Choosing a First Aider – What Qualities Should You Look For?

Choosing a First Aider – What Qualities Should You Look For?

It is a legal requirement for workplaces (including offices) to have qualified first aiders. In the United Kingdom, the Health & Safety Executive sets the first aid requirements for businesses. Workplace first aiders should attempt an approved First Aid at Work (FAW) course. These can often be quite expensive so when choosing employees to put on a FAW course, make sure you choose carefully.

There are several personal qualities which you should look for when looking for a first aider. First aid is more than just technical skills, it is also about an individual’s people skills, ability to work under pressure and shared sense.

– Good communication skills. Communicating with sick and injured people can be a challenge. consequently you should choose someone who has excellent communication skills and a natural ability to talk to people. Communication is meaningful to good casualty care and is very important when passing the casualty onto the next level of care. for example if an ambulance has been called, a first aider will have to provide a handover to the paramedic.

– Ability to work in a team. First aiders are often required to work alongside members of the emergency sets, especially the ambulance service. You should look for someone who is a good team player.

– Ability to work under pressure. First aid situations can range from the mundane (a cut finger), to incredibly stressful and demanding (a cardiac arrest). A first aider should be able to keep their ‘cool’ under pressure and be able to manage responsibilities whilst having an awareness of the overall situation. If they panic, then they’re likely to make the situation much worse and cause the casualty further distress.

– Leadership. A first aider may have to take command of a potentially volatile situation. He or she may be looked upon by his/her colleges to provide leadership during an emergency. A first aider may also have to organise bystanders to assist in various responsibilities, such as carrying out a spinal log roll.

– Know their own limits. A meaningful skill of first aid is being able to recognise someone who needs quick emergency help. A first aider should know the limits of their skills and knowledge and be able to call for further assistance when required instead of try to ‘go it alone’.

Overall, when choosing a first aider, remember that you are making an investment in your business/company. This person will be responsible for the health and welfare of your staff in an emergency situation. Make sure you choose wisely!

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