There are countless programs available that offer first aid training, especially for the workplace. Although many first aid trainers have the knowledge to share, they don’t necessarily have the experience to go beyond teaching the technical know-how about what to do in an emergency situation. When staff members take first aid training, they are “learning” the technical skills, but how they are taught and by whom can make the difference between absorbing the information or forgetting it. Subsequently, when one does not remember what they have learned because they’ve been taught in a non-engaging or complicated manner, they will lack the confidence to act on these skills.

Last year, an Ipsos survey revealed that 25% of Canadians admit they are not confident that they would know what to do in an emergency first aid situation. Knowing the skills can save someone’s life, but having the confidence to act and not “freeze” is vital to making the difference in getting the help needed. With so many first aid programs available, how can employers be sure that their workplace receives not only the required first aid skills, but also the confidence to respond in an emergency?

Providing employees with the framework or as we call it, “the approach,” to develop the confidence to respond is the most important part of any first aid course, as it enables employees to put their technical knowledge into practice when the time calls for it. An employee may have the technical know-how, but if they don’t have the confidence, they may not respond in an emergency situation.

Here are some ways you can provide your employees with a first aid training approach that will equip them with the confidence to respond:

Keep It Simple – Regulated content needs to be provided in a context that is easy to understand, so the takeaway feeling is that the information was not as difficult as it was anticipated to be when staff walked into the training. Instructors need to engage participants so the confidence is felt during the training, with an “I can do this” feeling being the result at the end of the session.

Customize the Training – Courses that are taught on-site allow employees to learn and practice scenarios in their own workplace, reviewing likely injuries that may occur with their first aid equipment, and knowing the location of the first aid kits and AEDs in their work environment. This avoids using “hypothetical” environments and scenarios that will be more difficult for an employee to recall in an emergency situation.

Teach to React – First aid training courses need to focus on what a person can do as part of the chain of survival in ways that can make a huge difference in someone’s life. In an urban workplace setting, the majority of people will call 9-1-1 knowing EMS are close by, however acting in the first 3 minutes of a medical emergency is key to a successful outcome. Giving training attendees the tools to remember not only what to do in these initial minutes, but also the tools to provide the confidence to act on them is the ideal training system.

WMC’s first aid training courses have been used to train thousands of employees every year at their worksites, focusing strongly on ensuring employees not only have the technical knowledge, but more importantly the confidence to respond to emergency situations.