First Aide?

  1. Have any of you found that you don't quite know how to handle situations that may require first aide even after graduating from nursing school? This has bothered me for some time, especially since during summer months, I do health fairs and anything can happen from insect bites to anaphylaxis. I decided to purchase a first aide book to review and may even take a class offered by the American Red Cross at the community college. Just pondering...
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   nminodob
    Same thing I was thinking when I had just graduated from nursing school and nearly hit a skate boarder while riding my bike - the guy flew in front of me, I swerved, and he hit the ground banging his head! Luckily, he was all right apparently, and refused my offer of help, got up and skated away. But I was left wondering...
    In a way, this is similar to the endless advice questions friends and acquaintances throw at me..I rarely know the answers. I decided it was better to have a standard response suitable for all occasions, and this is mine: I say, "I went to school for years to be able to tell you this right now: See a doctor!"
  4. by   caliotter3
    When I first started home health I carried a first aid reference with me along with my drug reference for just this reason. I took a first aid course along with my CPR recertification one time, but that particular course was not a good presentation as far as I was concerned. I always wondered why first aid was not a topic covered in nursing school.
  5. by   pagandeva2000
    I definitely agree with telling people to see a physician. In fact, that is my standard announcement when with people casually.

    What I am more concerned with is while at these health fairs (many of them are outside), or even discovering a patient in a particular situation that is far from help, such as an empty hallway (it has happened to people before), what can be immediately done to sustain a person until help arrives? We have health fairs in churches, parks, sidewalks, etc...and at that moment, somehow, the nurse is expected to intervene, and I can see some of the more common situations occuring, such as beestings, asthma attacks, etc... and of course, we do not walk around with epinepherine or oxygen...so, I just wanted to know some things to do to assist a person.
  6. by   pagandeva2000
    Quote from caliotter3
    When I first started home health I carried a first aid reference with me along with my drug reference for just this reason. I took a first aid course along with my CPR recertification one time, but that particular course was not a good presentation as far as I was concerned. I always wondered why first aid was not a topic covered in nursing school.
    I so agree with you!! You would think that this would be a subject to be discussed in fundamentals of nursing or even a side class. If you don't mind me asking, what first aide reference book did you carry? I see two courses given at two community colleges. They are both about $100. I don't mind spending the money, but it has to be a decent presentation for me. For now, I ordered the book and will review while I mull through my mind which, if either of these courses may be worth the time. Or, maybe someone will share their experience in the class to guide me in the right direction.
  7. by   caliotter3
    I don't remember the name of the book I had, I think it has disappeared because I haven't seen it for years. It was, I believe, by the American Red Cross, or a similar agency, and had a picture of a much younger William Shatner on the cover. My first aid course was poor because of the instructor who didn't take it seriously.
  8. by   taz628
    THIS is part of the reason I received my EMT-B certification while in nursing school (Took a whole summer between 1st and 2nd year). In general, the first aide you speak of is the realm of pre-hospital workers. VERY rarely will we ever need to do such things while at work, in the hospital. HOWEVER, the other night at work I had a LOL who was kinda demented decide to remove her cast completely. *rolls eyes* Luckily, my EMT training kicked in and I splinted it well enough with what was available that the trauma surg PA said I did a good enough job to keep it that way until morning when they would recast it.

    From my experience as RN and EMT-B, there are so many things RNs don't know that could really end up hurting someone. Look up local EMT or first responder classes if you're really interested in that sort of thing, or take a PHRN course. Pre-hospital stuff is a blast!
  9. by   pagandeva2000
    Quote from taz628
    THIS is part of the reason I received my EMT-B certification while in nursing school (Took a whole summer between 1st and 2nd year). In general, the first aide you speak of is the realm of pre-hospital workers. VERY rarely will we ever need to do such things while at work, in the hospital. HOWEVER, the other night at work I had a LOL who was kinda demented decide to remove her cast completely. *rolls eyes* Luckily, my EMT training kicked in and I splinted it well enough with what was available that the trauma surg PA said I did a good enough job to keep it that way until morning when they would recast it.

    From my experience as RN and EMT-B, there are so many things RNs don't know that could really end up hurting someone. Look up local EMT or first responder classes if you're really interested in that sort of thing, or take a PHRN course. Pre-hospital stuff is a blast!
    What is a PHRN course? I do agree that the likelihood of nurses doing such things are nil, but there are atmospheres I am in where it may be necessary, and the public atmosphere of the healthfairs is one. We also have patients who have incidents on the grounds while walking from one building to another.
  10. by   taz628
    Quote from pagandeva2000
    What is a PHRN course?
    PHRN is a pre-hospital RN. It, in a nutshell, gives RNs paramedic type skills. (But nothing will ever be as good as a true blue paramedic! I <3 my medic friends haha.) So a PHRN would learn skills pre-hospital people do. Probably a bit overkill for what you're looking for, but who's going to complain about learning TOO much?
  11. by   luvschoolnursing
    I volunteer as a nurse at summer camp. These are the type of skills that would really benefit someone who does that type of work. I wouldn't mind taking a class or two.
  12. by   GilaRRT
    Not all states have PHRN courses or requirements however. In addition, some of the requirements for these providers are in fact quite limited IHMO. Some states will grant you EMS credentials with as little as ACLS, PALS, and PHTLS under your belt. While others have fairly comprehensive requirements. Some states have no specific requirements while others require EMT or PM credentials.

    In addition, I would not say there are "many" things that an RN does not know that could result in harming patients. When talking about basic first aid, we are not talking about stabilizing a car with cribbing, disabling the various airbags, protecting the patient, and performing extrication and disentanglement.

    Many first aid techniques are simple, easy to learn, and rather intuitive. A good first aid class should easily fill many of the gaps. With that, I would encourage RN's to take an EMT course if they had the money, time, and interest.
  13. by   pagandeva2000
    Quote from GilaRN
    Not all states have PHRN courses or requirements however. In addition, some of the requirements for these providers are in fact quite limited IHMO. Some states will grant you EMS credentials with as little as ACLS, PALS, and PHTLS under your belt. While others have fairly comprehensive requirements. Some states have no specific requirements while others require EMT or PM credentials.

    In addition, I would not say there are "many" things that an RN does not know that could result in harming patients. When talking about basic first aid, we are not talking about stabilizing a car with cribbing, disabling the various airbags, protecting the patient, and performing extrication and disentanglement.

    Many first aid techniques are simple, easy to learn, and rather intuitive. A good first aid class should easily fill many of the gaps. With that, I would encourage RN's to take an EMT course if they had the money, time, and interest.
    I have not heard of them in New York. It would be nice if they had, but I have not even heard of a discussion of such. I am looking for just what you said, a good first aide class. I see two, but I want to be sure it is worth it. I am big on presentation. For the moment, however, the book I just ordered from Amazon by the American Red Cross may be a decent start for me.
  14. by   FlyingScot
    I agree with Gila. Basic first aid will serve you well, much better than even an EMT-B (I am one). I say this because usually the time you need first aid skills is when there aren't any hand-dandy medical devices around for you to use. So you need to figure out how to splint or tie a sling with what you have on hand. Of course in this day of cell phones it is much easier to get emergency care but what do you do if you're hiking out of cell range and your friend sprains an ankle? Can't call 911. Well you could tie an ankle hitch which works very well. You won't learn that in an EMT course but you will learn it in a first aid class. Not dissing EMT's and Medics here as they serve a great purpose and are wonderful guys and gals and their education is top notch but they can't be everywhere. Another terrific course is the National Ski Patrol's Outdoor Emergency Care. It's intended for patrol candidates but some patrols will take people interested in learning the skills.

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