First Aid 101

I recall taking a First Aid & CPR course only twice prior to the one I took on June 22nd & 23rd of this year. The first was in grade 7 and seeing as that was well over 15 years ago (Wow, I feel old!) I couldn’t tell you what I learned or who it was taught by. Thankfully I never had to use any of the skills they attempted to teach me. The second time was when I was in school taking my PSW course – 5 some odd years ago. Between that time and now I only had to do the heimlich maneuver once. That was more than enough for me. I also realized that between that time and now my certification had expired. In Fact, it expired after 3 years.

Oops.

SO, I decided to be the responsible PSW that I am and sign myself up for First Aid & CPR through St. Johns Ambulance. A 2 day course which I took part in with 20 or so other individuals, all of us clearly there for the same reason: WORK.
If not for work, I doubt any of us would be there. It’s 2 days – sometimes without pay – and depending on your instructor you may find yourself dozing off and not learning anything. That aside, it’s also A LOT of information to digest in 2 full 8 hour days!

The first thing we we learned before anything else was safety and personal protection regarding ourselves, the  first aiders. A lot of people when in public hope NEVER to have to use the skills they have, stemming mainly from fear and any repercussions that could occur after. First and foremost we are to introduce ourselves & ask the individual in distress if they want our help. Silly, right? Some people decline. Protecting us from any backlash is the Good Samaritan Act (Anyone else thinking of SEINFELD?!) which states: a person who voluntarily and without reasonable expectation of compensation or reward provides the services described in that subsection is not liable for damages that result from the person’s negligence in acting or failing to act while providing the services, unless it is established that the damages were caused by the gross negligence of the person (Wikipedia).

Other than basic CPR, which after continually giving 2 breaths & 30 chest compressions intermittently until our instructor stopped us, we learned a variety of other skills that could potentially come in handy. Now the likely hood of having to give first aid for Poison Ivy where I work in LTC is rare, it’s still  a good skill to have. I have a cottage. I’ve been known to frolic in the bushes.

Not only are these skills that you can apply in your work environment, but in your personal life as well.
Hopefully, we’ll never need to.

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