A first aid refresher course is essential in fostering a culture of safety, whether at home or in the workplace. Accidents may happen anywhere and anytime, and the skills acquired in this short-term training may prove handy in saving a life or two.
Learning how to perform basic first aid is an important skill that you can add to your survival arsenal. A refresher course, which aims to reinforce the knowledge and skills acquired in the previous training, is as important. Beginners and seasoned first aiders alike should participate in a refresher course, ideally every year, even if a first aid responder's certificate is valid for three years.
The following points further explain why you need to brush up on your first aid skills on a regular basis:
1. Strengthens Long-Term Memory
Ever heard of the saying, “our brain is like a muscle”? This is extremely true, and using it regularly makes it stronger. Most people have strong memory capacities and have no problem recalling incidents that happened a few weeks ago.
However, most have limited retention and recollection abilities, and a first aid refresher course is one good way to shorten the gap between absorbing a piece of information and having to recall the information from your memory bank. For instance, people who drive cars on a daily basis will develop muscle memory, making driving an easy task.
A yearly first aid refresher course is recommended so that participants have better recollection capacities of basic first aid techniques. They can’t afford to forget during emergencies.
2. Update Trainees with Changes in First Aid Procedures
Lifesaving strategies, in principle, remain the same. However, there may have been changes or upgrades in specific regulations. Hence, a first aider is encouraged to take a refresher course whenever possible.
Additionally, the healthcare sector has benefitted from technological advances in numerous occasions. This translates to frequent changes in how first aid may be conducted in specific situations. For instance, the basic methods in performing first aid for burns may not be the same as it was three or four years ago. A regularly updated first aider can provide better emergency medical assistance in dangerous situations and even when faced with advanced first-aid tools.
3. Compliance to Workplace Safety Requirements
Most countries require companies to respond quickly to workplace accidents or medical emergencies. In the absence of an infirmary or medical staff, the Occupational Safety and Hazards Administration (OSHA) in the United States recommends workplaces to have, at least, one qualified trained first aider and the appropriate tools, depending on which industry sector it belongs.
Health and safety practices require trained first aiders to participate in refresher courses ideally once every year, though, this can be stretched to once in two years, depending on the budget.
A first aider’s certificate typically lasts for three years, and employers are mandated to have their designated first aider to maintain and enhance his or her skills within the said timeframe. Taking a refresher course ensures that first aiders can assist and respond to emergencies when necessary.
In some cases, being up-to-date with first aid rules may help prevent accidents, as a responder can be more cognizant in observing high risk and accident-prone set-ups.
4. Filling the Gaps
A refresher course is effective in recalling the lessons discussed a few months past. Humans are not capable of absorbing all of the topics discussed in a first aid training course. Hence, to be more efficient and to cover most critical first aid techniques, a refresher course is imperative.
A typical first aid refresher course discusses basic bandaging, basic life support (BLS), and a focus on practical skills, including scene assessment, primary assessment, breathing checks, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The use of the Automated External Defibrillator (AED) for cardiovascular emergencies is likewise included. These topics are not only useful in workplace settings or in home emergencies, these can also benefit those who plan to take a medical or health-related course.
5. Increase A Trainee’s Confidence in Performing First Aid
A first aid trainee should be confident in extending appropriate first aid techniques when needed. If the first aid responder’s practical knowledge becomes rusty, he or she may not be able to administer life-saving practices. For instance, performing (CPR) requires several actions performed in a chronological order. Proper administration of this critical technique requires sub-skills that hinge on knowledge and physical competence. A minor slip may spell the difference between life and death. Hence, being a critical first aid component, performing CPR should be done by a person who knows what he or she is doing. A confident responder can deal with any type of medical and health emergencies in either home or workplace settings.
Learning a new skill contributes to personal and organisational development. When it comes to being a first aid responder, however, skills should be updated regularly for it to become more useful. A first aid refresher course allows participants to refresh their skills, find out about the latest techniques, and enhance their memory and capacity to help in times of emergencies.
Without adequate training and a refresher course, a responder’s confidence and knowledge may dip, putting into question an individual’s capacity to respond properly.