One ques­tion I often hear is ” Shane The Nurse, where do I get my med­ical sup­plies?”.

Well I am here to tell you that get­ting med­ical sup­plies is very easy, for the most part.

There are real­ly only a cou­ple of ways to get med­ical sup­plies;

Buy it from a med­ical sup­ply com­pa­ny

Buy it from a friend in the EMT busi­ness

Buy it from a retail store

Buy­ing from a med­ical sup­ply com­pa­ny is rel­a­tive­ly easy if you are a physi­cian, or have an EMT busi­ness, clin­ic, or some oth­er fed­er­al­ly rec­og­nized endeav­or that allows for such pur­chas­es. If you do not fall into this cat­e­go­ry most med­ical sup­ply com­pa­nies will not sell to you.

Buy­ing from a friend in the EMT busi­ness, or one who owns a clin­ic will give you access to sup­plies that are a lit­tle hard­er to come by. For the most part if you have a friend that can help you out in this area you will have the best sup­plies and the stuff that is just not avail­able in a retail store..

Buy­ing retail. This is the most expen­sive way to get your sup­plies, but if you do a lit­tle research you can still find some great deals. Anoth­er down­side is that you will have a hard time find­ing some spe­cial­ty items.

Since most will fall into that lat­ter cat­e­go­ry I will address this area of med­ical sup­ply pro­cure­ment.

Wal-mart, Wal­green’s, CVS, and most oth­er phar­ma­cies will have some sort of med­ical sup­ply area. You can get most basic sup­plies here and for the most part these are all you will need. Only you can deter­mine what your basic sup­plies should be based on your type of activ­i­ties and your per­cieved future threat assess­ment. So for ban­dages, gauze, alco­hol, per­ox­ide, antibi­ot­ic oint­ment these are good places to get sup­plied.

But what if you need a syringes, nee­dles, scalpels, or sutur­ing mate­r­i­al? Here is where it gets a lit­tle hard right? No, not real­ly. If you have a farm sup­ply store near­by, such as Trac­tor Sup­ply Com­pa­ny, Dels, UFA, then you will most like­ly have access to these items. Also a good por­tion of these stores car­ry antibi­otics and oth­er med­ica­tions that are not gen­er­al­ly avail­able with­out a pre­scrip­tion if they are for human usage, but for vet­eri­nary usage you can buy them over the counter. I get a lot of my sup­plies at such places. There are some decent online stores but I have nev­er used any of them so I can­not offer a rec­om­men­da­tion here. If any of you have had expe­ri­ence with online retail­ers good or bad please leave a com­ment.

Anoth­er source for antibi­otics and some lim­it­ed med­ical sup­plies are the big­ger pet store chains such as Pet­Co,  Cal­VetSup­ply. I am sure most of you have heard of fish­Mox, which is Amox­i­cillin 250mg and Fish Mox Forte which is 500mg of Amox­i­cillin and they can both be bought over the counter. If you need pen­ni­cilin then look for Fish Pen 250mg and Fish Pen Forte 500mg. If you need Ciprofloxacin, aka Cipro, then look for Fish Flox Forte 500mg. Keflex, Cephalex­in are avail­able as Fish Flex 250mg and Fish Flex Forte 500mg. Doxy­cy­cline is avail­able as Bird Biot­ic 100mg. Isn’t it amaz­ing how many drugs you can buy if it is for vet­eri­nary use. These med­ica­tions are gen­er­al­ly made in the same fac­to­ry and just go to dif­fer­ent bot­tles. It is the same with buy­ing med­ica­tions from a phar­ma­cy, not the mail order kind, in Mex­i­co and Cana­da. One note of cau­tion here, you need to use the appro­pri­ate drug in the appro­pri­ate dosage for it to be safe and effec­tive. Oh yeah, you bet­ter know your aller­gies with these.

If you are in need of IV solu­tions you may be able to find them at the afore­men­tioned farm sup­ply stores but most like­ly you will need to con­tact some­body from the first two cat­e­gories, or pos­si­bly try one of the online retail­ers.

If you need reg­u­lar med­ica­tions such as Digox­in, Insulin, the Epi-pen, etc which are not gen­er­al­ly for vet­eri­nary use or avail­able over the counter you will need to talk with your provider. Please do not do the skip every oth­er day to cre­ate a stock­pile as this is very dan­ger­ous. If you can address the under­ly­ing issue, IE. mor­bid obe­si­ty then do so now and you may not need a lot of these med­ica­tions.

In the month or so since Sub­ur­ban asked me to write this arti­cle I real­ly had to think about where I pro­cured a lot of my sup­plies and I real­ized that most peo­ple do not have access like I do. So I went out and checked out the stores and found that I could build a real­ly good trau­ma kit, with the excep­tion of IV flu­ids and IV meds, just by vis­it­ing two or three stores in my area of cen­tral Arkansas.

Shane The Nurse




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