What is a First Aid Refresher?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 12 September 2018
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Whether for on-the-job responsibilities or for personal training, many people choose to get certified in first aid training. Such training prepares someone for first aid emergencies ranging from minor to severe, and covers basic first aid techniques such as treating minor wounds, bone breaks, poisonings, and other various first aid techniques. A person will take an initial first aid training course, and then after a set period of time--usually either annually or biannually--be required to take a first aid refresher course in order to keep his or her training current.

The first aid refresher course gives a participant updated information on first aid techniques that may have changed since his or her initial training. Advances in medicine and first aid techniques happen on a fairly regular basis, so it becomes necessary to gain this new information to ensure the participant knows the best and most effective first aid techniques. A first aid refresher course will generally cover any major advances in first aid techniques that happened within the past year or two.


A first aid refresher course is also helpful in ensuring participants remember proper and current first aid techniques. Because many people receive first aid training as a precaution, they may not use the techniques they learn on a regular basis. Therefore, it can become easy to forget such important techniques. The first aid refresher course is designed specifically to keep techniques fresh in the minds of participants and to reinforce the importance of knowing the proper techniques and information.

First aid refresher courses are often taught in conjunction with CPR training or refresher courses, which are separate certifications from first aid training. CPR training requires a dedicated teaching session and refresher course because of the complexities of the technique and the intensity of the training. Participants will learn proper CPR technique and will practice on training dummies, which can take a significant amount of time and studying. A CPR course can take eight hours or more of classroom time to complete, so first aid courses and CPR courses are often taught together over the course of one or more days.

Medical professionals must take regular first aid refresher courses to keep current in their industry. Emergency Medical Technicians, or EMTs, and paramedics take first aid refresher courses regularly in addition to their constant training and updating. Many outdoor professionals, such as mountain guides, rock climbing guides, river guides, etc. must take first aid refresher courses to prepare themselves for the potential of injury to themselves or others in the backcountry.



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