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It’s an undisputable fact that qualified first aiders can save lives in emergencies, and while taking a first aid course and having a qualification is both helpful and empowering, the passage of time can lead to your first aid skills falling prey to disuse. However, if you are a certified first aider within your team, you should always be prepared to deal with accidents on the unfortunate occasion that they happen.

The reasons to take a first aid refresher course are numerous, but the points below best highlight why even the most confident first aiders would benefit from making sure their skills are up to date every once in a while.

1. Fact forgetfulness

On average, each of us forgets at least a couple of things every day – it’s just how human brains function. It isn’t much of a stretch then to say that along with forgetting what you had for dinner on the weekend, you will likely forget the first aid skills you acquired during your first session if you are not practising them over time. To ensure you are still competent as a first aider when the time for requalification comes, we recommend you take refresher courses regularly.

2. Changes in first aid procedures

Despite basic lifesaving techniques staying the same, first aid regulations actually tend to change quite frequently. That’s why health authorities advise first aiders to take Annual First Aid Refresher courses, in order to maintain their essential skills and ensure they are on top of any changes to first aid procedures that might have occurred since their qualification.

3. Legal requirements

According to health and safety good practices, qualified first aiders are required to attend refresher updates once every couple of years at the very least, with this period ideally being reduced to once a year if budget allows for it.

What’s more, employers are required by law to make sure the first aiders on their team maintain their skills over the duration of their certificate (three years). This way they can ensure staff can administer first aid quickly and efficiently in emergencies, thus cutting down the time it takes to treat patients.  You can ensure your employee first aiders are getting the required practice by signing them up for a First Aid at Work Refresher course.

4. Ongoing health research

Improved understanding of the workings of the human body as a result of continuous research in the field also leads to changes in first aid procedures. These changes can range from something as simple as bandaging or CPR techniques, to more complex advancements in the technology used to provide first aid (e.g. blood glucose checkers and digital defibrillators). First aiders should regularly update themselves on the latest developments in order to provide emergency medical assistance safely and competently.

5. Emergency response

Perhaps most obviously, refreshing your first aid skills regularly means you are able to treat yourself, loved ones and members of the public at all times should an emergency occur. Up to date first aid training will also help reduce workplace accidents, as it will ensure you have the diligence and knowledge to notice potential hazards and accidents, thus preventing them from taking place. Furthermore, should an accident occur in any setting, your refreshed first aid skills will give you the confidence to deal with it without feeling overwhelmed.

 

If you or your staff members hold a valid First Aid or First Aid at Work certificate and would like to refresh your medical assistance skills, you can sign up for one of our first aid refresher courses: the Annual First Aid Refresher, a three-hour course available for individuals; or the First Aid at Work Refresher, which is spread over two days and available for teams of 4 or more.

Alternatively, if you have not had any training, you can attend one of our First Aid Courses at CIWW in Cardiff and become a qualified first aider yourself!