How do you know if your first aid training provider is delivering the Ontario required first aid curriculum to your employees? Most employers will assume that if they pay a company a fee for the delivery of first aid training, that their employees are getting the information that is required. However, this is not always the case.
Five signs that your first aid Instructor is not teaching to Ontario First Aid Regulation 1101 standards and therefore, not giving you what you paid for:
WSIB requires 6.5 hours of instructor – student contact time (not including breaks and lunch) for Emergency First Aid certification. For Standard level certification, 13 hours is required. It does not matter if there is one person in the class, or 18, the time requirement is still the same. If your instructor tells you they can teach the course in half the time, they are not providing the complete program as per the certification guidelines. Exceptions include the Standard First Aid Renewal course and Blended Learning formats, each have specific requirements that must be met but time requirements are adjusted accordingly.
Have you heard this in your first aid class? “We are not going to go through bandaging because we are in a 911 area and the response time is 6 minutes. Paramedics will take off all the bandages you put on anyway.” Bandaging is required content for Emergency and Standard certification, so skipping the content is against the standards. Besides, what happens if the employee is off site and in a remote area? 911 may not be so readily available which means those bandaging skills could be a life saver.
First Aid Instructors may have employment backgrounds in fields where they have a lot of first aid or medical aid experience. While personal experiences can enhance some of the first aid principles being taught, too much time on personal “stories” takes away from the program.
Some Instructors have a great deal of knowledge and experience and get carried away with putting too much content into the course leading to students feeling overwhelmed and confused. Too much information reduces the time required for covering required first aid principles and diminishes a student’s confidence.
Instructors should be simulating the practical training as closely as possible to what students will need to do in a real emergency situation. Practice that is realistic will effectively develop muscle memory for the response, helping a student to be effective even when they are panicking emotionally and having trouble thinking through the situation. If students are told to “practice breathe” instead of real breathing into a CPR manikin, or asked to similarly compromise the integrity of the skill practice required in the course, the student may respond to a real emergency ineffectively.
The guidelines for training that first aid providers are expected to meet in order to be able to certify first aid participants in Emergency or Standard First Aid are clearly laid out in the document, First Aid Training Criteria, available for download in pdf form on the WSIB website at www.wsib.on.ca. Don’t be afraid to hold your first aid training instructor accountable to their delivery of the training you expected and paid for.
Dianne Rende is the Executive Director of St. John Ambulance, Peel Dufferin Branch. As Canada’s leading authority in first aid, St. John Ambulance is dedicated to improving health and safety at work, at home and at play. Dianne can be reached by email at [email protected] or for more information visit www.sja.ca.