Gayle is a retired accountant and a photography enthusiast living on Victoria's beautiful Bass Coast. Gayle is passionate about writing and keen to showcase Aussie culture to a global audience. Gayle loves her family, dogs, sunsets, and chocolate.
Published October 5th 2016
What You Learn Here Could One Day Save A Life
There are so many reasons first aid training is a good idea. Illness or injury are always stressfu, but it may be less so if you know what to do until professional care can be reached. Any day you may be called upon to deal with something as simple as how to clean and bandage a child's skinned knee through to performing lifesaving CPR. My motivation was a pending outback road trip. Before we embarked on the trip of a lifetime, I wanted to know what to what to do in an emergency, with road accidents and snake bites high on my mind.
A class in progress (Photo from St John Ambulance QLD Facebook Page)
With over 130 years of experience in first aid education, St John Ambulance is undoubtedly the best. I chose their two-day Provide First Aid Course which ran over two weekends. There were about a dozen other people on the course and we paired up and practised on each other. If you're a bit shy about this, why not get a friend or family member to do the course with you. I had a great time and left the course confident I could deal with first aid basics.
Learning CPR (Photo from St John Ambulance Victoria Facebook Page)
We practised CPR on head and torso dummies, all of which were dressed in green t-shirts. Getting a breath of air into somebody's lungs is not as easy as it at first seems. When after several attempts the dummy's chest finally rose I was elated.
We made splints from folded up newspapers and learnt how to fold and tie a sling for an arm. Anybody who has ever tried to fold cloth nappies for a baby will understand the challenge. And yes, there was giggling. Learning these serious skills was a whole lot of fun.
Learning how to bandage (Photo from St Jon Ambulance QLD Facebook Page)
We held biros between our fingers to pretend our hands had been skewered by a foreign object and learnt how to bandage around this to hold it securely until a doctor could remove it. We followed the audio instructions on defibrillators and saved our dummies from heart failure. We were shown EpiPens and instructed on their use. We bound heavy bandages from the toe to the thigh for pretend snake bite victims and practised wrapping neat and unwrinkled bandages around pretend sprained wrists.
Learning to use a defibrillator (Photo from St John Ambulance SA Facebook Page)
Then when we were all feeling confident, our instructor lined up pairs of chairs and staged a pretend bus crash. Pretend passengers acted out a range of allocated injuries while we tried to apply what we had learned and attend to the crash victims. We followed the DRSABCD Action Plan which is easily remembered by thinking Drs. ABCD and stands for:
DANGER – Make the area safe. RESPONSE – Can the person respond? SEND FOR HELP – Ring 000. AIRWAY – Clear the airway. BREATHING – Is the person breathing? CPR – Commence CPR is necessary. DEFIBRILLATION – Apply a defibrillator is available.
Checking breathing (Photo in the public domain via Pixabay)
The St John Ambulance Providing First Aid Course is designed to give you the skills to sustain life and minimise the consequences of illness or injury until professional help arrives. The course covers:
the management of an unconscious breathing person,
the management of unconscious non-breathing person (CPR),
applications of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED),
first aid kits, what's in them and which is appropriate,
choking and shock,
injuries from head to toe,
wounds and bleeding,
burns, poisons, bites and stings,
exposure to heat and cold, and
medical emergencies such as chest pain, asthma, anaphylaxis, stroke, seizures, fainting, and diabetes.
Practice neat bandaging as any wrinkles will hurt the patient (Photo copyright Gayle Beveridge)
St John Ambulance in Victoria is headquartered at 170 Forster Road Mount Waverley VIC 3149 but courses are offered at a number of locations. Group bookings are available as are on-site workplace courses. St John Ambulance can be contacted on 1300 360 455. Details of courses and bookings can be made on their website. The Provide First Aid 2 Day Course costs $245.00 (Oct. 2016). On-Line E-Learning courses cost as little as $25.00. Pricing for all courses is available on the website.
An excellent, 'necessity' type of thing to do - my hubby fully believes we should all do First Aid Courses and refresh every couple of years. I must say now that I do Granny Day Care once or twice a week, I'm leaning more towards doing something like this myself. Well done, Gayle - another great article! Gets one thinking...