Who should you choose to be a workplace first aider?
We’ve trained thousands of students for thousands of companies but we are rarely asked who should be a first aider.
When considering someone to come on a workplace course such as the 1 day Emergency First Aid at Work Course or the 3 day First Aid at Work Course there are certain traits and skills that will help in an emergency situation.
Firstly – does the team member actually want to be a first aider? We think that all of our team have trained people that don’t want to be there. We find that volunteers are much more motivated to learn and become skilled than people that have just been told that they must attend.
- Skilled and Knowledgeable
The person must be able to pass the course and have the skills and knowledge to administer first aid. The courses aren’t too tricky, we need people to be able to have a good grasp of the English language as these are Level 3 qualifications. We have trained people with both physical disabilities and special educational needs and we adapt the course where ever possible to make it accessible for all. We do need to see you master the practical skills and pass a multiple choice test at the end of the course though.
- Good communicator
This is such an important skill. Being able to talk to the patient, work colleagues, family members, bystanders and the emergency services is crucial. As a first aider you spend a lot more time talking to the patient than doing things to them!
We can only simulate and train so much on a 6 or an 18 hour First Aid at Work Course. The first aider needs to be able to apply the skills learnt in any situation. We always reiterate this on courses. People aren’t normally on their back in a large training room when you find them unconscious. You also don’t usually have a bandage in your hand when you discover they are bleeding…
This really follows on from the previous point. Accidents can happen anywhere and being able to provide first aid with the equipment, supplies and personnel that you have (or don’t have) is a real asset. One of our mantras is focus on what you do have, not what you don’t have.
- Calm under pressure
Emergency situations can be stressful. Having the ability to assess the scene in front of you calmly and make informed, calculated decisions is a crucial skill. Displaying confidence to the patient reassures them and will only make the event better. Even if you are feeling the pressure it is important not to show it.
- Efficient and effective
It is vital that we can get the job done quickly and correctly. There are certainly situations in first aid where seconds matter. Being able to effectively deliver treatment to a patient could be critical.
- Empathetic and Reassuring
We do need a soft and fluffy side! That cup of tea and a cuddle goes a long way. We need to ensure that the patient is kept calm and comfortable. They need to know that you are going to help them and that the appropriate treatment is being organised. If a patient is in a lot of pain or is uncomfortable then sometimes our words and actions are all we have to make them feel better.
So anyone can be first aider but it will certainly be better for your team if you choose the right people.
We can’t wait to welcome them onto one of our courses.