First Aid Training Basics: Essential Skills and Techniques Everyone Should Know

First Aid Training


Accidents can happen anywhere and anytime, from minor cuts and bruises to more severe injuries. In these critical moments, before professional medical help arrives, having a basic understanding of first aid can make all the difference. First aid is not just for healthcare professionals; it’s a skill everyone should possess.

Being prepared to provide immediate assistance can save lives at home, work, or in the community. In this blog post, we’ll cover essential first-aid skills and techniques everyone should know and learn from first-aid training.

Assessing the Situation

Before you rush in to help, it’s crucial to assess the situation carefully. Ensure that the area is safe for both you and the injured person. Look out for potential hazards, such as traffic, fire, or electrical wires, and make sure the scene is secure.

Calling for Help
Call 000 immediately if the situation is severe or potentially life-threatening. Describe the situation accurately and provide the dispatcher with as much information as possible. If you’re in a public place, don’t assume someone else has already called for help – take the initiative.

Providing Basic Life Support
In cases of cardiac arrest, knowing how to perform CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) can be a lifesaver. CPR involves chest compressions and rescue breaths to keep oxygen flowing to the brain and vital organs. Remember to follow the guidelines and ratios recommended by the Australian Resuscitation Council (ARC).

Stopping Bleeding
For minor cuts and scrapes, cleaning the wound with soap and water and applying an adhesive bandage may be sufficient. However, in the case of severe bleeding, take the following steps:

Apply Pressure
Use a clean cloth or bandage to apply direct pressure on the wound. This helps to control bleeding.

Elevate the Injury
Raise the injured area above heart level. This reduces blood flow to the wound.

Treating Burns
Burns can vary in severity, from minor first-degree burns to severe third-degree burns. For minor burns, you can:

Cool the Burn
Run cool (not cold) water over the burn for at least 20 minutes.

Cover with a Clean Cloth or Bandage
Cover the burn with a sterile, non-stick bandage or clean cloth after cooling.

Do not use ice or adhesive bandages.

Managing Strains and Sprains
When dealing with possible strains or sprains, remember the acronym R.I.C.E.:

Keep the injured area still.

Apply ice or a cold pack to reduce swelling (always use a cloth between the ice and the skin).

Use an elastic bandage to compress the injured area gently.

Raise the injured limb above heart level if possible.

Recognising Signs of Shock
Shock can occur in response to various injuries, and it’s essential to recognise its symptoms, which may include rapid breathing, confusion, cold and clammy skin, and a weak pulse. Keep the person lying down in the supine position, and cover them with a blanket to keep them warm until help arrives.

Dealing with Seizures
Seizures can be frightening to witness, but knowing how to respond can make a significant difference:

Protect the Person
Gently guide the person to the ground to prevent falls and injuries. Clear any nearby objects that could pose a danger.

Cushion Their Head
Place a soft, flat object (like a folded jacket) under the head to protect it from injury.

Loosen Tight Clothing
If the person has tight clothing around their neck or chest, such as a tie or collar, loosen it to ensure they can breathe freely.

Time the Seizure
Note the time when the seizure starts and how long it lasts. If a seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes or multiple seizures occur without the person regaining consciousness, seek immediate medical help.

Do Not Restrain
Do not try to restrain the person or put anything in their mouth. Contrary to common belief, it’s unlikely that someone will swallow their tongue during a seizure.

Managing Allergic Reactions
Allergic reactions can range from mild itching to severe anaphylaxis. Here’s what to do:

Administer an Epinephrine Auto-Injector
If the person has a prescribed epinephrine auto-injector (EpiPen), assist them in using it by following the instructions. This can be lifesaving for severe allergic reactions.

Call for Help
Dial emergency services or have someone else do it immediately, significantly if the person’s symptoms worsen rapidly.

Stay with the Person
Keep the individual lying down and comfortable. If they have difficulty breathing, help them sit up while supporting their back.

Monitor Their Condition
Be vigilant for signs of worsening symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, swelling of the face or throat, and a weak pulse.

Poisoning can occur from ingesting, inhaling, or absorbing harmful substances. Response varies depending on the importance, but these general steps can be taken:

Call the Poison Information Hotline
Contact your local poison control centre or emergency services for guidance. Be ready to provide information about the substance involved.

Prevent Further Exposure
If the poisoning resulted from exposure to a chemical, gas, or fumes, move the person to fresh air.

Do Not Induce Vomiting
Unless a medical professional or poison control advises, do not try to induce vomiting. In some cases, it may worsen the situation.

If the Poison Was Ingested
If the person is conscious, rinse their mouth with water and encourage them to drink milk or water if it’s a non-corrosive substance. If the poison was ingested, save any packaging or containers to help identify the substance.

First Aid Basics

Enrol in a First Aid Training!

The knowledge and skills discussed in this comprehensive guide on first aid are invaluable tools that can make a remarkable difference in critical moments of need. By understanding these fundamental techniques, you become a true first responder, capable of saving lives, reducing pain, and preventing further harm. However, words alone cannot replace practical experience and expert guidance.

Therefore, we encourage you to become a confident and capable first aider by enrolling in a certified first-aid training course at the Australian Training Institute. We offer hands-on instruction, scenario-based learning, and the opportunity to gain the skills and confidence needed to respond effectively in real-life emergencies. Enrol in our first aid training course now!