Learning first aid is an important step for anyone to take. You may have to become qualified as a first-aider for your work – and your training could also be the difference between life and death for someone you come across in everyday life. But what can you expect to do on a course?
This post explores some of the things you’ll learn about as part of the two types of work-related first aid training: Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) and First Aid at Work (FAW). We’ll look at how long these courses take, the topics you’ll cover, assessment, and preparation.
How long is a first aid course?
The length of your course will depend on which type you take. The short EFAW course only takes one day to complete – the full FAW course takes three days.
What you’ll learn
You’ll first be introduced to the fundamentals of first aid in a working environment. To begin with, your trainer will teach you about:
- First-aiders in the workplace, including their roles and responsibilities;
- The contents of a first aid kit;
- The form you’ll use to record and report any incidents – the Report of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) form;
- How to assess and respond to a first aid emergency.
This part of the course will provide you with the theoretical knowledge that you’ll need as a first-aider. After this, you’ll go on to explore more specific work-related first aid scenarios and injuries that you might have to treat in the role. The range of injuries that you learn about will depend on the course that you enrol on, as you’ll see below.
Emergency First Aid at Work course
The shorter one-day EFAW course provides you with practical training in how to deal with commonplace incidents such as minor cuts and wounds. For these types of injuries, you’ll be taught about important first aid tasks such as stopping the bleeding, cleaning wounds, applying dressings, and watching out for signs of infection.
Minor burns and scalds are also a common type of injury that you’ll come across in many workplaces. As part of your training, your tutor will explain how to treat people who’ve suffered a burn. This part of the course will look into the appropriate ways to cool the burn, apply lotion, bandage the affected area, and provide pain relief.
You’ll also go into more detail on treating:
- Asthma attacks
- Anaphylactic shock
- Heart attacks and angina – you will be trained in how to provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) using an automated external defibrillator (AED).
For more serious injuries and incidents like these, the training is designed to ensure that you can support someone through a potentially life-threatening situation whilst medically trained professionals arrive.
Three-day first aid course: what to expect
If you take the full three-day FAW course with us, you’ll cover all of the above injuries in much greater detail. As this programme is designed for individuals working in high-risk environments, you will also be taught how to treat:
- Injuries to bones, muscles, and joints (including suspected spinal injuries)
- Chest injuries
- More serious burns and scalds
- Eye injuries
- Incidents of sudden poisoning (including carbon monoxide and common forms of ingested poisons).
How will I be assessed?
Again, the mode of assessment you take depends on the course you enrol on.
The one-day training does not feature an exam – instead, you will be assessed by your trainer continually throughout the day to ensure that you’ve grasped all of the learning outcomes.
For the emergency course, you’ll also be assessed through observations during your three days of learning. At the end of the training, you will then take a final assessment exam in order to receive the FAIB-accredited Level 3 FAW qualification.
Where can I do a first aid course?
These types of courses are readily available throughout the UK. We provide training at our academies in Paisley and Dalgety Bay in Scotland, but we also offer on-site first aid training – this can be delivered either at your place of work or a venue of your choosing.
How to prepare beforehand
There are no entry requirements for our courses. That said, it can be useful to familiarise yourself with some of the basic theory beforehand. To help you with this, we’ve provided a wide range of helpful first aid resources on our site. Take a look to learn about everything from first aid needs assessments to how to treat someone who has had a fall.
There’s no need to do any extensive learning, though. A brief introduction to some first aid theory using our resources will help your development, but don’t try to get a headstart by learning any specific first aid procedures before your training course – attempting to learn the procedures yourself could result in confusion during the tutorials and may be detrimental to your progress.
In terms of other useful preparation tips, you should ensure that you wear appropriate clothing. Most casual, loose-fitting clothes will be fine for taking part in the course, but it’s advisable to wear trousers for your comfort as some of the practical elements will require you to kneel on the floor. Flat-bottomed shoes are also recommended for the more physical parts of the course.
It’s worth noting that you should only attend if you’re physically able to move about and kneel for prolonged periods. If you suffer from physical constraints or disabilities, get in touch with us before you book. We will be able to advise you on whether you can qualify as a first-aider.
We hope that this guide has given you some useful insight into what you do on a first aid course, how long it takes, and how to prepare. If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch or check out our range of first aid courses to learn more.