Survivor. It’s an awesome game. You can find it at SurvivalBoardGame.com or at our website at DoomandBloom.net.
With regards to Kick Starter the bottom line is number one; have a good product and have rewards that really encourage people to get you to your goals and to reward goals as well. For us, we spent a lot of money to put together miniatures for people that would be- -and instead of putting that way at the end as a zillion dollar once we reach a zillion dollars you get miniatures. We made it the absolute first thing. Something really good right at the first reward goal. So that I think is very important and also you have to have lots of great images on your kick starter page and let people know what your product is and let them know why they need it. In this case it was to really help those people in the preparedness community that were having trouble with the rest of the family getting on board and that’s important. What was the other thing I was supposed to talk about?
Nurse Amy: how we did the Kick Starter.
Tom: How do you write a book?
Dr.B: You know, everybody has a book in the. I feel this from the bottom of my heart. Everybody has a book in them and everybody has special knowledge. Things that only they know from their life experience.
Nurse Amy: And their passion. What they love.
Dr.B: Right. If there’s something that you love. If you love horses and you have horses then write about horses. If you love gardening and you garden then write about gardening. We write about medicine but we write about medicine in our own mindset and it’s something that we are passionate about. We’re feverishly, by the end of my life, I’m going to have some medics. Some people that are right now are held in reserve but one day they may have to be the end of the line in regards to the way- –
Tom: We have less than a minute left. Could you tell people how they can reach you guys? Cause we do have a few questions in the chat room that we didn’t get to. So how can they reach you guys, email you guys and give your website real quick.
Nurse Amy: Ok. Our website is DoomandBloom.net. I have a store I put together custom medical kits that I designed, an entire line. Store.doomandbloom.net. Facebook can be Joe Alton MD. Also we have a Survival Medicine Group, Facebook group, find that one its awesome. We have a YouTube Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy. I have hundreds of videos.
Dr.B: And our podcast The Survival Medicine hour on this network.
Tom: Gotta go, producers telling me we’re going out. Talk to you later guys.