You would think that it would be an easy matter to find a great first aid course. Everyone could benefit from learning how to properly assist those who have been hurt and need help, right? Oddly enough it can be a challenge to figure out where to turn to get the education and information you need in order to properly care for someone in need of immediate medical attention or first aid.
According to the National Safety Council, we could avoid 25 per cent of emergency room visits if people were educated in basic first aid and CPR. The health care savings would be in the millions per years and thousands of lives per year would be saved as a result. Those are pretty compelling reasons to take a few hours to get a solid foundation in first aid techniques and procedures.
Contrary to popular belief, first aid involves more than just knowing how to administer CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). There are many varying degrees of first aid that can be learned by those interested in learning.
Some of the skills that can be learned through a proper first aid course include the following:
- Burn treatment
- Head and neck injuries
- Adult CPR
- Controlling bleeding
- Identifying emergencies
- Assessing victims
- Protection from infection
These are just a few skills that can be learned through a qualifying first aid course. It is important to remember that first aid is a first response and not designed to be the full treatment. The idea behind firs aid is that lives can be saved by getting some treatment immediately rather than waiting for emergency professionals to arrive on the scene. It should never replace actual medical care.
But, where can you turn to learn these incredible skills that can help you be a hero to someone or just make sure you know what needs to be done in case anyone you know and love is injured?
The Red Cross
This organization is a worldwide organization that has a great deal of experience delivering emergency care and attention in many different situations and in teaching others to care for people who need immediate medical attention.
Some of the skills taught by the American Red Cross include the use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs), adult CPR, child CPR, infant CPR, safety and injury prevention, babysitter training, pet first aid, and first aid for children. Businesses can even get education in avoiding common workplace injuries as well as treating them when they occur from the Red Cross.
Visit the Red Cross website at: www.RedCross.org then click on the tab that says “Get Trained.” Enter your zip code where prompted in order to find a training course in your community or near your community.
Local Fire Department or Volunteer Fire Department
Do you have a group or organization that wants to learn first aid? Small communities often have a harder time getting first aid classes taught but most fire departments across the country offer this invaluable service to community groups and organizations.
You will need to call the fire department on behalf of your organization and find out exactly what types of first aid classes they offer. Some only offer classes in CPR for adults, children, or infants. Other fire departments offer more in depth first aid courses that address burn treatments, broken bone care, head injuries, bleeding injuries, etc.
Due to budgetary cutbacks some fire departments have had to stop offering these classes so be sure to call ahead of time to find out if and when the classes are offered as well as what the requirements are in regards to cost, group size, age, etc.
Not all hospitals offer this service in general. However, if there was sufficient demand or requests for this service more hospitals might join in. The bottom line is that you can call the hospital or various hospitals in your community and find out if and what types of first aid training and/or classes are offered by the hospital.
Most hospitals offer, at minimum a child care certification class for teens interested in learning first aid to babysit. Others will offer CPR certification courses while still others will offer basic first aid training.
Call your local hospital or visit their website to find out what kinds of classes they offer, how much the courses cost, and how often the classes are offered. Different classes will require a different amount of commitment on behalf of you and/or your organization. Keep this in mind when planning. Also remember that CPR certification must be re-certified every year.
Community Colleges, State Colleges, and Universities
If you’re willing to make a more significant investment of time and attention to learning first aid or if this is a personal quest for you and not something you’re doing as part of a group there is always the option of taking an actual college course in first aid and CPR. Completion of the course will qualify you (in most cases there may be a few rare exceptions) for CPR certification.
Some community colleges offer intensive classes in first aid and/or CPR to groups but most offer a first aid class that lasts a full semester. With flexible college schedules of today it is possible to take this class one night a week throughout the semester or even on Saturdays. The same holds true for University classes on first aid.
The end result when you decide to take a first aid class, get your CPR certification, or even learn to use tools like an automated external defibrillator is an education that is priceless and may help you save a life someday. It may even be the life of someone important to you.
If there aren’t any classes being offered in your community perhaps you and a group of friends can get together and make a day of driving to another community where first aid training is available. The result is that you’ll have a group of friends that is ready for many of life’s little emergencies as they arise. Not a bad group to hang around with if you ask me.