Too often at a re-certification for First Aid or Lifeguarding, material is reviewed superficially. We state for example, the importance of the Epi-Pen (auto-injector), or rapid aggressive cooling for burns and heat stroke, but don’t provide a practical exercise. We assume that everyone knows how to use the auto-injector properly; we assume that rapid aggressive cooling is performed very quickly.
What we get with this approach, is upside down auto-injectors, and candidates overthinking how to cool a burn or heat stroke, when they are standing next to the pool or water fountain.
What does this mean for us instructors?
- Do not assume that the candidates know their stuff
- The candidate(s) may feel embarrassed to ask questions; make sure questions are welcomed and encouraged
- If the issue you are emphasising is important, spend some time covering it; pass a training auto-injector around and let everyone practise the skill
- Get the candidates to look around the pool and spot where the sources or cool water are, and get them to figure out how long it would take to cool the patient with the various methods.
These are only two examples. There are other skills and knowledge areas that can stand a clear review.
And make sure the candidates feel comfortable asking questions and getting help when needed.
Till next time.