Different Levels of First Aid Training

Different levels of first aid training

There are several different levels of first aid training, ranging from the most basic skills, like cleaning a wound and applying a bandage, to more advanced forms, such as using an Automatic Electronic Defibrillator (AED) to help someone who is having a heart attack. How much training you need is usually dependent on the level of skill you desire or the types of situations that you are likely to encounter. While some courses build on the information gained in earlier first aid training, others are standalone and require no prerequisites from other courses.

Further specialities of first aid also exist depending on specific environments or hazards that might be faced.

Basic First Aid

The most basic skill set of first aid is taught in introductory level courses. This includes training on how to properly assess and respond to a first aid situation, and typically consist of techniques on how to calmly and rationally assess a situation in order to determine the best course of action.

Basic first aid tends to include things like simple infection control, information on how to manage an unresponsive person, and how to minimise blood loss, clean small wounds, apply bandages, and do other simple procedures.

Higher Level First Aid

More advanced first aid includes a deeper understanding of basic life support skills, familiarisation with emergency medical equipment such as an AED, and a much more advanced and in-depth knowledge of potential conditions and appropriate responses or treatments. Participants in higher level first aid training are taught how to deal with situations like burns, eye injuries, poisoning, and open wounds. They are taught how to assess and look for the signs of various illnesses, both major and minor, how to assess injuries, fractures, dislocation, head injuries, and how to handle epileptic and diabetic episodes.

Although this might seem like a lot to cover, first aid touches on a wide swath of issues but only includes the most basic of hands on techniques, such as sterilising a wound, how to prevent infection, basic life support skills (such as CPR), and techniques like to Heimlich manoeuvre to prevent choking. More important than actually treating the many conditions is knowing the signs and being able to assess the situation to provide proper care or alert emergency medical services if more experienced care is required. In-depth medical procedures should always be left to trained professionals. Therefore, first aid techniques seek only to assist in preserving life and minimising injury until proper medical assistance can arrive if it is required.

Completing Higher Level First Aid Training

Basic first aid training requirements are often quite simple, requiring nothing more than the ability to kneel and bend down. Higher level courses may require prerequisites in the form of lower level first aid classes, or sometimes more advance physical requirements such as the strength necessary to apply CPR or other medical techniques.

The principles of basic first aid are highly useful for anyone and should be learned, appreciated, and practised by all. More advanced first aid can truly be life saving and is a massively worthwhile investment for anyone interested in being able to do the utmost for the safety and health of those around them.

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