How do I Learn First Aid?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 09 November 2019
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There are many different ways to learn first aid, and most people would benefit from a little knowledge in this area. Injuries and illnesses can occur at any time, and having an idea of how to recognize emergencies, what to do as primary treatment for many common types of injury or illness, and how to perform life-saving measures can be extremely valuable. It should be recognized that first aid might be differentiated from CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation). Both are vital to learn, since people live in a world where both may be required, and especially for some people, like parents or teachers, having first aid training and CPR skills may prove invaluable.

Many organizations offer classes where people can learn first aid. These include organizations like the Red Cross®. Red Cross chapters often have first aid training that can be completed in a day, and they offer other useful training too. People might attend classes at the Red Cross® to help plan for emergencies or to put together emergency kits, for instance. People should recall that a first aid class may not offer CPR training too, though this may be available as part of another class. Other organizations like the American Heart Association can teach CPR and also train people how to use emergency defibrillators.


Another potential place to learn first aid is at community colleges. A number of them have first aid classes and classes on CPR. These may be jointly offered with organizations like the Red Cross, or they may be taught by instructors from the nursing or emergency medical training departments. Sometimes community and other colleges have different class sign-ups for courses that only last a day or two. They may not be listed in regular course schedules. The best way to find out if a local university offers first aid classes is to call the school’s registrar or a school counselor.

As part of training for a variety of fields, many people need to learn first aid and be extremely proficient at it. This is true for anyone planning to work in law enforcement, fire safety, emergency medical services, and as a health care workers. Often as part of training in these fields, people will take first aid courses. It may be not be necessary to enroll in special classes separate from the training for these professions.

There are a number of online sites, and even correspondence and email courses that can help people learn first aid. These may be good for basic knowledge, but some people won’t remember what to do in an emergency without some practice. It’s one thing to read about how to apply a tourniquet, and quite another thing to actually apply one. If there’s a good chance a person will need to use first aid skills at some point, it’s probably better to take a class where the person can practice those skills.



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