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Why Take A First Aid Course?

Updated on December 7, 2015

Why Take A First Aid Course?

As a First Aid Instructor, I teach First Aid/CPR to people of all ages, from all walks of life and with varying levels of knowledge and experience. The most common reason that people take First Aid/CPR training is for work or school. Very few people take a course because they actually want to. In fact, realistically, if given the choice, most people would probably not take First Aid or CPR training ever. The reasons why people shun First Aid and CPR training are usually the same; either they think it's a waste of time or they feel that if they take a course, they will be obligated to help if a situation arises.

When we think of First Aid, we often think of the big things: heart attacks, accidents, broken bones, severe blood loss, CPR, etc..., but we forget about the other things that are also part of First Aid: cuts, nosebleeds, sprains, seizures, allergic reactions, concussions, minor burns, and the list goes on.

First aid covers a wide variety of situations, injuries and conditions. It isn't just about handling the serious, often scary life threatening injuries, medical emergencies or CPR. It's everything and anything in between. In fact, for most of us, we do some sort of first aid on a regular basis. Handling cuts, minor bleeds, slivers, bumps, boo-boo's, burns, choking, diabetic or asthmatic emergencies are only a few of the first aid emergencies that are common place in today's society. Many of these situations have become so familiar that more often than not, we don't even think twice about providing care to the injured or ill person. We're comfortable and confident with the first aid procedures because we have already done them so many times. It's the unknown, the unfamiliar, that make us nervous and reluctant to step in.

First aid, like any other skill or knowledge, is never a waste of time. The reality is, you never know when a medical or traumatic situation is going to happen. With growing populations and ongoing social issues, you could, at any time, be called upon to use your first aid training to help another person. Having the skills and knowledge to handle an emergency does not obligate you, it prepares you.

Too often I hear stories of incidents occurring with tragic end results because the people around did not know what to do. A student in one of my classes tragically lost her father at a really young age because the people around him did not have first aid training and didn't know how to help him when he had a heart attack. As a result, this young girl was left to grieve the loss of her beloved dad. Her wish was that everyone would take a first aid course so that no one would ever have to experience the pain that she felt.

Many students have also come into my classes carrying the burden of guilt. A situation has happened and they didn't have the training to help. The person feels helpless and guilty because they know that being trained in first aid procedures would have helped them handle the situation better. Those students take First Aid because they never want to experience that sense of helplessness again.

So, why take a first aid course? Because injuries and illness happen around us every day. Whether it's minor or serious, treatable or life threatening, having the training to handle a situation prepares us both in knowledge and skills. It doesn’t obligate us, but rather empowers us. First Aid training, like any other course, is never a waste of time. Everytime we learn something new, we are bettering ourselves as a person.

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