Whether you’re taking care of infants, seniors, or persons with disabilities, knowing the right first aid techniques can be a lifesaver for them. If you’re considering taking on a caregiving role, the best time to become certified in first aid is before you start the job. Emergencies can happen at any time so it pays to be prepared.
Why Knowing CPR/First Aid is Important for Caregivers
As a caregiver, you need to be fully prepared when taking care of your charges. Here are a few key reasons why learning first aid should be at the top of the list.
Certain charges are prone to accidents.
Regardless of who is in your care, you need to know that some of them are more likely to have accidents than others. For example, while children like to explore and so may get several cuts and bruises, seniors can have issues with balance and may get fractures from falling. When you learn first aid, you’ll know what to look out for when taking care of different types of people.
You need to be prepared for emergencies
Emergency situations need quick and decisive action. With the right first aid training, you’ll be able to identify if your charge needs emergency care and decide if you need to call the emergency services. In some cases, you may be able to handle the issue yourself. For example, heat exhaustion is a very serious issue but trained caregivers are taught how to handle it at home. Most importantly, you’ll know what not to do. Life-saving techniques like CPR can cause damage when done incorrectly.
It helps to be able to recognize life and death situations
Sometimes life and death situations are quite different from an emergency. There are times when your charge has been hurt or is having a medical issue and it doesn’t present as an emergency. As a caregiver trained in first aid, however, you’ll be quick to recognize any changes in your charge’s behavior and act accordingly.
You should know what to do before the medical professionals arrive.
Even if you’ve called the emergency services to come to your charge’s aid, there are things you can do to keep the situation from getting any worse. That can be true in cases such as bad burns, head trauma, fractures, heart attacks, strokes, and the like. Your intervention as a trained caregiver can make the difference.
Why it’s Best to be Certified
When you’re learning first aid, you shouldn’t settle for reading about the topic or watching videos online. Certified first aid courses are a much better option. These courses are managed and taught by trained healthcare professionals. They also cover essential areas such as:
- Handling choking or drowning
- Recognizing emergency situations
- Carrying out CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation)
- Dealing with cuts, wounds, burns, bites, and bleeding
- Handling fractures, shock, and seizures
- The safe use of Automated External Defibrillator (AED)
- Treating heat exhaustion, electrical shocks, and poisoning
Certification is a practical way to show that you have learned what you need to be a caregiver. Many courses offer specialized areas as well so you can gain specific knowledge about the first aid techniques that are essential for children, seniors, or persons with disabilities. Best of all, there are no limitations so you can cover your bases by learning all the specializations.
These certifications are generally valid for a set time because you’ll need to refresh your skills and knowledge. If you make the effort to renew your certification as required, you’ll always be kept aware of any updated information regarding your charges.