First Aid: It’s more than just CPR | Actions for Survival

Ever wonder what is covered in a First Aid course? Sure, you know that CPR will be taught, but what else will fill the rest of the day?

Before I came to be a part of the Actions team I didn’t know much about First Aid – I’d heard of CPR and of phrases like the “Heimlich Manoeuvre” and “Recovery Position” – but I didn’t actually know what they meant. 8 years on and I have fully immersed myself in the world of First Aid Training, but I still remember wondering what I would learn on a First Aid course, and what the difference was between sitting a Basic First Aid & an Intermediate First Aid.

So what is the difference?

A Basic First Aid covers the unit standards 6401: Provide First Aid & 6402: Provide Basic Life Support. It is an 8 hour course that uses both theory and practical elements, with a lot of hands on teaching and a lot of fun!

Some of the topics you can expect to learn about are;

  • Assessing the scene & checking for dangers
  • CPR – Adult, Child & Baby
  • Choking – although the Heimlich Manoeuvre is a well-known term, we do not teach that as it is no longer a recognised aid when dealing with someone who is choking
  • Breathing, Bleeding, Burns & Bones (breaks)
  • Shock
  • Poisoning
  • Soft Tissue Injury
  • Cardiac Conditions
  • Stroke
  • Seizures

An Intermediate First Aid is a Workplace course that covers both 6401 & 6402 unit standards but also has the additional 6400: Manage First Aid in an Emergency Situation unit attached to it. This one is a 12 hour course that is run over 2 days, incorporating theory and practical elements.

All of the above topics that are covered in a Basic First Aid are also covered in an Intermediate First Aid, but there are a few other topics that we get into with the Intermediate First Aid, these are;

  • Head, Neck & Spinal Trauma
  • Hypo/Hyperthermia
  • Diabetes
  • Health & Safety
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Meningitis
  • Hyperventilation
  • Eye Injuries
  • Medic Alert
  • Other Specialised Topics on Request.

An Intermediate First Aid needs Refreshing every 2 years, and with a Basic First Aid, we recommend re-sitting every couple of years too to keep up to date with the ever changing world of First Aid. New Resuscitation guidelines are released this year, and these changes will be taught in 2016.

So you can see that First Aid is more than just CPR – it is a wide range of topics that are interesting, informative and relevant that provide you with the tools, knowledge and confidence to save a life.

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