I did a Senior First Aid Course a few years ago. It was an intensive 2 day course given that was quite hands on – we had lots of practical time, role plays, scenarios, etc. We learned various bandage wrapping techniques too, but I wondered if I would ever remember them when the time came.
Since the course, I never had to use any of my First Aid. Until this morning.
There was a car accident down the road from work and I got called up to assist. First thing I did was panic! I couldn’t remember what to do – I remember the basics of DRABCD, recovery position, some of the fundamentals. But part of attending to a scene is also remembering how to handle it.
I rocked up the crash. One car rolled over on its side, the other in normal position. Both drivers were already out of their cars. No blood or open wounds. One driver visibly shaken. Lots of other people around trying to be helpful. I didn’t really know what to do, but remembered that as a First Aider, I should stay until the ambulance arrived just in case any of the drivers fainted or went into shock.
What should have I done differently?
Looking back at the events of the morning, I now realise that First Aid doesn’t just mean First Medical Aid.
It’s also helping everyone calm down and making the scene safe, for others as well as the people involved. The crash victim may not have been visually physically hurt, but was definitely shaken.
Even though I followed the DRABCD in my head, I totally forgot about looking the crash victim in the eye, gently squeezing their shoulder and calmly asking for their name. I probably didn’t need to do this to assess his conciousness (as he was walking around and jittery), but it may have helped calm him down a bit more. I probably should have introduced myself too as it would be weird for a complete stranger to come up to you and assist. Oh well, things to remember for next time.
I definitely recommend signing up for a course here: http://www.stjohn.org.au/