With what we do, we know that having essential skills can be the difference to someone’s life. Learning these skills is not something that is reserved for adults – and that is why we recently had the pleasure of teaching four teenagers about CPR and using a defibrillator. It was great to see four young people so eager to learn a new skill, particularly as their new knowledge could be so vital in an emergency.
First time learning first aid?
Many adults don’t know any basic first aid skills, so it was no surprise to us that our students for the course had no prior knowledge of any first aid. This was not a standard full first aid course that would cover lots of topics – it was very specific and targeted. This helped to really focus their attention and understanding on the exact skills they wanted to learn. It can be hard to take everything in when you are doing a full two or three day course and for these teenagers, that wasn’t necessary at this point. We wanted to prioritise what was important to them.
Covering the basics of CPR
As we were starting right at the beginning, we first talked about the primary assessment for CPR. When you find yourself in a situation where you believe someone has had a cardiac arrest, it is important to do this primary assessment as it will help to keep you and the person safe. We also discussed the compressions to breath ratio, and showed how to correctly do chest compressions. All of these are very simple steps and the young men were surprised at how easy they were.
Accessing and using a defibrillator
The second part of our course covered the use of a defibrillator. What surprised our students was that we had one in the village. They knew a little bit about what it does but didn’t realise there was one so close by, on the outside wall of Coggeshall Village Hall. They also didn’t fully know what it was for. One concern they did have as we discussed what it did, was the fact that it gives someone an electric shock. This is a very common worry we hear from people – and that is completely understandable. We are taught that electricity can be dangerous, so many people are worried that using a defibrillator could cause harm to themselves or to the person they are using it on.
Very easy actions always make a difference in first aid
At the end of the course, we had a chat to find out what our students had learnt from the training we provided and how they felt about using it in real life. They all said they felt much more comfortable about stepping forward and using their new skills if needed. Previously they would have felt worried, particularly with a defibrillator, but they can now see how easy it is to use and how to use it. Prior to the course they also said they were concerned that if something had happened with a friend, family member or even a member of the public, they wouldn’t be able to help.
All of the above is what we hear on a regular basis either in our courses or everyday discussions. Our response is that very easy actions always make a difference. Many people who have been helped by CPR and defibrillators are proof of this.
First aid saves lives
We’ve written a few posts recently about first aid training. It is one of the main training courses we offer and that is because it is so crucial. While most people would agree that first aid is an important skill to know, when events happen that put it in the spotlight, it makes people really think about it. The most recent example is the Christian Erikson emergency at the Euros. The quick reaction of medical staff and the use of the defibrillator are the main reasons Erikson is on a path to recovery.
Equipment such as a defibrillator have been designed to be used by people with no experience and as seen, can easily make the difference between life and death in a cardiac emergency. They can be found all over the country and in a wide variety of places, not just healthcare settings. For example, they are now in disused phone boxes or on the walls of village halls and supermarkets. While anyone can use them, they may be more effective if a person has training so knows exactly what to do and can act more quickly.
Free CPR and defibrillator training courses for the community
At Vital Workplace Training, we are offering free CPR and defibrillator training throughout July and August to people of all ages within our local communities. We are based in Coggeshall but can cover the surrounding villages and towns too. These sessions will last no more than an hour and will equip people with the necessary skills to help in a cardiac emergency. If you or anyone you know would like to come to one of these courses whether by yourself or with a group of friends, please contact us on 01376 317 760 or message us via our website. You can also book directly through Eventbrite.
Not only do we train the community for free, but we can also help provide first aid training for your next event. Like the time when we helped with first aid training for the Christmas market in Coggeshall.
We look forward to your call and to passing on these skills.