Once you have gone through a good training course, you’ll feel comfortable at least as far as delivering first aid to people in need. However, the majority of us will rarely use the first aid skills that we’ve learnt which is why we will forget everything in a matter of months. Also, not being able to practice things like chest compressions, resuscitations and defibrillations means that when the time comes we’re rusty if not completely blunt.
The best way to keep your first aid training fresh would be to continue practicing, this is one common sense way of doing things but many of us don’t have the time. Fortunately, the tips below should help you to a great extent.
Watch first aid videos every two months
Many people will often start forgetting what they’ve learnt after the first three weeks. A busy work schedule coupled with very little time to do anything else is what makes us forget. Fortunately, when time is short and you need to refresh your first aid skills YouTube comes in handy. Simply search for the technique you want to learn on the site and watch it once or twice.
Do this for every technique that you’ve learnt. Even though you’re not going to get any physical instruction or correction it helps to keep the technique fresh in your mind, and at times also pickup something new.
Read the provided first aid manual a bit every month
Almost every first aid training course you attend will provide you with a manual at the end of your course. The first aid training manual is your guide to keeping everything you’ve learnt fresh. The guide will contain both theory and practical examples for you to follow through. Make sure to read through the manual either every month or a little bit each week. Even though this does not beat actually practicing these techniques it still helps you to remember things like the number of compressions and how to check for signs of life etc.
Make a mind map of every first aid skill you’ve learnt
As students we’ve probably all made mind maps to help us fully understand and remember an often complex concept. The same mind map technique can be used to drill down every technique you’ve learnt. However, the key to drawing a good mind map in this case is to do it right after the course. This way you’ll register more things on the map because everything you’ve learnt is still fresh in your mind.
The beauty of this technique is that revising and refreshing what you’ve learnt during training takes just a few minutes if you do it each month or week. This may require a bit of work but will save you from costly refresher courses in the future.
Practice the procedures on a teddy bear at home once every six months
Practicing first aid on a teddy bear is nothing like doing it on a life size mannequin but something is better than nothing. Practicing on a teddy bear happens to be the more convenient way to run through the motions every six months. This is provided that you’ve been revising what you’ve learnt up to this point. Things like chest compressions, resuscitation etc. can all be practiced, doing one technique three times every six months will help keep everything fresh in your mind and body.
Take refresher first aid training every year
At times regardless of how hard we try we will forget what we’ve learnt after first aid training. A hectic schedule coupled with the regular stresses of life can make revising course material and practicing on a teddy bear less of a priority. Health Corp recommends that people who do not have the time to practice should enroll in a refresher course every year.
A refresher course is a lot cheaper and if you go to the same trainer you got certified by last time you’ll get an even a bigger discount. You can also schedule a refresher a month or two in advance. That being said if you have a tight schedule you will find that scheduling a refresher for a day on a weekend works out to be a lot more convenient.
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Manu Alias is the author of numerous first aid training manuals, articles and video tutorials. He is one of the leading authorities on first aid both basic and advanced in Australia. This is why he is also offers one of the most successful first aid training in the country aimed at regular people. Health Corp in Facebook, Twitter and Google +