Mothers, parenting, first aid, senior first aid

First aid, even at the most basic level, is a skill everyone should be required to learn. It shouldn’t matter whether you’re in the workplace or not – first aid is something that can be applied anywhere at any time, as a mother or father of your child, a friend, a sibling, a stranger or a work colleague.

There is nothing worse than feeling helpless and stressed in a situation, that otherwise could’ve been avoided. What do you do when someone needs first aid and your skills are the difference between helping to ease the pain or outcome waiting for an ambulance, to the possibility of it all going terribly wrong?

First aid and the knowledge and skills you learn provide you with lifesaving tools that are simply irreplaceable. It also gives you the confidence and calmness to attend to an emergency situation, provide help and keep someone you love safe and comfortable. Thinking about getting your first aid qualifications? Here’s everything you need to know.

1. Senior First Aid is now Provide First Aid

Previously, the workplace approved first aid course was called Senior First Aid. These days however, with some slight changes in place the first aid approval is now issued to the Registered Training Organisations (RTO) and titled Provide First Aid (HLTAID003). Provide First Aid, also referred to as level 2 covers all aspects of training in ‘Provide Basic Emergency Life Support’, as well as specialised training for the treatment of additional emergency incidents.

2. Senior First Aid is the standard requirement in most workplaces

Employers have a legal duty to keep their staff and work environment safe. Whilst the standard requirements for senior first aid vary between workplaces and states, all businesses should be first aid compliant to establish a safe duty of care. In Western Australia, the standard office workplace should have at least one staff member qualified to perform level 2 first aid to meet the WA Worksafe requirement as outlined in the Code of Practice.

The Compliance Code for First Aid in the workplace offers employers two options on how to comply. Option one, the prescribed approach; includes the number of first aid officers and their required duties and training, and how many first aid kits should be made available. This approach is suggested for workplaces with 10 or more staff members, or for high risk jobs with less than 10 employees. Low risk workplaces should have one senior first aid officer for 10-50 workers and two for 51 – 100.

The second option to comply with the Act is the risk assessment approach. This involves assessing the workplace and the hazards involved, and making the appropriate decision as to what first aid requirements are needed. The minimal acceptable level of training for workplace first aid is the senior first aid certificate (also referred to as level 2 first aid qualification or provide first aid).

3. Basic First Aid will teach you 3 essential criteria

Learning basic first aid techniques is the best way to help you cope with an emergency – whether it be in the workplace, or the comfort of your own home. It can help to keep a person breathing until an ambulance arrives, keep them comfortable by reducing pain and minimises the consequences of the injury worsening.

Basic first aid (provide cardio resuscitation) teaches you to:

  • Respond to an emergency situation by recognising the condition, assessing the casualty and seeking assistance from emergency response services
  • Perform CPR procedures in accordance with Australian Resuscitation Council (ARC) guidelines, display respectful behaviour to the casualty and operate an automated external defibrillator (AED) should it be required
  • Communicate the details of the incident and what was done to help to workplace supervisor and emergency response team

4. Senior First Aid will teach you 4 essential criteria

The differences between basic first aid and senior first aid, is basic first aid is about providing CPR in an emergency situation. Senior first aid will teach you this, as well as prepare you for other possible life threatening situations like poisonous bites, airway management, seizures and bleeding.

Senior first aid (provide first aid) teaches you to:

  • Recognise and respond to an emergency situation
  • Apply appropriate first aid procedures including CPR and AED, shock management, airway management (asthma, chocking, severe allergic reactions and hyperventilation), cardiac emergencies, bleeding and wound care, bites and stings, seizures and convulsions, burns, extreme heat and cold, toxic substances, muscle injuries and abdominal injuries
  • Communicate the details of the incident and what was done to help to workplace supervisor and emergency response team
  • Evaluate the incident and own performance

5. Basic First Aid is a one-day course, Senior First Aid can be two

In order to be qualified in basic first aid, you’ll be required to complete a one day course. This will primarily cover life-threatening emergencies that can occur in the workplace, home or public and prepare you for a risk assessment and to perform CPR.

To complete a senior first aid course, this can be done as a one day or extended over two – depending on where you go. On successful competition, you will be issued with a nationally recognised Statement of Attainment that will show you’re qualified to perform the four sections mentioned above.

It’s important though, regardless of which first aid qualifications you get, that you refresh your qualifications as needed. Basic first aid should be refreshed every 12 months, whilst senior first aid (provide first aid) is every 3 years. This will ensure you’re up-to-date with any course changes, and remain confident and qualified to perform the tasks at hand.

By Jayde Ferguson, who writes for Training Course Experts – offering highly qualified senior first aid and refresher courses by an experienced team in Perth. You can catch her on Google+.