“I need to do this course for my job.” I hear this all the time from people in my Provide First Aid courses. But it has got me thinking, why should people do a first aid course? Are their particular people that should do one more than others? Does working in an office where you have a first aid officer mean that you don’t need to do a course? Let’s explore this a little……
The other day during one of my courses a student joked that either bad situations seem to follow me or my friends and family were accident prone from the few real-life scenarios I had told that day. Until then I hadn’t really given it much thought. To be honest as a Nurse I tended to deal with the situation, debrief and move on. But the comment did get me thinking, was I (or more to the point my family and friends) really unlucky? Did most of these situations come from my experience as a nurse, or were my friends and family accident prone?
Interestingly I realised that most of the stories that I used were not stories from the nursing trenches. They were what happened to me out and about living my life in the community. In the recent past i.e. the last couple of years I have personally dealt with…..
- A boomerang to the head (yes boomerangs do come back and the head bleeds a lot!)
- A man having a stroke in his car in a shopping carpark
- A lady having a seizure in a carpark
- A child in my pool who had forgotten how to swim since the previous summer (always pull them out at the first sign of distress, and yes I was fully clothed)
- Helped when a man had a cardiac arrest in his car on a busy road
- A badly displaced fractured arm
- A knife vs finger
- Numerous sprains on the sports field
- And a badly fractured and bleeding nose
Now I don’t think I am particularly unlucky and whilst perhaps my friends might be slightly accident prone or “adventurous” (you know who you are) it has made me realise that “first aid is all around us.” Perhaps I dealt with the situations because of my particular skill set, but the accidents still happened. Who would have dealt with them if I hadn’t?
So, when people say to me that they need to do a first aid course because of their particular profession, I answer that people need to do a first aid course because they live amongst other people. Yes some professions and recreational activities dictate that you need to be trained in first aid. But, accidents happen and you don’t know when you will need these skills until you need them NOW, and then it’s too late. A first aid course will give you the confidence to stay calm, to not turn the other way in the hope someone else will step forward, and most importantly it will help you keep the casualty and yourself safe until help arrives. So, I urge you all to make it your goal to complete a first aid course this year because “first aid is all around us!” You never know when you will need to call upon the skills that you learn.