Making Everyday First Aid more accessible

Sophie Barton from our Dorset service was recently given the opportunity to learn how to teach others Everyday First Aid. Here she shares how she has been able to use her training to pass on lifesaving techniques onto others.

In June 2017 I attended two full days training alongside fellow colleagues from across Dorset at the British Red Cross in Poundbury. The training was delivered by Sara-Louise Hodges with the title ‘Everyday First Aid educators training’. The aim of the training was to equip us with the skills and knowledge to deliver basic everyday first aid training to our clients. Firstly we ourselves looked at our own skills to deliver first aid, but more importantly our confidence and willingness to ‘do something rather than nothing’ in an emergency and enable us to empower other people to adopt this way of thinking. We looked at the Bystander Effect and the reason why this happens. In breaking down this information and looking at the reasons why people walk by we could understand how we can try and educate and reduce this from happening. The main reasons were lack of confidence and knowledge, fear of the person, situation, potential dangers and the diffusion of responsibility. Once we have looked at and broken down barriers for the ‘will’ to help others we looked at teaching really basic first aid so people felt confident to help others in an emergency. When people are taught the basics in a way in which they can retain that basic information it directly impacted on their ‘will’ to perform everyday first aid because it increased confidence.

On Monday 30th October I carried out an Everyday First Aid session at Bridport Children’s Centre to a family which consisted of Mum and three children. Also present was Social Work Student Placement Nikita George and also Sara-Louise Hodges who was assessing me. The session was an hour long and I focused on three everyday first aid lessons which were tailored for this family’s current situation with a view to not only teach but help reduce risks within that particular family home. We covered what to do if a person was ‘unresponsive and breathing’, ‘unresponsive and not breathing’ and ‘what to do if someone has taken something harmful’. I used lots of different teaching styles to cater for different learners in the family, keep then interested and more importantly make it fun! Initially the family were quite dubious and particularly fearful of using the resusci-Annie (which the children decided should be Andy due to lack of hair and other body parts!) However by the end of the session they had all had a go and were all competent in performing CPR in an emergency and knowing exactly what to do in all three scenarios. I issued certificates to all the family and ticked off the three sections they had successfully completed on the back of their certificates. They then asked when they were completing all the other sections and confidently requested which ones we were doing next, including borrowing a training Automated External Defibrillator from Sara to take to their house and show them. (They will probably be disappointed when they realise its not the real thing and only a training model!) It just goes to show that in an hour basic skills can be taught along with the will to perform them, increasing confidence and ultimately enabling someone to save a life even if it is something as little as raising the alarm and not walking on by.

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